Steve Martin’s 1991 film “L.A. Story” takes the piss out of Los Angeles and the curious ways of its inhabitants. There is a scene where the people in a typical neighborhood get in their cars and drive 25 feet to their mailboxes at the end of their driveways. We know this is a spoof because it is choreographed and set to music. Otherwise, there is a sad degree of truth to it. I have a friend who lived six blocks from his office in Santa Monica. He drove to work every day. Why? There is no why. If you’re going somewhere in LA, you drive. The phrase “walking distance” would elicit blank stares.
I swim every day in a pool that is about 1 mile from home. I drive there. They validate parking. I drive home. I’ve decided to throw in a little walking to augment the swimming regimen, and today was a beautiful day to stretch the legs. You know it’s been a warm, dry winter in Southern California, and spring started springing here weeks ago. My walk took me down some side streets that would be out-of-the-way in a car but are shortcuts on foot. And I noticed flowers blooming everywhere. So I started snapping away. Not always in focus, but what the hell. It’s better than shoveling snow, eh?
After my swim, I decided to take a more leisurely, circuitous route home – and went on a real meander. I’ve lived in some great walking cities: New York, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco. After more than three years living in West Hollywood, I finally went on an extended stroll through my neighborhood. And I discovered some of the things I miss when I drive past them at 40 mph. Here’s what my world looks like at 1 mph. Enjoy!
Day 047. Slow-walking my neighborhood. #100happydays