Hi! I’m back from the sunny and burning region known as Los Angeles. What a great two days! Although that’s like saying “I was eating coffee-flavored ice cream. What a good food!” Of course it was great. I was traveling.
But Sunday in particular was like that improv game, best day/worst day, except it was just best day. I got all my homework for the week done on the plane (proof that I should stop worrying, because a week’s worth of homework = five hours). Met my cousin and her husband (so my cousin-in-law?) who were supremely welcoming, which was nice, because going to LA is somewhat intimidating!
Side note: back when I was a little kid, my friends and I would make simple computer games. One that we made once was called “BOMB”. The plot was summed up in one sentence: “Your goal is to dismantle a car bomb set to blow up the United States.” So you’d travel to various cities and win money or lose money or get a bomb detector or something. Anyway, when you go to LA, the screen would display:
You get off the plane and somebody shoots you.
Then it beeped five times. The end!
End side note!
So there’s that. Plus, it’s so goshdarn big to see in one day. But thanks to Jessica and Matt, I felt right at home. They told me some cool places to go. I went there. I think I found some of the hipster/vegetarian/young/nerdy places, which is the kind of place I’d like to live. There were more secondhand clothing stores than I could shake a secondhand stick at. That is awesome! There were also a lot of trendy boutiques. That is not so awesome! There were some cool comic book stores. That is awesome! I have to read more graphic novels.
Dinner: awesome Mexican food at a restaurant called “El Compadre.” Maybe it’s just because of my preexisting bias that “LA Mexican food is so much better than midwest Mexican food”, but man, LA Mexican food is so much better than midwest Mexican food. Hung out at the bar afterwards and watched the Indians get pounded. Okay, that was the one part of the day that doesn’t qualify as “best day.” BIG FROWNS. But the bartender bought me a beer as consolation (he was a Sox fan).
And then… this day wasn’t awesome enough yet, so I noticed a sign on a restaurant advertising the Go! Team playing a concert that night. Wait, THE Go! Team? Awesome! After a half hour trying to find parking for this venue that I wasn’t sure even existed, there I was, watching Bodies of Water (who seem pretty good… at least, they have two trombones) open for the Go! Team. Man, they are electric on stage! Even though their horns were just sampled, watching them do their thing was a blast. If you get a chance to see the Go! Team, you ought to.
Next day, my interviews were cool. It ain’t professional to go into more details than that on a blog, I think. Let me say Burbank is really a bummer. It feels like a dusty old highway-stop town with a big old gob of Cheesecake-Factory “gentrification” or whatever they call it when someone tosses CF and friends at an otherwise-reasonable city.
LA is a little bit of a bummer too. At least there’s something going on there, it’s big enough. But it has downsides:
1. It feels junky! There’s islands of glitz among a ton of junk. Nothing I saw felt anything near as welcoming or nice as Squirrel Hill.
2. It’s so goddamn hot, which makes it feel junkier.
3. CARS EVERYWHERE. Not bikes or public transport.
But then, big up:
1. Awesome Mexican food everywhere.
Still, it’s no match for Seattle, the Bay Area, Boston, or even Pittsburgh, in my mind.
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