11/6/09

Commuting To Work In Los Angeles......

Like most people who live in the LA area, I commute to work everyday. Each day I get up and drive to the other side of the City from where we live to work. Even though it is only 14 miles one day, it can take me any where from 45 mins to well over an hour. This was one of the culture shocks for me when I moved here. All my life, anywhere I had lived, you could drive 14 miles in 15-20 mins, but of course, not in LA.
I have been working in the same area of town since I moved here 7 years ago. I never take the freeway instead I take side streets and and some main avenues and totally stay off the freeways. I get to cut through some really pretty streets in Chinatown,Silverlake and Echo Park, and by doing this, I get to see things on my way to and from work that people on the freeways would never get to see.
Yesterday was like that. It was a beautiful clear morning and it was a little chilly. Just chilly enough to let you know Autumn is here but no where near full swing. I had made my way to Chinatown and had just turned on the side street that lead me up to Sunset Ave, one of the main roads I take across town. As I made the turn I notice there were several police cars parked to one side and there were a crowd of people gathered around some policeman. Since the traffic had slowed down we were inching our way down the street. Now when the weather permits I drive with my windows rolled down, which is what I was doing yesterday. As I go closer I could see two policeman had this older Hispanic guy up against the wall with his hands behind him and they were putting handcuffs on him. Standing a little further down was a very excited younger Hispanic lady talking in Spanish to two other policeman. As I got closer to them I suddenly saw a young Hispanic guy in his early to middle 20s, siting on the sidewalk holding a cloth to the left side of his face and he was covered in blood down the front of his white shirt. As I got closer to him my traffic stopped and I could hear one of the Policeman speaking to a couple of others explaining what happened. It seems the older gentleman (the one in handcuffs) was the gardener for the Apartment building there on the corner. The younger guy and the lady were walking by on the sidewalk when the older gentleman said something to or about the lady as they passed. When the younger man spoke up and told him to talk to her like that, the older gentleman stabbed the guy in the face with the clippers he had in his hand!!!! I thought wow, had I been come through there just a few minutes earlier I might have been a witness to the stabbing!!!
So the rest of my ride to work was much less eventful! BUT, it got interesting again on my way home!!! Of course now that we have changed the time back to normal time, it is dark when I get off work (which I totally HATE in case you were wondering). So that night I thought I would change up my route a little bit and take a different road over to Sunset. So I chose Santa Monica Ave, which I very seldom take because it had the heaviest traffic. So I made my way down Santa Monica with no problems (and much less traffic for some reason) and as I approached my last big intersection before I hit Sunset, I notice all these Policemen on HORSES! Now I am not talking one or two, I am talking 30 -40!! There on the darkened side streets as I made my way down Santa Monica were all these mounted policeman in every intersection, just sitting around talking to each other. I have NEVER seen a Policeman on a horse in the LA area except in parades, but there they were, all over the place! I could not figure just what was going on. But once I hit Sunset, there were no more to be seen. When I got home I checked on the computer and on the late night news but there was no mention of policeman on horses, for any reason.
Now most days as I travel to and from work, I see nothing at all except the parts of town I travel through and all the great homes and beautiful mountains. But just when I least expect it, the regular ride takes on a little excitement as unelected things take place around me, it really makes for an interesting time!
And to think, I would have missed it all had I taken the freeway instead of my back streets!! Perish the thought!!

later!

1 comment:

Jonah said...

What a day of commuting! Getting off the freeways is so important in getting to know this place. People miss so much when they confine themselves to that concrete corridor.