a girl in her city, watching the sunset

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Picture Postcards from the last six weeks or so: L A, I love you.

Eastside sunset from Gold Line 6-11-12 :  I spend a lot of time on the eastside.  this is from the Gold Line between Chinatown and Union Sta sometime nearing sunset, which is gorgeous everywhere.  I don’t always get the pic I think I’m going to when I’m snapping from the train, but I really like this one.

Chinatown sta as seen from Gold Line 6-11-12 : Chinatown is a glorious nook.  There’s a whimsy and an bit of the ethereal that I completely ken when I’m walking there.  I don’t know where I come down on how the station was designed, which has a pretend quality to it, but at the same time, it’s a bit of an homage and not the real mccoy.

Train and Crossing 7-12-12 -near Del Mar Sta : I used to only shoot inanimates and still life in an effort not to compete with someone in my life who averred she wanted to take pix of people (though she did so both infrequently and ineptly).   But from my focus on not-people subjects, I developed a love for the mechanical.

From the bottom of Wilshire-Vermont Metro sta staircase (the ones from platform) :

I walk these stairs most weeknights.  I skipped the the day I wore the wrong shoes, though.  This is Wilshire/Vermont Sta, from the lower platform to the upper.

The following pic (the formatting is fucked up) is from the top-down of the upper platform-to street staircase.  I do that one to0


From top of 2nd staircase (to street) Wilshire/Vermont Metro sta

Bits of paper everywhere 7-21-12  :

So the other day

I see all these bits of paper.  And I don’t understand them, and I start writing a novel in my head about love letters and hope.

What they said – I guess littering is advertising now?

Turns out it’s trash-as-advert.  I picked up the scraps I could and put them in the recycling


Bourne movie billboard except not. 7-19-12 — has been since replaced : I love street art in L A.  This was subsequently removed.


Levitated Mass opening 6-24-12 “When do you see the underneath of a sculpture?” : FFHS and I made it to the unveiling of the Levitated Mass at LACMA.  It was lovely.  I visit a lot.


Guy drawing in pen-and-ink in the starbucks where i burn time saturday morning before errands 6-17-12 :  tried to be surreptitious about this one, so there’s a bunch of my laptop in it, but this fella was there at least three hours drawing.  I appreciated his t-shirt, too

Berlin Wall on Wilshire – 40 ft of wall — largest outside of Deutschland : Did you know?  We have more length of Berlin Wall than anywhere except Germany?  And it’s on Wilshire Blvd?

“Hipster or Idiot?” I asked Ipso. She said, “Both.” It was 87f outside. 28 bus 7-7-12 : Caption mostly says it all.  But really?  Beany and hoodie?  I laugh at you.

Barefooted and buying whiskey at corner store 7-9-12

LA isn’t always what you think from TV.  Some places are very homeish and we go there without things like pretense.  She was doing her laundry across the street and everyone in the store knew her name.  She knew theirs too, but not mine.  : )  She does now.

Boys on the 217 bus 6-18

Not sure if that guy knew I was snapping, but this was really cheerful.

Girls holding hands, Union Sta 6-19-12: It’s hard to get people pix during rush hour, but I loved this.

Fairfax Ave with no traffic 6-16-12 (It was 7am)

Fairfax so rarely has no traffic.  When I’m waiting on this corner for a bus, it’s usually 5-8 mins from when I can see it a block away til it reaches the stop.  That kind of traffic.

Prius Taxi 7-22-12 (Fairfax at San Vicente)
Sheddy’s 6-20 – used as promo:

It was with great honour that I discovered Sheddy used this pic to promo Canada Day (Night).

Sheddy’s let me have a tab, and it’s the kind of place where I can walk in and people say heya, h, how the fuck’s it goin’? and i’m getting to believe they actually care.

Once a pile of blankets. 7-14-12 I got a bed. And I made it! :  I got a place to sleep that isn’t a pile of blankets and my mornings are all the more difficult to greet, because i mostly usually sleep at night.  It’s really nice to have a bed.
G being silly for the Bailey-Cat’s benefit 7-24-12 : This is my friend/neighbour G and he’s dancing at his Bailey Cat.  She’s that smudge in the bottom right corner of the doorway.  And she’s going to go run under his bed right now.

Tiomio (L) and G (R) making dinner 7-24-12

Tiomio and G, grilling.  These fellas are really something amazing.  And I’m so grateful to them both.

me in a dress on a bus with a grin 6-27-12

I’m grinning here.  I’m also wearing a dress that’s a size (M).  How long since I did that?  10 years?

Me at Starbucks at Night 7-27-12

This is a different view of my starbucks.  At night.  Friday.

I got new kicks 7-22-12 They’re really red.
Sunset Santa Monica – from Mariasol’s on the pier 7-15-12 — with G

Of course I saw the sunset this month!

roses peek 7-21-12:  Sweetbest gave me this pot of mini roses.  They wax and wane with no rhythm at all.  But they’re on the wax side starting 7-21

roses bloom 7-27-12

Bloom, 6 days later.

This came across my path on the anniversary of my late Grandmoth’s birthday. 6-25-12 : Lest I ever forget.  My grandmother’s birthdayversary brought me this.  It’s just never ending how true.  I love it and will repeat it, I’m sure.

Halfversary Memoir Pictorial

I drank a lot of coffee on the way to L.A.  On both flights thereto, I was standby, which I didn’t understand.  But it involved a lot of waiting.  (On each flight, I got the very last seat.)   I think I took this picture in Phoenix, on a layover that was longer than I anticipated, having arrived on a flight that was earlier than I thought I was really going to take from Austin.

I had an itinerary of things to do and see in L.A.

Date A way to LA Plan Noah’s  Planz A way to/from LA?
Wed  1/4 X Confirmation:i 5 w a 9 37.20a Austin- Flight 947

8.40a Houston – Flight 244

10.25a land LAX

– Noah A.  collect me and goes  w/me to acquire bus pass  ($20)

Watts Towers -$7 10-4

And CAFAM Free

Me! XTom
Thursday 1/5 Metrolinkone way = $4.25 12-6p Skirball CtrFreeBus: @ 3.19pm

Bradbury Building


Walk to?

5-8p MOCA Free?

Greg Dinner

Mama Tom orMaybe w/UJ
Friday 1/6 Metrolink: $4.25 Sunset is at 16.59OR: Abbot-Kinney 6-10Bus:

?Poss UJ dinner?

Tammy (PM)  X
Saturday 1/7 (If needed:Metrolink= $4.25) Things/stuffFIDM10-4  Tammy  Stay in LA
Sunday 1/8  X Things one may do?LA Public Library 10-5.30?Hang the hell out &dinner Tammy/Pop Stay in LA
Monday 1/9  X Early: Take suitcase to Noah.?Cathedral of our Lady of AngelsElizabeth Work Noah
Tuesday 1/10 w/Noah Bus:LACMAFreeFowler Work w/Noah
Wed 1/11 Ride up w/Noah fetch Gabriel by 10aGetty– pix!Philippe’s $10 Work Back to Noah by 4pDoes Noah wanna hit Happy Hour?
Thurs 1/12 w/Noah 11a HammerFree2p FlyawayShuttle $105p Flight 3640

1120 Land ATX

Work X

Above is only the cursory outline, majoring in where I was going to sleep.    There was things I didn’t do on this itinerary, but there were things I did that weren’t on this list, too.  Like the Grand Central Market

I took this on the first full day I was in LA but I want to backtrack to the first night.

One might recall staying with Tom, and Greg joining us for an inebriated and lengthy together time.

This is Tiomio, and it is with honor that I state he used this photo for a time for his FB.   Totes, dude.  I love Tom in a very special way, because I laugh a lot around him, and he doesn’t seem much be-fluffled by what I say.   Tom let me sleep on his couch.  Because of lucky things, it is the same couch upon which I sit in my own place these days.

This is G.  He is holding the netbook I use when I’m not at home, which I brought with me for travel, when I thought I was on vacation.  I think he’s looking at pix of me in a latex corset, by the way.   Greg and I were together for a while a long time ago, (obviously more than 8 years in the past).  I had taken to calling him at least, but usually more than, twice or three times a year.  (His birthday & St Patrick’s Day for sure.)  I’m really really glad I kept in touch.

The first place I went after landing (directly after landing) was Watts Towers.  Uncle Abduction collected me from the airport and we went.  They were closed.  We took pix from outside the gates.

I love the Watts Towers.  Cajoling Uncle Abduction into taking me directly from the airport was the most effective way to see them, since they’re so far east.  Bussing there would take forever from anywhere I would maybe start.  I planned this.

Plans unravelled pretty fast after that.

Uncle Abduction and I saw the Craft and Folk Art Museum after this, which is closer to where I was going to stay the first few nights – with Tiomio.
I waited at my old haunt, the Starbucks at Fairfax/Olympic.

Traffic is really hard to capture.

I loved how dirty the City was, I remembered how loud.  It was ennervating.  It was glorious.

Then came Thursday and my plans for that day, which went mostly to shit.

I couldn’t take pix at the Hammer.

There was this:

(This will be recalled.  Just, you know, so you know.)  This is me in the bus schedule posted at Fairfax / Wilshire.  I love this corner.

I went down to the Bradbury Building.  I took this pic, which I still like a lot:

These are old stairs.


Friday, 6 January, to which I’ve referred, was a remarkable date for me.

I saw the sunset.  I was on the beach.

Saturday and Sunday are largely unphotographed.

I did get these glorious sights:


And this:

It’s like the City tries to say things.

She still does, six months later.   From recently:

fast frequent fabulous

Happy Halfversary, Los Angeles.

I love you.



Tuesday or Wednesday, I took the Purple Line from Union Station, in an effort to switch things up on my homebound commute.  I take this subway to the end of the line.  The whole trip takes about fifteen minutes.  It’s been the same since I can remember, and I know the cars and smells and stations well.  The advertisement cards and scratches of graffiti change, but the recordings are the same and the whirr and sibilance of the route is familiar in a way that a person couldn’t be.  To me, the verysameness is most excellent.  Like the way some people know what Christmas or sleep should smell like.

I readily and frequently forget that not everyone does mass trans.  I forget that it’s ever new to anyone.

So fast approaching on my right was the last stop of the westbound Purple Line.  The announcement comes that we’re “arriving: Wilshire/Western Station, this is our last stop!  Please ga–” And this woman blurts out louder than whatever the recording says (gather your belongings blah blah No, Really, this is our last stop). She fairly shouts:

“This isn’t the last stop!”
I’m not quite sure why people argue with things that are programmed.  The math didn’t change.  Or those who state that the obvious is something else entirely, as if proclaiming disbelief of that which is evident and empirical will change it.  Immediately.

The look she directed my way has a pointedly mendicant quality, and her eyes are enormous with fright; I may have glimpsed myself 10 years ago, looking exactly the same at thought of doing or saying anything I didn’t already know by heart.

“I need to go to Hollywood and Vine, though?”

Her knees buckled a bit.  With her right hand, she gripped the pole posted in the middle of the aisle, and she hung on so tight.

I say, with the reserve of a seasoned transpo-er, or because I’m advancing in years, or one or another thing,

“That’s the Red Line, the one that goes that way.”

I say this as if I have now offered her a solution.  (Because it seem so obvious.)

She holds the pole with both hands now, and begs me:

“This is the Red Line?”

“No, no, this is the Purple Line.  It ends here, at Wilshire and Western.”

“But– Hollywood!?”  She mews, starting to crumble.  She can’t bend or flex, there’s no roll-along-with-it for her: it’s not in the plan to go this way.  I understand her agony.  Orderliness is a nice thing to have in life. So I try to be more ordered when I say:

“Stay on this train, get off and Vermont and Wilshire, go to the platform downstairs and get the subway that’s going North.  Toward North Hollywood.”

The platform lights up the windows to my right as the train leaves the dim of the subway tunnel and the train slides predictably to a stop, hitching that once, which two of us expect, but not Panica, who is jolted, though she’s clutching the pole for support.  The doors hiss and part.   The other passenger and I make our moves for them, we have places to be, or something.  The other passenger mentions there are only four minutes to wait until the subway goes back the way it came.

“But this train is stopped?”

She is having such a difficulty: Fucking. Nothing. Fucking. Makes. Fucking. Sense.  The churn is palpable, and her plans are now a pile of torn up paper, colorful maps that she had memorized with such perseverance and trepidation.

“I need to get to Hollywood and Vine!”   She hyperventilates.

She gasps in my direction and then puts her head down with a kind of supplicant’s fervent wish to understand what might be the order of things now.

“Stay- onthetrain- vermontandwilshiregodownstairsgetrednorthgo-”  She looks up with only one eye open, hoping against all hope for validation.

“That’s it. You’ll get there fine,”  I nod, and move off the train, shifting my focus to the three steep staircases I am going to climb to get up to Wilshire Boulevard.

She stood repeating the directions, a mantra, whispering words and nodding profusely.  Though she had the entirety of the car at her disposal, she would not surrender her possession of the pole in the middle of the car.

I don’t know where to go with this.  I don’t know if it tells anything about me, or is just an anecdote from life taking mass transit.  There are times that I feel strong and brave and ready, and there’s a lot of time when I do not know what the fuck end is up and I’m searching whatever metaphorical subway car for someone who will just tell me.  The searching time isn’t such an everyday thing, I feel like I’ve gotten well ahead of the curve on a lot of shit that I never had before.  I do not pretend, (even if I don’t ragerageagainst it in just any company) that shit is so comfortable all the livelong day.  I don’t like my job, but that’s because I don’t know what the fuck my job actually is, which is different than omnipresent worksucks bitching and moaning.  I don’t mind working at all.  I’m not coming apart at the seams (now that it isn’t May), and I’ve met three authors who think I’m enough of the right stuff that they want to work with me, which really suits me as a fine place to start.  I don’t like my eyeliner, but I’ve not run out to get more.  (Except now that I’ve a whole weekend stretching and lolling before me, I might do.)  More slowly than I’d like, I’m meeting people and making friends with them.  But as slow as this goes, I am grateful for the people who know me, the people who make me smile, who smile to see me.  It’s good to be seen.  Most people I know newly have no idea what’s going on, why I’m single, who I know.  I realized not too long ago that I don’t have to seek assent to my bizarro situation.  I do not voice my backstory to everyone, and mostly because I’ve whittled it down in my head so far that it probably doesn’t make sense.  I’ve left off too many words, and I don’t care.  The opportunity does not always present that I’m willing to share the whole shebang.  (Largely because of judgment.)  Admittedly, I do not always want to run the risk of someone not understanding me, taking issue with how I am doing my life or thinking that I’m lacking in some way because there’s stuff about which I couldn’t care less. With some of the nearers and dearers, sure, I am more open.  And without the pressing need for someone to laud, laugh or in other way validate my decisions, the focus I give others is genuine.  I am no longer hoping some kind of ode will be penned in gratitude, and this is not what motivates me.  I just smile.  A lot.

I realized my grin, which is frequent but not perpetual, is the reason I get asked for change, a dollar for the bus, if someone can buy a cig/smoke.  I never say yes to the last one, I say, “No, I’ll just give you one, man.”  Walking and smiling is why I get compliments more than once daily on my super short haircut.  I don’t keep a grinlog so I can’t be sure of this, you know, in a scientifically quantifiable sense, but people I will never see again stop me to tell me I’m beautiful.

Not that long ago at all, I was riddled  with uncertainty, fear, dread. Not long ago I spent an unreasonable amount of time convincing myself that I was not a person made for hope and joy, but that I should not kill myself just yet.  Mired in despair, I searched subway cars for that knowing traveller who could untangle my confusion and dictate the route I really needed.  But the subways I had taken contained no such souls.  I had to disembark and find myself in a strange place, take a look at where I was and where I was meaning to go.  And it was up to me (and only me) to take the way I deemed best.  All the advice givers, friends, and strangers in the world couldn’t functionally make any decision for me.  Had it been another matter in which I just did as I was told, I would be in that teller’s thrall, and very likely in the same state of mindbody.

Sometimes my angst is wrapped up in things that aren’t very important.   And usually this is anything that has no bearing on any people.  Get bacon this week?  Which route home?  Do I need to do laundry tonight.  Can I skip the market?  What the hell do I wear tomorrow?

But coming down to it, this shit doesn’t matter.  Whether or not I get bacon has fuck no bearing on anyone knowing they’re loved, or knowing that I have them in my sight, too.

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