2.26.2008

defining moments

Living in Los Angeles in and of itself is kind of a cliche. But it's not as if we are pursuing acting or modeling careers. Not that those are bad things, just that urban planning and child advocacy are hardly the beaten paths out here.

When you think of LA, what do you think of? Movie stars, temperate climate, mind numbing traffic? Indeed you should, and rightfully so. They are quite prevalent. But knowledge of those things hardly proves that you've lived here. I think there are somethings you experience in a city... only after living there for a while.

In Los Angeles, it's not celebrity sitings... it's errant ammunition dumping.

I was riding home from work - in downtown. I was waiting at a red light for the cars with a green left arrow to finish filing through. About 2/3rds way through the line, I see something drop out of a window (drivers side), and clink and hit the ground. I think to myself "uh oh, their mirror fell off."

As they normally do, the green arrow ended and thus began my turn to go through the light. I wanted to see the sideview mirror and maybe pick it up. A souvenir? Nah... just wanted to move it out of the way.

As I get closer... I notice its a clip. I was beside myself. I had just witnessed an anonymous ammo dump. I don't know if this was part of a grander "flee the scene" moment, or if it was an accident. Either way - it was a little unsettling and creepy - yet also kind of interesting. Kind of like watching an episode of "When Animals Attack."

I decided that this was my official now you can say you've lived in Los Angeles moment.

I know you guys live all over the United States & World. Each place is fraught with experiences that I'm sure are unique to living there. What's your "now I can say I've lived here" moment?

22 comments:

The Kaltenbachs said...

Dave, I totally had one of those moments today when we were driving to the beach (gotta love a February beach day) and Ryan and I noticed the license plate in front of us... I "heart" BOTOX. I thought, only in San Diego! I got a great picture of it and was going to post it on our blog.

Jonah said...

Yeah, you do get a very intimate view of a city on a bike. I’ve only seen empty shells so far, but now that I think about it, I’m not sure which is scarier: empty or live…

Disco Mom said...

You would think there would be something very profound that defined my "I live in New York City" moment but instead of something that happened to me, it was something I did. After living here about a year I got in a full-blown yelling fight with a complete stranger about who was next in line in a department store. The stranger won that fight because after hearing myself I had a momentary out-of-body experience, watching myself from a third person perspective, and I backed down. However, it had felt wonderful and liberating to really say exactly what I was thinking without holding back. Leaving the store, I felt a wild mix of anger and secret glee as I realized, "I am now a New Yorker."

david said...

yes kari... yes!
as darth vader once said:

Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends

kat said...

we own a truck that actually has a gun rack, so i guess i DO actually belong in longmont!

Liz said...

I knew I belonged in Phoenix when I found myself saying "It's freezing out here today!" It was 75 degrees.

Now I live in Denver... you can't even fathom how cold I feel constantly...

AshleyPulsipher said...

liz. you were spoiled rotten. you deserve every minute of cold weather denver has to offer.

ashley said...

Liz... that was David posing as me. His computer has gone the way of the earth and now we share my little laptop. This mistake has happened more than once.

A moment that made me realize I have been in LA too long is when I started wearing coats and scarves to work...basically the same amount of clothes that I wore to work in the winter in D.C. I find myself constantly saying it is freezing here. It is just not true and I don't know what I'll do when I live with a place with snow and ice.

Serena Cherry said...

I can't decide which moment is a better "Baltimore" moment: having a rat the size of a cat in our backyard or watching a drug deal going down from my window while washing dishes.

But when I was in LA last month, I did see James McAvoy, which was pretty "LA," right?

david said...

liz,

don't listen to ashley.

that was her tone, all the way.

serena... i thought this would be your baltimore moment:

"lets gayo ayoos"

Dawn D. Lion said...

I knew I was in the midwest when I saw all the "JESUS" bumper stickers and billboards. And then I knew I was really in the midwest when I stopped noticing them as unusual.

Mia said...

I'm with Dawn, the first Easter here I was shocked that the local McDonald's had a huge multi window Easter mural of the crucifixion and resurrection. At first I thought it was such a bold statement of faith, but now I just see is as a part of the Bible belt.

Disco Mom said...

dave, i have another one - just happened today. i don't ride the subway much - maybe once a month or less. but i was waiting on a platform today and saw a rat leisurely strolling and sniffing on the track below me. it actually looked like rather a clean rat against the built up grime it was walking on. i thought to myself, "this is exactly what david is talking about."

i've been to the statue of liberty and seen a broadway play, but those are really "i've visited new york" things. seeing a rat in the subway seems much more of a "i've lived in new york" thing.

david said...

mia - i'd never expect to see something like that at the golden arches. kind of uncomfortable.

kari - i was hoping you'd have some good experiences to contribute. i can't imagine not being VERY unsettled at the site of a rodent in the subway.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I just opened your blog and Eliza saw the picture of L.A. she wanted to know if it was seaseme Street. We miss and love you guys. Love, Amie

david said...

yes amie, that is sesame street.

;)

Dawn D. Lion said...

Oh, I have one for the year I lived in New York. It was "first encounter with a raving street lunatic." The first, though not the last, was a woman on the street who said out loud to no one in particular, "I hope I have a good day." Then she turned to me, walking by, and said, "You! Lady! Wish me a good day!" And when I didn't respond immediately she started chasing me with "!@@#@# @$^^^! All I asked for was a @%#@^^ good day, is that too much to ask?" The story ends with me running away from her, calling over my shoulder, "Have a good day!!!" That seems quintessential NYC for me.

Angeler said...

I think mine would have to be a D.C. moment too. And it is unfortunately more a reflection of my character than my assimilation into D.C....

One my way home from work, I got super annoyed with some fanny-packed tourists cause they blocked the door as I tried to get on the Metro.

I'm a really nice person when it's not under those circumstances. I promise.

david said...

one thing i like about the DC metro... angeler, is that almost everyone knows metro boarding/alighting etiquette:

wait till everyone leaves before you try to board.

not in LA... it's a freaking free for all.

totally mayhem.

MF said...

David, perhaps you should have called in to crimestoppers or something because of that. You never know, you could have the missing piece to solve a murder that has gone cold.....
(see The First 48 or perhaps Cold Case Files via cable television)

Blythe said...

I think for us it may be the day in 2003 when we had a huge snow storm. Dave barely got home from work, and his car got stuck at the top of our street. He arrived at the front door absolutely covered in snow, clutching a pack of diapers in one hand and a twelve pack of coke in the other. You know, the essentials.

But maybe I will finally be a true Coloradan if I can ever say "I-25" or "E 470." I haven't lived in CA in 17 years, but freeways still start with "the" to me.

ubrayj02 said...

You're not "from L.A." until you have a gun story.

I learned that after my first gun-story happened when I was in high school.