Hello it’s me …

… I’ve been away from you for a long, long time.

Today, I returned to Los Angeles for a visit. Yes, I said returned. See, I lived here for well over a decade when I worked in the movie business. I’ve been away from LA for well over a decade too. So coming back is a sort-of homecoming.

A few things I’ve noticed since landing:

The freeways extend into the sky now. Yes, they do. Oh and everyone drives a billion miles per hour.

I’ve heard When In Rome’s “The Promise” at least 5 times so far. Also, the RHCP’s “Give It Away Now” at least four times. KROQ is still on the air, and they manage to play waaay too much Smashing Pumpkins.

Mockingbirds are the sassy brats of the bird world, and they’re everywhere out here. One was screaming at this me this morning as I strolled through my old South Pasadena neighborhood.

And, while we’re on the subject of South Pasadena, it didn’t miss the wave of progress that has swept through LA. Since I left in 2000, LA has added a metro rail commuter system, which is nice because a metropolitan area this size should have a decent public transportation system. There’s a metro rail stop in So. Pasadena, at Mission, about a 1/2 mile or so from my old apartment on Mission. What I noticed about the train as it rolled into the stop,  is it isn’t as noisy as the trains I’m used to, and the disruption is minimal. Perhaps it’s worse during rush hour and to be fair, I only spent about an hour in the area so I didn’t get the full impact. I’m sure that there are those who loathe it, but I’m hoping that Los Angelenos will come to recognize how important public transportation really is to the life of any city/metropolis.

This is where I used to live.

South Pasadena still has that small-town feel even though it’s right on the edge of a booming metropolis, which is why I love it so much. I grew up in a very small town, so the smallness of So. Pasadena resonates with me. It’s comfortable. The local hangouts like Buster’s and the small used bookstore I checked out were bustling with people. Locals tend to support the locally owned and operated businesses, which I believe improves the morale of any small town.

Oh, and as I was wandering down Mission, I came across this little slice of heaven–


As my good friend Melissa said, all you need are potatoes then it would be absolute carb heaven. However, I’m curious if any patrons are big into putting cereal ON their grilled cheese sammiches, OR if they cut up the sammiches and put them in the bowl with the cereal. Hey, it’s Southern California so I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened a few times.

Finally, as I was wandering toward my former Trader Joe’s, I found this gem about a block and a half from my old homestead.

A sign perhaps?