Friday, 31 August 2007

Little Old Lady From Pasadena

...I was in Pasadena, and apart from getting sunburned and going to Target, taking this photo was my only cultural achievement.

It's hot.

Nobody walks in L.A. It's hot, it's dry, and nothing is close to anything else. The maps weave a tempting lie; all things are two centimetres apart. In real life, that's twenty minutes' walking, eighteen of which your shirt firmly adheres to your back.

The Getty is remarkable - it's a minimalist castle high in the blasted, dry hills of Western L.A. After two and a half hours on three buses, the ten-minute tram ride from the front gate was less sedating.
This place is constructed of polished glass and rough-hewn rock, and houses the largest collection of historical art on the Pacific Coast. The stairs criss-cross the outside of the building like a scene from 'Labyrinth', with views of the vast and unforgiving landscape, dotted with palatial McMansions.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

L.A.: honk if you mean it

Second day in L.A. and the city stretches out forever. It takes an hour to get anywhere, and the heat is oppressive. Jumping nimbly from shadow to shadow, I've managed not to get sunburned yet.
LAX was run down. All of downtown is, in fact, run down. The malls are dusty, dirty, old, and full of homeless people sleeping. Online shopping has hit L.A. hard.
I took a bus (three buses, 2 hours) out to the Getty Center, walking around the UCLA campus and Rodeo Drive on my way. The Center is closed on Mondays, and miles from anywhere. The hills look like M*A*S*H. Took two buses to downtown (1 hour).
The Disney concert hall is amazing. The roads are vast, wide, and cracked. LA has 99c everything, including wine. God knows how it tastes, I don't think my insurance covers attempted suicide...

Friday, 24 August 2007


This is me.