29 April 2008


Imagine if you can, Melbournians (or Melburnians, as it were), what Ringwood would be like if all the roads were forced into a grid, and if the suburb stretched out to the horizon in a sea of car dealerships and lacklustre architecture. Throw in an occasional ostentatious place of worship that somewhat resembles a toilet block, and there you have the vast part of LA. It is big, and grey, and concrete.

There are, however, some places that, if not hugely different, are at least less the same as other parts. Venice Beach is pumping in a touristy way on weekends (unless you’re up and walking at 8:30am, as we were, on a mission to find and photograph a large wall-painting of topless Jim Morrison), but two blocks in you’ve hit a suburb which is not dissimilar to, say, Merimbula. Rohan has compared the area to a cross between St Kilda and a seaside town such as Port Campbell. I think these descriptions are fairly compatible. [ETA: On my walk up the beach this morning, I felt almost at home - the sea doesn't actually smell like sea, which is odd, but it was warm and HUMID (so humid here) and relaxing.] The canals and canal-side houses are quite lovely in Venice, and I can understand why the rich people who also have taste/a brain would choose to live there rather than Hollywood.

Speaking of Hollywood, we hiked up the hill at Runyan Canyon today. In fact, we hiked almost everywhere today, walking somewhere upwards of 15km. But Runyan Canyon was one of the highlights, despite my whining – “I forgot sunscreen, I’m thirsty, can we walk slower, I’m jetlagged, it’s so hot, this is so steep, I’m going to die here, I’m scared of heights”, and from the top of the hill we got some shots of the Hollywood sign, and saw Uber-Ringwood in its full haze of glory. We also did the walk of fame, and I took photos of the following footpath stars. I do not see any logic or order to this list.

Judge Judy Sheindlin
David Bowie
Nicolas Cage
John Howard
Johnny Cash

I also had a proper coffee this morning, for the first time since leaving Australia (the aeroplane coffee looked fairly dodgy, and Az confirmed this). I found an Australian to make my soy flat white for me (one of Rohan’s friends). [ETA: Went there again this morning, I'll post pics eventually.] I felt so much better afterwards, apart from that bit where I tried to pay with a $1 note – all the notes looks the same! The coffee love was somewhat diminished when I later had an iced coffee at Borders (embrace chain stores and the native way of life, I say), which was dishwater coffee and, er, ice cubes. But I certainly got enough caffeine at the diner where we met the AWESOME queergeektheorist herself and consumed burgers and fries and BOTTOMLESS GLASSES OF CHERRY COKE OMG I CANNOT SIT STILL HOURS LATER.

Speeking of speed, many Americans seem to speak quickly (I now understand how people might think Australians talk slowly), and most residents of the city like to complain loudly to their mobile phones and dogwalking partners about gridlocked traffic and he said/she said affairs. I just wonder why they don’t move to Ringwood, really. At least they have supermarkets in Ringwood. Admittedly, one thing Ringwood doesn’t have to my knowledge is THREE people dressed as Cpt Jack Sparrow along the street for you to have your photo taken with. Wow, that sentence kind of sucked.

The long and the short of the day is – big, sore feet, good views, excellent company, tired now. Rohan has gone to his beau’s place for the night, which is AOK by me, because I can sleep across the whole bed and not worry about snoring (I think I am allergic to L.A., and if my nose had run any more today it would be back in Australia by now). However, it’s the first time I’ve been by myself since I’ve left, so now the missing of people is really starting to sink in. I have found a few tacky postcards to send (though not as many as I expected), and I’ve written a couple, but it’s no substitute for having a chat or reading all your blogs or something. It’s been hectic – too hectic to do internetty things. Hopefully I will be able to take this on a USB to an internet cafĂ© (maybe the good coffee place?!) and post it then. Photos can wait for another time.

Me after a long day in the sun with a runny nose!

Despite predictions, I'm kind of liking L.A. Possibly because unlike every other city I've ever visited, every second person isn't a bloody Australian!


  1. glad to hear you're having a good time, and that LA isn't as brain melting as it presents itself to beee. e.

  2. John Howard on the walk of fame?!

    Love you heaps - here are some hugs to keep you warm at night (or at least to keep me warm at night, brrr... - i'm wearing my thermals right now!)