Thursday, 12 November 2009

Once upon a time in Los Angeles.

To finish off my Los Angeles theme this week, here's a little story about what once happened to me in LA. We'd just arrived to stay for a week after driving up from San Diego. It was late in the evening. I nagged James to walk with me to the local 7-11, which was a steep walk down a hill in Silver Lake, on Sunset Blvd. (You can take the Brit out of Britain but you can't take the Brit out of... er, whatever. James wanted to drive but I wanted to walk.)

Next morning I realised I'd lost my passport. Cue crying, hysteria, annoyance, and an afternoon spent in the copshop reporting it. I was really pissed off that I was going to have to spend a day queueing in the Embassy and pay serious $ to get it replaced. But that evening we went to Fred 62 for burgers to forget about it.

Driving home, I saw the above sign stuck to a tree. And screamed. James nearly crashed the car. But I couldn't believe it: someone had found my passport and posted up signs with their number! In LA! Supposedly big scary city!

Next morning we walked down the sunny hill to a house a few streets away, where the guy who found it lived. It was a gorgeous nabe but his house was a bit shack-like – I offered him some money to say thanks and he was like, 'Yeah, thanks, I'm a popper'. Er, what? 'A popper. I'm poor.' Ahh, pauper. Well, thanks popper. You saved my trip!

[I find that there's much more of a community spirit in the states than in the UK. People make signs, run food co-ops, leave food out for the homeless, leave books out to share. Craigslisting and freecycling is much more widespread over there. We really need to get on this over here.]

[Hanging out in the copshop was a hilarious and eye-opening experience. The officers were super polite and efficient. But they were BUSY so a bit stressed out. There must have been at least five people coming in to kick off about their ex picking up their child from school and breaking their custody order. But the best bit was when a young rookie came to ask the officer on the desk a question. He was all like, 'What? I'm busy!' The youngster said, 'Sorry, I was just wondering where to get the best pizza around here and they said you were the best person to ask', and the Sarge was all like, 'Oh! You should've said! So, you can go here, they have the best crust, or go here, they make the biggest pies...'. Classic.]


  1. Nice post, dude. Nicely observed. I wouldn't have credited the US - those lovers of socialism - for much community spirit, though; I always think that's a European thing.

  2. lovely photo! Oh and a good story too. You've just reminded me that Curb is on tonight - can't see him being that helpful.

  3. I am enjoying LA week on Think I had a chilli dogg in Fred 62; that's a nice corner of town.

    Finally watched Los Angeles Plays Itself last weekend (Phil, I suppose we can cancel that outstanding loan request!), so all this architecture is apposite. He reckons that Hollywood shows its reactionary nature by regularly having villains and delinquents residing in the modernist pads you show. Interesting.

  4. OMG!

    That is so nice of them to have posted it and asked you to call them

    ... makes me love the world even more :)

    Style on a String

  5. Apologies for the never-delivered LAPI loan, Pad. I had actually convinced myself I *had* lent it to you, just to make myself feel better.

  6. i think we almost crashed the car at the fact that someone had put up a sign...

    A great story from an unforgettable trip.

  7. Let's not forget that we did actually crash the car and leave it totalled in the street on the way to the airport, J.

    But that is a different story.

    (I don't even think I got any photos of the wreck! Too stressed out trying to catch the flight!)

  8. Ahh, A tale to warm the cockels of my heart. Car crash story next?

  9. Phil - it's possibly because there hasn't been socialism in the States that there is this 'community' spirit. In Europe, people have decided that it is the role of the state to provide. In the US, people think the state is only there to take away.