Sunday, March 10, 2019

To LA (on not..)

Enough of me harping my stories. To make this more interactive for the readers, let’s try to approach this topic with a Q& A session.

Q: Come on! LA can’t be that bad. Things could be worse..
A: Well yes, a lot of things could go wrong. A scenario analysis of such an instance:
1.     1.   You drive to Rodeo Drive and pay a parking fee more than your car’s worth.
2.     2.   You liquidate all your assets, submit all your property deeds to buy a small bottle of perfume from one of the gargantuan showrooms here at Rodeo Drive of those unpronounceable labels.
3. You reach the airport holding the prized possession closely, only to be informed that it is 101ml/ 3.401 oz, and hence you ought to dispose it before flying out.

Q: You mentioned LA feels dilapidated. But I’ve seen LA on TV over the years, through Street Hawk, Knight Rider, Jack Bauer Bawaal (of 24 fame). It does not seem old at all.
A: See.. There you go- I expect you are still stuck in a time warp, with all those series you mention are from the 80s-90s era. Did Neil De Grasse Tyson manage to tutor you on space time after all? Sure, LA must have been growing when Arnold Schwarzenegger Baba reloaded his shotgun with a ‘Hasta La Vista, Baby’ in Terminator 2. But then, as soon as the battle of T-800 and T-1000 reached the final stage in Terminator 2, LA stopped growing.
What you see today are those age-old neon signs, roads and pavements in state of disrepair, etc. I take great care when I say this: The buildings, shops, etc. seem to be kind of broken dreams. Not been able to grow or change with times.

A: Well, we stayed right in the heart of Hollywood. Griffith Park was nice to look at, but all those famous streets- Hollywood Boulevard, Vine street, etc. failed to impress. If you ask me, the real culprit could have been San Francisco. The Griffith observatory does offer pretty good sights, though I must say- that Hollywood sign is overrated. We had driven down from SF and thus LA just couldn’t keep up with our expectations.

Q: We hear you went to Hollywood’s Universal studios? How was that?
A: Ahh.. An early jog in the morning around Griffith park and Hollywood Boulevard proved that there was nothing we could do out here in LA. Hence, we headed out to Universal Studios, complying with my parents’ recommendation- when they had heard about our LA plan. That was a treat for sure.

Q: Universal- It’s kind of a theme park right? Isn’t that kid-ish?
A: Bah.. Humbug. You know there’s the Water-world, where all those guys come jumping around on these really fast water scooters and do jumping around and save the girl. That’s so cool!! Then there’s the Minions-land where we join Gru and his minions to save the world. 
And the Harry Potter world- it’s like the best thing everrr!! Lots of places to Chillax in Hogwarts places; with butterbeer and really cool candies..
And.. and.. you know what? They’ve opened up the Fast and Furious portion- where we team up with Dom in his Pontiac GTO, driving past bad guys and all. And in the lower section of the studio, there’s the Mummy, Jurassic Park & the Transformers ride. Isn’t that cool!!

Q: Did you visit the Trump National golf-club out there in LA County? Which reminds me, there is an intolerance issue back at your home as well, right?
F&F: Dom Toreto's Charger
A:  What is this term ‘intolerance’? I’m afraid I can’t quite follow you. Intolerance? Alluding to such convoluted and perplexing words mystifies me. Who is this Donald Trump by the way? Never heard of him/her. Will ask this to the smarter person in the house: my wife and get back to you..

Q: Santa Monica is great we hear.
A: Correction. Not great, it’s awesome! This is where the legendary Route 66 starts. The pier is amazing. While Pier 39 and around in SF was more of a carnival, this one here had a great lazy feel to it, maybe close to Europe as well! A few stalls here and there, lot of street performers and people immersed in the sound of the ocean, with their fishing gear. It was a treat to see some live catch. The neighborhoods by the sea here radiate a pleasant charm.

Q: I am planning to cover downtown, Griffith observatory, the Hollywood sign and Walk of fame in my trip? Is there anything wrong with my plan?
A. Leave the plan. The problem is you. You should not be looking up to LA for tourism. You could go to Universal or Santa Monica though.

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