We's in California

Friday, February 17, 2006

What Ghetto?

Another failed second attempt to find and experience a real LA ghetto. Granted we never took the proper time to explore, as the big R and I merely took a detour through the hood on our way home from a long day of floating around in the water with surfboard, not to be confused with surfing proper. I've buried a picture of the big R sporting a wetsuit with an unfortunate color scheme that he was given in our flickr photos so won't receive as much "guff" over the whole situation.

Dayna and I have driven all over LA and have yet to feel threatened or uneasy about the
surroundings. And this is through places even Canadian prairie boys have heard of (by listening to the West Side Connection in grade 11) like Watts, Compton, Long Beach, Inglewood, and South Central. Is this because these places are merely figments of the media machine's imagination? Does this mean that "drive-by's", "krumping", and Jazz from Fresh Prince don't exist (or was he from Phili?) and are made up to sell cd's and TV advertising? The answer is Yes. Yes they are. End of post. Next week - "Canter's Deli Pastrami Sandwich: Just for Jews? Think again!"

Well of course they're not. But it is because perched upon the great California freeways in the sky in a super-awesome black 4 door Mazda 3 (just the sweetest car ever) all you can see are rooftops, neon lights, and more freeways.

After thinking about this, feeling g
uilty about my penchant for voyeurism of those who do find themselves ghetto-ized, I realize that Los Angeles is layed out like this for a reason. The stated function of these freeways is to move as many people in the shortest time from point A to point B. The major caveat here is that these people are in cars and probably driving alone. The result of this master plan is that people like us can drive from Van Nuys to Huntington Beach through the most notorious neighborhoods ever and not have to interact with, let alone look at, the people living there. I could commute my whole life through South Central from the suburbs to downtown and never have to look a person from Watts in the face. Perfect!

So why would I care about a neighborhood that, even though I live near, I literally drive "over" to get to all the very important places I have to go. I don't care, and neither does the rest of LA who doesn't have to live there. Once again, I've done a great job at identifying a problem, now if only...

"Love is not miles caged in steel. Or denial at the wheel." Of the few things I truly love and remember in life, that line I read in a book somewhere a few years ago (I can't remember exactly where or when) is definitely one of them.

I guess at the end of the day, all a man can really say for certain is that this is way bigger than a normal doughnut.


  • "Tip the world on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles" Frank Lloyd Wright

    By Anonymous chancesare, at February 25, 2006  

  • They've actually built a freeway over Transcona since you two have been gone. Seriously.

    By Anonymous chris, at February 25, 2006  

  • Oh man, that's great! It will really help those Transconians when they decide to head "into town". :| (There's plenty more ascii faces where that came from.)

    By Blogger Gareth, at February 27, 2006  

  • There are some pretty gross ghettos right here in our own Valley. Pacoima, for instance, is NOT a place you want to be at night. If you drive though you're probably OK (as in most places) but you definitely want to not stop there.

    Panorama City's not as bad as Pacoima, and it's getting better, but it's still not very good. There are parts of NoHo (the area between Laurel Canyon and Lankershim from Oxnard to about Sherman) that are a definite ghetto.

    Or my own area, which is the GTA capital of California, with over 500 GTAs (no, you silly Canadians, that has nothing to do with Tronna) last year in an area three square miles.

    By Anonymous Das Ubergeek, at March 04, 2006  

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