Los Angeles 

June 19 - June 23


Monday - Day One

Nico woke up to a phonecall from Adrian. Philip was already up, and he answered the phone; they seemed to talk about getting to AD & Jocelyn's this evening. (For those of you who don't know, Adrian is my cousin, a doctor who lives in LA, and Jocelyn is his wife). I got up and packed the stuff I had unpacked, and then while I showered Philip took the bags down to the car.

The day (forgive my preoccupation with the weather - it comes of living in Britain and Victoria) is not what I might imagine California weather to be. There is a great low cloud above, covering every horizon like an upturned bowl. We are driving through Steinbeck country, around Salinas & Monterey, rolling brown-gold grassland, hills with roadsign green clumps of trees furring them. Fruitstands appear here & there on the roadside. Ahead the hills disappear in a high fog.

NPR San Francisco is what we're listening to, though we're leaving its range. The discussion: Napster & downloading of 'free' music. The powerful and the rich are always troubled by interlopers, by people who find performatoins in the tight plastic they've wrapped their possessions in.



Philip: "I guess I should now say the Mexicans got screwed, hey?"

Most of the radio stations we pick up clearly now are in Spanish. Welcome to Mexico - the part that flies the Stars & Stripes.


San Luis Obispo: hidden between hills that are alternately barren and covered in trees. The trees grow in lines down the hillsides, following (I presume) the lines of streams. Road to Santa Barbara coming up.


As we near Santa Barbara, we go through a green mountain pass & we come out onto a road that skirts the Pacific, which is as blue as it is in pictures (an entirely different colour from the Atlantic, which is a green ocean) and as vast. The road is hilly, rounding about cliffs and hillsides and hiding & revealing the view of the sea. I play with my camera and get lots of photos of Philip's profile against the ocean. We decide not to stop for lunch and press on to get into the city before gridlock. We make it. The freeway into LA is, as Adrian remarks later, runs through beautiful country - this is one of the things, he believes, that makes Los Angelenos so attached to their cars. I navigate us to UCLA, and then we get a roadmap from a gas station and find his house. Then we go to a Persian Jewish Chinese restaurant for a meal.

AD meets us there, looking fine and being fine. We return to his place, where we find a parking spot outside the apartment, and then settle in. After he eats (& we check our email) he & I play a game of Scrabble and talk about hundreds of different things - about his research (he's a researcher at the UCLA Medical Center), about mine, about home, about growing up, about old friends, about marriage. In short, as Philip lay sleeping, AD and I philosophized, and then AD and Philip returned the favour Tuesday morning. All is well.


 back to san francisco
 on to day 2


san francisco
los angeles
new mexico
new york city
quebec city