Tuesday, March 17, 2009

California Dreamin'

Greetings from SoCal, site of this week's visit for business purposes (albeit a short one-night stay.)

Los Angeles never ceases to amaze. The eye candy here is always new and fresh--sometimes in a good way and other times not so much.

What I have been struck by on this trip are the number of businesses in this town--strip center after strip center after street after street with hundreds of small businesses. Mattress shops, nail parlors, coffee shops, income tax services, furniture stores, consignment outlets--the types of businesses are just too numerous to mention. And, dozens of small places to stop and eat a burger/hot dog/doughnut/burrito/taco/sushi/combo plate. There's Tommy's Hamburgers followed by Big Tommy's Hamburgers a few blocks away, not to be confused with Big Tomy's (yes, with one "m.") There is Hamburger Habit, the "best burger in Southern California" as voted on by KABC Radio (I have no idea if that's an L.A. station or not) not to be confused with Fatburger or In-N-Out Burger (my personal favorite) or Pink's, which doesn't serve burgers but is the best hot dog outlet on the planet. There is Cinco De Mayo Mexican food in a location that looks like an old "Big Boy" restaurant building. And, they did look open today even though it wasn't Cinco De Mayo. If you have a craving for a broader menu, there is Lucy's Drive-In, open 24 hours, serving American and Mexican food. The sign says "pastrami" next to "tacos." Now, that's a menu two-fer. And, reservations to several favorite Santa Monica Italian eateries weren't available "due to St. Patrick's Day." Huh? When did the Irish suddenly acquire a taste for pasta and red wine?

If you don't see the vehicle you want in L.A. then, trust me, they don't make it. There cannot be another city on Earth that is as car-dependent as this one.

Finally, the people. Oh my goodness, does L.A. have the people. There are plenty of beautiful people in this town but, more than that, there are people who think they're beautiful. Lack of self-esteem does not appear to be an issue in this metropolis. And, if you need to improve your appearance, then there are plentiful opportunities to do that here--lots of lap band surgery billboards next to the breast augmentation advertising.

The sobering thought? A one-day business trip involved more time spent in the car than in actual meetings...but, as described above, the observations were plentiful.

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