0580 California Culture (USA 099â€”new)
Inglewood Travel Blog› entry 4 of 92 › view all entries
The flight from Frankfurt offers some amazing views as we cross
The fellow next to me is an engineer who just finished a job in the
Going through customs, I get some raised eyebrows about the fact that Iâ€™ve visited 23 countries since I was in the
Iâ€™ve got half a mind to grab a train to downtown Los Angeles, so I can add it as a notch on my beltâ€¦ but I know I donâ€™t have the time to do the city justiceâ€¦ so Iâ€™ll have to leave it for another time.
I get off the shuttle underneath a wide elevated freeway. Not far off is an enormous tangle of an interchange thatâ€™s a whopping five layers high! Right in front of the freeway is waving American and
Iâ€™m excited. This is the first time that Iâ€™ve come to my native country as a tourist. So even though Iâ€™ve lived in
Of course, the first thing I notice is that The Freeway is King hereâ€¦ Nothing shall stand in the way of the convenience of being able to drive without stopping from point A to point Bâ€¦
The second thing I notice is how wide the streets are.
I wander up through a warehouse districtâ€¦ not a person in sight anywhere. But, it is nice that there are sidewalks everywhere-- I feel like they were made just for me! Some of them have perhaps never been walked on beforeâ€¦
Finally I reach a modern strip of high rise hotels, restaurants and stores that cater to the airport crowdâ€¦ and to my right, the street goes under the freeway and into what looks like a cityâ€¦
Never made it down here during my 6 month stay in
As soon as I start walking under the freeway, I feel like Iâ€™m entering another worldâ€¦ I spot an older African American couple crawling though a hole in the chain link fence arguing with each otherâ€¦ A fellow at the end who smells like alcohol shows me his veteran ID and asks for some moneyâ€¦ Almost above his head is a sign that reads â€śWelcome to
Iâ€™m excited about the chance to explore my first
Here â€śthe hoodâ€ť has very wide streetsâ€¦ single family homes with yards and scrappy miscellaneous shops and little strip malls well spaced apartâ€¦ and needle like palm trees reaching for the skyâ€¦
Personally, I prefer the density of Northeast cities-- so much more to see in a short distance. All the same, Iâ€™m determined to appreciate
This stretch is clearly a Latino neighbourhood-- and I notice that, even though this is Christmas Eve, everybodyâ€™s still working-- the car wash, the mechanic-- the barbershop has a line of people waiting to get their Christmas haircutâ€¦
Although the streets feel a bit unfriendly, inside the dollar stores and taquerias thereâ€™s a cheery neighbourly vibeâ€¦
I head north up one of the side streets to appreciate the architecture of the homes.
No really decent backdrop either-- everything is so spread apart that you canâ€™t really get the gist of the place in a single frameâ€¦
Finally I reach what Inglewood City Hall-- a midrise concrete and glass building. Nearby is a little â€ś
On the other side is a sort of â€ś
I was kind of hoping to be able to do 2 suburbs today, but Inglewood is too bigâ€¦ so I head on back towards the airport, stopping of course for a couple of tacos-- seems to be the appropriate thing to eat while exploring Inglewood.
An older African American lady calls out a cheerful greeting-- and I pause to chat a bit about our Christmas plansâ€¦ A pleasant end to my first day of experiencing
Not so fastâ€¦
Back at the airport, I wonder what Iâ€™m going to do when I reach
Soon my worries are laid to rest.
But tomorrow there are no direct flights to Tucson-- so Iâ€™ll have to spend the day bouncing from airport to airport, unlessâ€¦
â€śCould I get a flight for day after tomorrow? I really want a direct flightâ€¦â€ť
They acceptâ€¦ unaware that what I really want is an extra day to explore
I feel like a hobo walking into the Westin carrying my guitar and scruffy shoulder bagâ€¦ and up to my roomâ€¦ to drop off my bag and the hurry off to look for the pool and Jacuzziâ€¦
The Jacuzzi is closed? The pool isnâ€™t heated? What the hell?! I want my money back!!
Ohâ€¦ thatâ€™s rightâ€¦ never mindâ€¦
I head out to cash my 15 dollar dinner check given by the airlineâ€¦ wander the hotel strip near the airportâ€¦ I guess I could do some late night exploring of
Next day I grab my stuff and head out at dawn, determined not to waste a single minute of my â€śExplore LA Dayâ€ť.
Hereâ€™s my plan: hike all the way from LAX airport to downtown, explore the
Well see if I can pull it off.
Iâ€™m kind of putting myself to the test here.
Itâ€™s not exploring these neighborhoods that concerns me. Itâ€™s exploring them while carrying a guitar, pockets full of cash and a digital cameraâ€¦ Kind of making me a very enticing target.
But itâ€™s a test that I must go through. After all, if I canâ€™t do my music thing right here in my own country, how am I going to be able to do it in some of them really dangerous countries? So I clench my teeth and head out, fully aware that my new journey might have a really ugly startâ€¦
I head under the freeway and back into
The east side of
And then it happens. A young fellow coming out of an apartment complex holding a cup of hot chocolate-- doesnâ€™t look at all threateningâ€¦ I nod a greetingâ€¦
â€śGive me a dollarâ€ť he snarlsâ€¦ I keep walkingâ€¦
â€śWhat shit you got in that bag? Give me what you got in that bag!â€ť
I walk fasterâ€¦ he doesnâ€™t follow meâ€¦
I keep going, suddenly feeling very, very vulnerableâ€¦ profiling every person that approaches meâ€¦ Maybe this hike through the hood wasnâ€™t such a smart ideaâ€¦
I made it through the rest of
But now things are going to get even more interestingâ€¦ Iâ€™m crossing into south