Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From the Valley to West Hollywood (and Back)

I live in the Valley. My boyfriend lives in West Hollywood.

In this time in getting to know each other, I have learned quite a bit, especially transportation-wise. Transportation is always on my mind, even when I'm stationary, but let's just give it a go anyway:

1) There are three ways to get to West Hollywood, whether by car, bicycle or bus. (a) Take the 405 to the back end of Sunset and head to your destination that way, heading east. (Or, the 761 to the 2.) (b) Take the 101 to Highland, make your way to Sunset, and head to your destination via the boulevard heading west. (Or, the Red Line to Highland, and the 2.) Or, to me, at least, the most direct in the form of (c) taking the 101 or whatever side street of your choosing to Laurel Canyon where it bleeds into Crescent Heights, and head wherever it is you choose, because you're pretty much in the middle of it all. (Or, the 150/240 to the 218, then the 2. Feel free to write this down.)

I have not yet ridden my bicycle from the Valley to over the hill yet, but one of these days, I think I will. Bicycling in the Valley has made me brave and/or ambitious, which, in my vocabulary, can be substituted for crazy.

2) Depending on what you're doing, you don't have to drive much over the hill. Unless you're going to the El Capitan and then to Fred 62 and then maybe The Roxy for a late show, that is. Surprisingly, a lot of people walk and/or cycle in the particular area I'm referring to, so much so that to get in the car is a little strange, unless one is going to work.

3) The local 2 bus is thebomb.com. I've never had to wait more than 20 minutes for it, even on the weekend. And that's a fact. If the north-south buses in the Valley were as considerate, it'd be pretty nifty.

4) It's cool being on an island, as apparently West Hollywood is socially termed. And granted, there is always something going on. But it's nice going somewhere else every so often. I like the Valley, quite a bit. I used to not, but in recent years I learned how nice it is when something has the ability to become your own, or you learn where it lands in the scheme of everything else, geographically or otherwise.

Personally, I love the bicycle paths in the Valley, the hills, the hiking opportunities, the wide streets, the lake and art house theater down the street from my house, the parks and paved streets to run in, on and around, and the In-N-Out a block away... it's silly. It's a bit quieter. But it'll do for the next ten or so months as I finish up this current chapter in life.

And finally,

5) The distance between West Hollywood and the Valley really isn't the end of the world. This is coming from someone who does not drive the distance. I have mentioned before the one time I had been in a car after years of not driving and it felt like I was in a capsule and completely cut off from the world. Not to say that's how it feels to anyone who spends a lot of time driving, but I get not wanting to be behind the wheel. But comparing a convenience to the more time it takes to utilize public transportation is... maybe not silly, but let's just say I'm always open for a debate and/or discussion. On any front. Let's talk gas, insurance and waiting in traffic. Let's talk summer temperatures, and how going Metro takes about three times as long (but there's nothing a book and a fully charged iPod won't do to make it better). But still, even though Orange Line is a walk from my place, as it's always been, in about 25-30 minutes from that point I'm thisclose to being back over the hill, whatever it is I may be doing.

It's not news that I'm planning for a car-lite existence rather soon-ish. Someone on another blog said it best, paraphrased: "I'm not car-free, but I like to pretend that I am." That's always been the goal.

I really do think that's it for now. Collected observations are my favorite.

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