One of the greatest little joys of living in Los Angeles, is finding your own sweet little short-cuts. This is especially true of The Valley. Just last night, I was coming down Laurel Canyon south towards Ventura Boulevard and about a block before Ventura was a chance to make a left onto a diagonal street. That little street is called Ventura Place. Streets can be like unknown actors. You never know they exist until you see them; then you need them.
Studio City my destination and two short blocks and I was a making a cut-through past several cars waiting at the stop light. Saved me some time and put me in my direction. I probably saved a couple of minutes waiting for the light to change at Laurel Canyon. Laurel Canyon, the vein of travel from the middle-class values of the San Fernando Valley through the hidden hippy, rock n roll and movie star world of the canyon and through to Hollywood, where all the magic is manufactured and spit out onto the world.
Drivers seem a lot more aggressive in the Valley than they do on the other side of the hill. Maybe it’s because the Valley is so spread out, they feel safe driving like a maniac because there’s supposedly less cops. And, indeed, I’m sure the Valley is much harder to police than the other side of the hill. Especially since West Hollywood and Beverly Hills have their own municipal police force. But, why the traffic tension, you may ask. It’s often these impatient high-ticket SUV’s. Like they own the road and have no idea or don’t care they are pummeling a deadly weapon your way just because their biggest fear is they’ll arrive 30 seconds early at a hoity-toity restaurant. Forget them, I say. They are miserable people driving around tiny little houses on wheels and hate the world.
Short cuts are a good thing in life. I like all kinds of short-cuts. For example, I have a system of making coffee that saves time. I make it in advance of when I need it and let it drip in the freezer so it comes out like ice coffee. I know. Imagine hot water dripping through a coffee filter in a freezer. Another shortcut in my life is 818 Cash for Cars. More than once I’ve had to get rid of an old car of mine like a bad cousin camped out on my couch too long. I don’t have to hassle with putting an ad in the paper or online, then have to deal with people calling me and coming to my house. But with 818 Cash for Cars, all it took was a quick and friendly phone call and within an hour, a representative was at my house with cash in hand. I signed some paperwork and gave them the keys. Then I enjoyed some nice ice coffee and ruminated on my new secret way of making a left on Laurel Canyon.
Be safe out there.