Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, January 11, 2021

It’s been a week since I took a business trip to Los Angeles. It was my first visit to the city in, well, too many years to count (don’t ask), and the first time I was actually cognizant of my surroundings (again, don’t ask). So, while the still-recent memories are still reasonably fresh in my mind, a few impressions from my limited exposure to the City of Angels:

- I’ll never complain about getting in or out of New York’s airports again. LAX is one big disorganized mess, from the shuttle transports (the driver drove past my hotel twice before finally dropping me off) to the half-assed security checks.

- Speaking of the hotel, it was decent enough, although the location within walking distance of Hollywood’s trendy nightspots was its main hallmark. There was one notable keepsake from my stay there: The keycard for my room, which had its dead-simple “slide” instruction paired with a puckish “it’s electric” accompaniment. (I’m a sucker for a ’70s-era boogie-woogie-woogie reference.)

- Remarkable for me: I never once turned on the TV in my room. Even with the opportunity to catch some local NHL games on local stations.

- I’ve already recounted the fun times at Yamashiro Restaurant one night. All I’ll add is that the view from there, overlooking the Hollywood Hills, alone was worth the trip.

- I managed to come away from a night of bowling with a jammed thumb. It was the result of a slip-and-slide I did while lining up for a ball-tossing. I’m sure my companions were convinced I was just stumble-drunk; I maintain that the soles of my bowling shoes had somehow gotten treacherously wet.

- Extending my hot streak at these business-networking events, I ended up winning one of the raffle prizes: A Blu-ray disc player! Actually, I originally won a set of Bose home-theater speakers; but I was less than enthused about those, because I didn’t see getting any real use out of them. So when a close colleague of mine wound up winning the Blu-ray, I proposed the swap. It’s probably an uneven trade for me, but I was looking less at value and more at efficacy. (Although actually, I’m not sure I’ll get a lot of use out of the Blu-ray player either; but a prize is a prize…)

Unfortunately, this windfall happened late into the night before my next-morning flight out of LA. So I didn’t have time to ship my prize back home, and didn’t really have room to pack it with my luggage. So I ended up checking the box into baggage, and crossing my fingers that it would make the trip in one piece. The player itself did; the remote that came with it apparently didn’t, as it’s not working — and like most audio-visual equipment, the remote is essential for operating the unit. I’ve since ordered a replacement remote, which cost some money, but considering the overall freebie, it’s not like I’m coming out behind on the deal.

- Odd experience while sitting at an intersection on Hollywood Boulevard for some 15 minutes: Practically every single non-livery vehicle that rolled by was either white, black, or some grey shade in between. No joke, by the time I actually started paying attention, I didn’t see a single passenger car with a colorful hue whiz by. It was bizarre. Is there some sort of prohibition against rainbow-colors paintjobs on your ride in Hollywood?

- I hit a lunchtime spot called Mel’s Drive-In. Nothing to write home about, especially since it was over half-empty at high noon. But I had somehow mistaken it as a namesake for Mel’s Diner, a fictional greasy spoon that probably lives on no where else but in my own sitcom-informed memories.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/11/2021 08:08 AM
Category: Society
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