Of Privilege & Police (#168)

My father was an authoritarian. When I screwed up, the consequences were swift. That’s how I expect justice to roll.

I got my first ticket when I was 16 in suburban Virginia. I could have contested it. I didn’t. I sniffled. I paid the ticket. I endured a weeklong harangue by my father. Continue reading Of Privilege & Police (#168)

16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

When Andy and I went to London earlier this month, I thought I was prepared.

Turns out, Dr. Who, Top Gear, Graham Norton, Inspector Lewis, and Downton Abbey may leave gaping holes in your education that authors P.D. James, Helen Simonson, and Elizabeth George cannot quite fill.

The internet doesn’t exactly do London justice, either. But for those of you who are either looking to laugh at the clueless Americans or hoping to visit London and NOT look like clueless Americans, I’ve made this handy list: Continue reading 16 Things Americans Oughta Know Before Landing in London (#129)

Sometimes You’re the Bug (#82)

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If I lived in DC, New York, or Boston, I wouldn’t have a car. I would take the Metro, the Subway, or the T. I’d read or people-watch, and then I’d walk.

But Los Angeles County doesn’t have just one urban center. There’s Downtown LA, Century City, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena… Continue reading Sometimes You’re the Bug (#82)

Alas for the Red Car (#81)

 

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The original Red Car.  From the Robert Gaddie collection, photographer unknown. Courtesy of PacificElectric.org

Once upon a time, Los Angeles had mass transportation in the form of 900+ electric “Red Cars.” 1,100 miles of track connected cities such as Pasadena, Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Long Beach. (Today New York City only has about 842 miles of track.) A massive hydro-electric plant in the Sierra Nevadas powered the cars. Continue reading Alas for the Red Car (#81)