Thursday, November 30, 2006
A funny thing happens when you spend 73 minutes in very very slow parking-style traffic in the morning. In general, it seems the world is hurrying by so fast; we’re all in a time crunch to get somewhere…that the simple still scenery you pass is enthralling. With almost no movement, looking at something out a car window takes on a whole new dimension.
There is always the car in front of you, of course…but there are only so many minutes you can stare straight ahead, and ponder the meaning behind the Porsche license plate frame that says ‘I’d rather be at sea on Crystal Harmony’. 47 minutes, exactly. By then, all versions of visualizing ‘Crystal Harmony’ have been exhausted.
From work, I take the surface streets in Beverly Hills. So there’s always the odd Bentley or Rolls Royce. I keep thinking they’re only in the movies, but there they are…toodling up the palm-tree lined street.
Trader Vic’s leers at the Hilton. The super-cool 60’s tiki restaurant beckons and I still refuse to dash the imagined moments of yesteryear with a visit to what is, most likely…just a dumb bar.
Traffic is always stuck at Rodeo. Always. There’s no reason to be going to Tiffany’s at 6 pm, and yet, people are.
The surface streets of the hills pass the time playing ‘would you rather’ between 2 houses on opposite sides of the street. A 3 story columned white mansion reminiscent of Will Smith’s younger days…or a blue Ranch style with a 20-foot marble Lady Liberty smack in the middle of the front yard. Clearly the choice is obvious. Give me Liberty or give me death.
And there’s always the few nagging realty ‘For Sale’ signs on those behemoth mansions. They leer ‘If you lived here you’d be home by now.’ But I also hear them whisper ‘If you lived here you’d be so rich you probably wouldn’t work at all.’
Coldwater Canyon Road snakes over the no-cold-water canyon. White guard rails jump out, reminding me of movie style car-crashes, where the blonde girl in the convertible swerves off the edge of the road, and her car bursts into flames. I picture my car at the base of the canyon. But not in flames. That only happens in movies, not in reality.
As the road winds over Mulholland, the glittery grid that is ‘the valley’ appears in the not-so far away.
The houses get crappier. No Lady Liberty. No white ionic columns. No tiki bars, only Toni’s Pizza. But the same old ‘For Sale’ signs. But now I’m glad I don’t live there. After all, the Valley is the porn capital of the world.
The driving gets faster, the people get angrier…the Bentleys and Porsches have all parked away in the canyon, and just us lonely Hondas and Toyotas battle the white fences out of the canyon into the valley…and disappear.
But not without thinking one last thing…
…Crystal Harmony is a stupid name for a boat.