A City Modified.



Abruptly, I was pulled out of Los Angeles on May 9th of this year and spent the whole summer back in NJ and did not return here until August 23rd.

My father is disabled, my mom was taking care of him, and then she fell and broke her hip. I flew back to NJ to assist them in selling their home, and taking care of their needs.

When I came back to LA, the city that defines itself by its driving, had partially redefined itself. No longer was everyone driving and talking on the phone. The new hands-free law had put a (partial) end to it.

And along the speedways of the Valley, on Burbank, Oxnard and Victory, cars ARE driving slower. The drivers are trying to save gasoline, and also because cops are now pulling more speeders over and writing tickets. I was given one, for running a red light, and that $400 experience taught me to watch myself more carefully behind the wheel.

The economic downturn and loss of housing values seems to have emptied out the stores and restaurants. There was abundant courtesy at the Home Depot in North Hollywood yesterday. Everyone was so helpful.

Stores are having sales, and I’ve gotten coupons from Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Lucky Brand. Of course, I can’t afford to buy anything, because I too am looking for work.

You cannot just get into your car anymore and drive around cheaply. Every time I fill up my car, it’s another $50 or $60. I must think about using gas.

And supposedly crime is falling and the murder rate is the lowest it has been since 1967. Chief Bratton is sarcastic in his mockery of those academics who blame poverty for criminality. Bratton credits increased police targeting of gangs for the reduction in death and violence.

Van Nuys looks about the same.

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