Who made this city?

by Heather Vandenengel

LOS ANGELES, CA — It seems that the portion of this trip in which I have become maybe slightly exhausted from traveling and crashing on couches and greatly irritated by every little annoyance has coincided with my stay in Southern California. I am making my best effort to enjoy it here, to not let the traffic and endless freeways and parking lots and smog get to me, but it hasn’t been going so great. I love walking and biking and seeing a city from its sidewalks and I can’t wrap my head around this sprawled-out urban landscape in which it takes 30 minutes to drive five miles. I seem to never be in the right lane, got my first parking ticket in two years and have been having a lot of “Who made this city?” moments.

The saving grace is how many good people I know, and have met, in LA and San Diego and getting to spend time with them. I am deeply grateful for it, and will drive however many miles through these strange cities to see them. And Big Sur is on the horizon and a weekend in the woods and on the coast will cure all travel woes, I’m sure.