Reno, Virginia & California (New Zealand, pt. 2)

[Venice Beach]

Tall tales

I stare out the window at a woman’s thigh. It’s not what one might think – she’s fully clothed – but it is rather remarkable: here I am sitting in a car, and there’s a woman walking by whose waist is actually above my sightline. Who is this Amazon? Someone from the WNBA, perhaps? I lean closer to the window, look up. Way up.

It’s Janet Reno.

OK, so it’s not quite the celebrity sighting I’m expecting. But then again, we are in L.A.

Sinking is Venice

Theresa’s long-time friend Jan is once again our tour guide for a relaxing preflight half-day in Los Angeles, and since we’re still pale escapees from a frigid New England winter, she takes us to the beach. The beach of story, song, and insanity. But for the locals taking every possible form of transportation along the endless line of cheesy trinket shops at Venice Beach, it’s a chilly day and there’s not much actual beach activity of any kind. While there’s no perceivable gap in the panhandlers, preachers and purveyors on the seaward side of the boardwalk, I have to admit that I’m somewhat disappointed by a general surfeit of noisy crazies. Too much television, I suppose, leading to unsatisfiable expectations. But then, this is the city that has perfected illusion.

(…continued here…)

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