June 7, 2011 by Leah
“So, what’s on your L.A. bucket list?” she asked a little while after I’d broken the news I was moving.
This was another fun concept to come out of brunch this weekend. Possibly more fun than forced self-examination, actually. And yes, I’m aware I need to get out for social interaction more than once every two months.
My L.A. bucket list, though. Huh.
I have mixed feelings about our little corner of SoCal, but I think I’m pretty darn acclimated. The eight-lane freeways that dumbfounded me a year ago are no big deal now. Last May seemed really hot to me and I wore shorts and skirts all the time. This May seemed freakishly cool and I wore jeans and sweaters all the time. (Longer-term residents say they noticed no discernible difference in the actual weather.) I can get around Long Beach without a map, and I could probably get myself home from anywhere in the whole county without a map. I know where to shop to get the best price, quality, or service on most garden, pet, and food-related items. I’ve almost become impervious to the asshole drivers who honk if you don’t run red lights. (They are mad that you’ve taken away their freedom to run red lights. They do not think that perhaps you have done them a favor by obeying traffic laws and keeping them from potential harm.)
The things I really wanted to do when we first got here were camp in Channel Islands National Park and visit Catalina Island. We haven’t done these things, nor do we have time left to do those things. Instead, on Saturday I decided that these things are now the important ones:
- I want to see all the people I know in the area at least once before we leave for Europe, because who knows what will happen in August.
- I want to use my last remaining Groupon ($45 for four dance lessons).
- I will stuff myself with as much fresh, pesticide-free (they call it “no spray” around here, and it’s much easier to find than certified organic) fruit as I possibly can.
- I’d like to visit the beach again, as the chances of dolphin sightings in Walla Walla are slim to none.
- I want to eat decent Mexican food (I know, you’d think we would have done that early on – we were just too busy enjoying the local Lebanese, Ethiopian, and Cambodian/Thai cuisine).
What else does one do in L.A.? We went to Walt Disney Concert Hall to hear live organ accompaniment to a classic horror film, but we haven’t heard the L.A. Phil(harmonic), and I don’t think we’re going to. (That’s okay, I have more allegiance to the New York Phil, anyway – particularly since I made several separate trips to the Walt Disney Concert Hall regarding a job I didn’t get.) We’ve camped at three national parks: Sequoia and King’s Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley. We got a dog. We’ve gone whale watching. We became members of the Aquarium of the Pacific. We visited MOLAA (the Museum of Latin American Art). I’ve been to MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art). We went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and the La Brea Tar Pits. We’ve had lots of fun on the Queen Mary. We played tourists in Hollywood once. We’ve gone to many farmers’ markets. We’ve had lots of friends and family come to stay. We’ve eaten tons of fresh produce and quite a bit of ice cream.
I think that’s a pretty impressive list, actually. It’s also pretty indicative of our values. We’re not fashionable people, but we like the fine arts and the outdoors and local food and science and nature and history and ice cream. All of these things will translate, and translate well, to Walla Walla, I think. I already know where I’m going to buy local, grass-fed, raw milk (it’s sold by the gallon there!) – maybe I won’t miss L.A.’s “amenities” as much as I feared I would.
Oh, and the bucket list? We met my uncle for Mexican at a classic place in West Hollywood last night, so that was two birds with one stone (and a great time, to boot). Our first dance lesson is tonight. Now I’m just watching the weather – ideally, the temperature would be in the 80s for me to really enjoy the beach. The current forecast is for a seemingly endless string of 67 degree-highs. Brr.
Okay, okay. Maybe I will miss L.A. Just a little.