Memorable Moments in an Alien World

{August 5, 2013}   When LA Makes an Effort

If I have the time to do so, I enjoy getting lost. Immensely. Just taking a drive down a random street and seeing exactly where it will take me. In doing so yesterday, I made the most remarkable discovery about Los Angeles.

It all began in Culver City. I decided it could be worth my while to see where Slauson Ave would take me, if I took it eastward. Turns out, much to my amusement, it leads me to a neighborhood where every home looks like the fictitious Mr. Brady designed it. Wow. But, not surprisingly, that grew really boring, really fast. So I u-turned it and headed north on La Cienega.

What I saw astounded me.

LA people: did you know that there are a plethora of oil wells just east of Culver City, grotesquely lining the streets? I work IMG_6186in Santa Monica and live in Westwood…perhaps that’s how this fascinating piece of Los Angeles eluded me. The only oil well in Los Angeles that I concretely knew about was the one that is on the Beverly Hills High School campus, beautifully disguised, yet still kind of obvious that it’s an oil well.

So imagine my consternation at seeing oil wells to my left and my right! In the middle of the second largest city in America! I love living in a city and serendipitously discovering bits of its rich history.

IMG_6184But that was not the biggest surprise on my drive down La Cienega. My biggest surprise came a half-mile down the road, (still peppered with oil rigs), where I found the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Park. It’s a sprawling landscape, with multiple parks, BBQs, a lake and multiple trails to hike at the climax of which you receive a sprawling view of the city of Los Angeles.

Again, not having a specific agenda yesterday, I was immensely enjoying getting lost and found myself hiking in my flip-flops up the steepest hill I could find to discover if the views were as good as I imagined they might be.


IMG_6204IMG_6189 IMG_6190


And then upon arrival at the top!




And this is precisely why I love being a teacher and having summers off, as it gives me the freedom to lose myself in the city, discovering gems here and there amidst this great metropolis! What a glorious day!

But if you can, do save me the time and effort: what gems have you stumbled upon in Los Angeles?

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