Saturday, August 26, 2023

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Stop the presses! I did something unexpected. Even I didn't expect it.

I bought a car. A gently used 2016 Prius from a friend's mom. I take possession tomorrow, Sunday.

Why? Even I am not sure. I have done just fine without owning a car in Los Angeles, and I've learned so much about the region by having to navigate it all on trains, buses, Lyft, and rental cars about 8 times a year. I've been to spots longtime Angelenos haven't even visited, more due to my exploring instinct than anything else.

I nearly bought cars a few times over the pandemic, when I didn't want to get on a bus or train, but in the end, there was nowhere to go. I live in what some call a walkable 15-minute neighborhood, near three supermarkets, a weekly farmer's market, multiple restaurants, my office, nail salons, coffee shops, a deli, and in case I'm feeling in need of a greasy spoon with car show, Bob's Big Boy. There are three bus lines nearby, and all of them go to transit hubs--the metro, Burbank's wee airport, the commuter rail, Amtrak.

The only times I really miss having a car are when I want to go to pottery class, to meet someone on the West side, or carry a box to the post office. But I have a wheeled luggage cart for the post office—which is also within ten minute's walk.

So why buy one at this point, eight years into mastering Los Angeles without a car? And when what I was really looking for was a manual transmission, possibly on an ancient VW Bug?

All I've got is the Prius fell into my lap. I went for a test drive and it was silky smooth on the road. And at some point, I'll need to drive home. As in the other home.

Today, I caught the 155 to the Red Line to the 2 bus to Echo Park, and after that took the 4 back to the Red Line to Hollywood/Vine for the 222 bus back to Burbank, then the 155 to the foot massage place and finally walked home. My last hurrah! And you know what? The buses are unchanged, but the Red Line is shockingly filthy and gross still, which happened during the pandemic, and two men had a fist fight at Hollywood and Western.

Nice of the metro to celebrate my last big day on it.

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