Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Los Angeles, 1973 ~ 2006

Theme ~ My 50 Years in America 

Why, you ask, well many reasons, here are a few: 

This is the street where I lived and where I met my husband, who lived across the street. 

We lived behind a multi-colored bougainvillea hedge, always with more dogs and cats than the law allowed. Mocking birds nested in the hedge, mourning doves cooed, goldfish swam  in their tiny pond, our dogs barked at passers by. We had our own little paradise behind that hedge. 

In the spring, the many jacaranda trees that lined our street burst out in a purple haze, like in the picture above. (Borrowed from Google images, but looking much like our street in spring.)

In Los Angeles, people live in houses with little gardens like this one. Highrises only exist in downtown and a few other areas, so I never had the feeling I lived in a large city. 

The homes and apartment buildings in our neighborhood and those I passed on the way to work are beautiful. 

We had a lot of fun in Marina del Rey, where we had a sailboat for many years. I didn't go to the beach to swim or sun in the summer, but I loved to go on cold winter days and walk by the ocean.

Pelicans are one my favorite birds.

I like the multi-cultural flavor of the city; a melting pot of people from all over the country, from all over the world, rich and poor, sort of all mixed up together. It is hard to describe, but when I left, which was before the economy crashed, it seemed to be working pretty well. I believe crime was down, of course, gangs and violence still exist, but it is  not as bad as it once was.


Korea Town

An Asian-American woman carries an umbrella for sun protection.

Stately palm trees line a street.

A bakery in an Hispanic neighborhood.

The Griffith Observatory, the white building you see high in the hills is a great place to visit. It was the setting for the James Dean and Natalie Wood film, Rebel Without a Cause. 

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the U. S., and the city has something for everyone. Amusement parks, museums, a zoo, and a spectacular concert hall, designed by Frank Gehry:

We lived close to the L.A. County Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, which has its own museum, the George C. Page Museum of Tar Pit Discoveries. A very interesting place to visit, full of unbelievable discoveries salvaged from the tar pits. I can just imagine little boys going nuts in there:



We also lived close to the Grove shopping mall and the Farmer's Market, so we truly had everything right there. As I'm writing this, I'm beginning to miss it all.

It's true that you see movie stars, particularly at the Grove, but since I'm so tall, they have to be tall too or I just won't notice them. It is also true that you can go surfing in the ocean in the morning (not swimming as advertised, it's way too cold to swim in the winter) and skiing in the mountains later the same day. Who'd ever want to do that, I don't know. But it can be done.

Traffic and smog are, of course, the major problems with Los Angeles. I lived just east of Beverly Hills and worked just west of that city within a city, a seven-mile drive. It took 17 minutes to get to work in 1974, by the time I retired in 2005, it took about 45. 

Other than that, the city was good to me, and while I lived through a major earthquake and a very major city-wide riot (more about that later in the A to Z), for the most part, I enjoyed my life in the City of Angels.

Sources: Wikipedia and Google Images for photos other than my own.


  1. i wouldn't like the traffic, smog, crime, and touristy spots if i lived there, but you made the residential areas look like heaven!

  2. Thanks for the lovely walk through Los Angeles. I've been to San Francisco, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but not far as LA.

    And LA is a bit different from your desert canyon!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

  3. No wonder you love Los Angeles - it is gorgeous - love those trees down the road that cover like arches. sandie

  4. I've never been to Los Angeles, and don't know too much about it. But you have shown a side of LA that makes me want to visit sometime. If I ever do, I want YOU to be my tour guide! :-)

    PS: Thank-you for your very, very kind words on the loss of our boy Lucas. It has helped at a very sad time remembering that there are those like you who cheered him on from the sidelines each time he had a hurdle to get over. Your comment this morning was a needed reminder that he had a good last year of life--I need to hold onto that.

  5. Thank you for this different view the city - I've always felt rather afraid to go there, and really have only been to the airport as a connection to somewhere else. But it really is pretty, and much more liveable than I imagined.

  6. Looks lovely there, beautiful colours of the bushes and trees :)

  7. We visited L.A. on vacation a few times. We always managed to get lost and drive miles out of our way before we could get turned around, but those trips were such fun.


  8. Inger very interesting post. I loved how you described your life with all the pets behind the multi colored Bougainvillea hedge. The "purple le haze" trees are gorgeous :)

  9. Another lovely long post telling a great story. Thank you Inger for letting us see a different view of LA.

    I love the bougainvillea in the photo above. I visited a couple of jazz clubs in LA years ago, in the Mexican district. The only iffy experience in CA was in Huntingdon Beach.

    Looking forward to more about LA.

  10. Your old neighborhood with its flowers and lovely homes must have been delightful.

  11. from the black and white sailboat on water photo UP to the top, could all be photos taken here where i live. looks just like Florida. lots of beauty there. now all that traffic and smog is nothing i want to see. i bet it was really a different LA from 72 to 06 when you left. even here from 84 until now has changed drastically.

  12. Mom's bff lives there! Mom would love to live there BUT with the prices at home. I told her she was dreaming.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  13. I was born and have lived most of my life in suburbs of LA so I just think about the traffic. I do love Phillipe's downtown though.

  14. I was able to see L.A. for a tiny bit while riding a bus to Thousand Oaks. About all I remember was sitting behind the bus driver, the speedometer reading 85, multiple lanes of traffic PASSING us, and he was arguing basketball with a guy to his right... I now see what I missed, some pretty neat looking area there.


  15. You really took a lot of pictures when you lived there. At the time, I bet you didn't think you'd ever use them in a blog.
    So nice to see some of the US through your eyes.
    Enjoyable but unforgetable

  16. What a lovely post. Los Angeles is my home town. Both my parents were in the Entertainment Industry - Your excellent photos made me a bit homesick - In a Very Good Way.

    Thank you, Thank you!

  17. Looks like a pretty neighborhood.

    When I saw the tar pits, I immediately thought of the movie "Ice Age" and the kids playing "extinction" in the tar. Someone on that movie had a sick sense of humor :)

  18. I have only been to LA once, and had a great time visiting the sights. I have to say though that I left my heart in San Francisco.

  19. I like the neighbourhood where you met your husband. Also are neighbourhoods divide by ethnicity?

  20. Oh my gorgeous! I think I would like to live behind a hedge like that and those jacaranda trees are stunning. You've inspired me to think about planning a vacation now. It sounds like a great place to live.

  21. You make me want to visit this city Inger. SO many unkind stories of LA and with you view I know that there is a kinder side. Jim's nephew lives in Redlands, maybe some day we will visit. It would be so great to do that.


  22. This has been so refreshing to read and learn about LA, Inger. I/we only hear about the 'bad' things of course.
    I LOVED the comment that you are so tall you just don't see any famous person unless they are tall too!! lol
    What a culture shock for you to move to the mountains!! I can see you might miss all the cultural and institutional places there.
    Very interesting post. I bet we from Nova Scotia !! Just sayin!

  23. I've always wanted to visit LA but keep going back to San Fran :)

  24. It looks lovely Inger. We spent a week in Santa Monica and the houses were all much like your photos it looked a lovely place to stay and being able to walk along the beach in the morning is great.

  25. I've said it before -- if I had grown up there, I would not want to leave!

  26. I too love spending time in LA, though the smog can be pretty ugly sometimes. A big brown smudge in the sky. Still, I like most of what I experience in LA.

    My 2nd cousin has a boat currently in Marina del Rey, and we went out on it. It was fun. :)

  27. I love that multi-coloured bougainvillea and I've never seen jacaranda trees before. How lovely.

  28. Gorgeous photos and glimpse of your life in LA. I'm particularly fascinated by the trees that bloomed purple!

    Play off the Page

  29. I lived in Orange County for 5 years and miss it still. I don't miss the crowds and traffic, but I miss the ocean terribly.

  30. Since living in NYC, I love multicultural cities too--which is part of the reason we now live in Florida--near Disney where we get people from all over the world. (But not the crazy taxes or "nanny" state laws.) There's something invigorating about living in a big city. =)

  31. Wow, those jacaranda trees are so beautiful! I've never been to LA, but have been to San Diego and San Francisco and loved both. I think California would be a great place to live.

  32. L.A verkar vara en häftig stad. Vore kul att åka dit någon gång. Vi ska försöka åka för sambon har aldrig varit i USA, jag har bara varit korta dagar under min tid som kadett på långresá med Marinens fartyg Carlskrona

  33. You made me re-think LA. The congested traffic did me in. But I do think if I lived there, neighborhoods like yours would anchor a place with much to offer.

  34. My son lived in Marina del Rey for awhile, Inger, and I really learned to enjoy that area. And we do go to the Grove from time to time. I like to get our meal at the Farmer's Market and then window shop...and the three-story Barnes & Noble! LOL! Great to see your view of the city. I tend to feel very much the way you do about it! Debra

  35. My son lived in Marina del Rey for awhile, Inger, and I really learned to enjoy that area. And we do go to the Grove from time to time. I like to get our meal at the Farmer's Market and then window shop...and the three-story Barnes & Noble! LOL! Great to see your view of the city. I tend to feel very much the way you do about it! Debra

  36. Hi Inger - interesting to read about your time in LA .. the bouganvilleas and jacarandas remind me of South Africa ... and you really were right in the mix of things.

    Cheers Hilary


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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