Car Culture

There was a time, not long ago, when we lived on the sunny side of the States. Our return visit in June 2008, so that the ten year old could join his buddy for a week at UCLA basketball camp while the fourteen-year old worked alongside her third grade teacher as an assistant, was an eye-opener to all of us as to our former automobile-dependent lives and our relatively new adaptation to public transportation enjoyed, as we do, in our current home state of New York.

It is clear that in the 22 months since we packed up the wagon and drove across the Country, Los Angeles traffic has increased mightily. What’s more, because our children are older, the ability they have, at least in the case of the older one, to come and go places, whether it’s to school, the movies or to run an errand, on their own in NYC is virtually impossible in LA. Our LA canyon home is five miles from the nearest school and store. Movie theatres are farther away. And pinkberry, fuhgetaboutit.

While I confess to missing my car time, where hours were spent listening to National Public Radio or catching up on hands-free cell phone calls, one of these days I’ll adapt to the alternative ways including ipods, portable radios and headphones to tune in to the world and tune out the City static.

AND, whereas it cost $40 to fill up the gas tank summer before last, rising prices this go’ round come to $60.

NYC is our residence for now though I continue to miss our California friends and daily NPR reports. One out of two can be remedied… at least for now.

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One response to “Car Culture

  1. Isn’t it strange how reliant we are on transportation, but as New Yorkers, we never realize it until we’re in a place where a car is the ONLY mode of transport. I was thinking the same thing as I drove from town to town, friend to friend. It’s not so easy and even more frustrating if you’re a teen w/o a license.

    And the gas. I hear you at $60. I almost wanted to ask if they took Metro card.

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