Another Day in LA

Each day we witness matters that mesh in our subconsciousness, swim around, merge and become ideas.  Anyway, maybe that’s the way I think.  Yesterday was difficult.

When I went to collect the mail at work yesterday morning, I noticed that the small bakery & cafe across the street was empty.  I was not a frequent customer, but had a 13 year neighborhood relationship with the owner.  Although a 4 lane street separates us on the 6000 block of Pico, we know each other and wave hello through the traffic and noise.  We are a Jewish temple, a nightclub, a cafe, a new age store, a Yeshiva School, a home decor shop, an Indian grocery store, a Muslim cultural center, a beauty shop, a Gypsy psychic, a glass store, a hamburger stand and a cleaners.  A typical block of mom & pop businesses in LA, with our neighborhood gossip, occasional fights, shared joys, emergency network,  and 9-5 friendships.
Seeing the Petite Sara cafe and Mostly Angels new age store with for lease signs on them, Beverly Hills glass down to just Manuel as an employee, LA Burger bankrupt and sold to a new owner, Bradco (elegantly expensive) Bath store with a permanent “Display Sale” banner over the door— brought me such sadness yesterday.

The cosmos dealt me another hard hand last night when I saw a new HBO documentary “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County” , about one of the most affluent and romanticized cities in California where there are numerous families who are homeless living 6 or more to a motel room.  The particular motel in this film is directly across the street  from Disneyland–“the happiest place on earth”.  It seemed extremely cruel that right across the way children live with so much despair and emptiness.

The Director of Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County Alexandra Pelosi said “What people don’t realize is that the recession made a lot more people homeless in America. This film could have been made in any zip code in America. Homeless is no longer what you thought it was. It’s not a mentally-ill drug addicted hobo begging for change on the street corner. It’s the people working at Wal-Mart, Disneyland, Home Depot – working at minimum wage jobs across America.”

I have seen the decay around for many years, the ineffectual public school system crumbling, walking over droves of homeless people in the garment district finding it hard to choose which to bestow a handful of change to, 5 twenty and thirty year-olds living in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, more desperate men pawing at you for work at Home Depot each time I go,  seniors financially unable to fix the plumbing in their home.   I am not content with the justifications my mind and our leadership give me.  Today–and here on  I am officially noting that I am beat-down and feeling defeated.

6 thoughts on “Another Day in LA

  1. Never give up. Get involved, make a difference, the strong survive. Refocus your energy to the issues that matter most for you. Is it community, unemployment, education, homeless issues, private upstarts and enterprise? Get involved, make a difference. Consider The Tea Party. The Tea Party shares the diverse issues of a cross spectrum of political, and cultural issues. White, black, latino, are coming together to bring sanity back to or America. An America founded on principles of a grand national experiment that our Constitutional Republic established for it’s citizens. Our melting pot America has been given the gifts of freedom and liberty to be shared amongst all it’s diverse people who wish to share her dream. Believe in yourself, believe in America. Do not despair.

  2. new writers? good content? less stupid videos of chucha chanfles standing on corners with his flip camera? Orale!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Victoria. There really is a sense of heaviness and despair around us at this time. If this isn’t a depression, I don’t know what is. It’s not just the economy, it’s the war(s) and the sense that there is nothing new. No hope on the horizon for a better tomorrow. No ideas, just rhetoric and for some, religion. Although I have to add, if the Tea Party is our only hope, we truly are in deep caca!

  4. We’re living the high life here in the United States – safe drinking water, tons of food, sewage systems that work. Of course there are lots of horrible things going on, but you’ll only be able to address some of them in your life, in between ensuring your own survival (and the survival and success of your offspring, if you have any).

    It’s okay to look at the world head-on – just don’t get stuck in thinking that things are more unjust now, or more horrible now, than they’ve been in the past. There are more of us humans on the planet, but it’s the same games we’ve been playing on each other for a long time now. No need to get too upset about it, because as surely as people cheat each other and hurt each other (and our long term interests as a species) they also work very hard to do the reverse.

  5. If you were to ask what is going on I’d say we’re witnessing the collapse of the United States. Our economy is contracting, the 20th century is catching up to us, and you can see how the younger generation is responding.

    When you find out that all workers under 50 are getting paid less, with no benefits, while their elders are cashing out with “golden parachutes”, you can understand why growing your own food, making things by hand, and getting around under your own power are such important things these days.

    Who would have guessed we’d be having an heirloom seed boom? Or that bicycling would be on the radar of L.A.’s mayor? Or that farmer’s markets would grow in size and number all over the region that invented sprawl and fast food?

  6. It is hard not to get caught up in the doom and gloom of this era for people who have eyes, hearts, minds, and souls.

    At the same time many are saying maybe the Buddha and Don Juan Matus were right: we need to each as individuals get our ass out of this reality and onto Nirvana or as our double.

    If all this suffering is caused by attachment to a system that needs us to survive, not the other way around, then we need to study how to move away from that system and learn to live by other modalities.

    Be a Jedi. Use the Force. Lose this self to find your Self.

    (damn good coffee)

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