Saturday, February 20, 2010

PDP #179: Exactly What It Says on the Sign

Sometimes, not even stereotypes can prepare you for the oddness. A great case in point is Southern California. Everyone knows that Los Angeles is utterly built for the car in ways that put other cities to shame, but it took a while for that to be made absolutely clear, and technically speaking, it didn't happen in Los Angeles at all.

Brand Boulevard is one of the main streets of Glendale, California, long and straight and with plenty of room to install a streetcar or LRT system (but I digress). If you're travelling north from Los Angeles on it, though, in order to reach downtown Glendale you first have to traverse Brand Boulevard of Cars, which is a stretch of Brand Boulevard absolutely lined with automobile dealerships. To the extent that there are signs pointing to them in the median. Throw in a few inexpensive motels, tire salons, and wonderful, wonderful billboards and you'd practically have Judge Doom's dream made real.

That's what finally convinced me that Los Angeles really was a four-wheeled city.

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