June 07, 2013

Roll Me Away

I have this perpetual inclination to get away.

Wherever I am, after a while, I want to be somewhere else.

Fortunately, where I live now, I can cross the street and be in another city.

I can hoist my bike onto its rack, drive ten miles or so east, and suddenly, I'm in a very different place.

And with helmet on head, sneakers on feet, hydration pack on back, from the center of Los Angeles, even at night, I can just roll away.

I can roll through Little Tokyo and Chinatown, past the mariachis of Boyle Heights, and across the LA River to get back again...

...through Skid Row...

...and down Broadway, a few (but not all) of its neon lights gleaming.

But the thing is, Los Angeles is so big, so vast, no matter how far you roll, it's always there. You can almost always see it - through any smog, from any mountain or canyon, from the beach to the Valley - but you can most certainly always feel it.

For me, the key to staying in Los Angeles - potentially long-term, though the jury is still out after only two years - is that it doesn't claustrophobically close in on you, keeping you in and locking you up like a prisoner. You are free to go. Its bridges and tunnels (as it were) are always open, leading you out to strange, otherworldly places and unusual things. And when you're ready to return, it welcomes you back in.

As much as I stray (from my apartment, my neighborhood, this vast city), now that I'm out here, it always feels good to come back home, and roll on back in.

Related Post:
Under My Rock

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