In Seattle, it was blackberries. In Berkeley, it was wild fennel. In Brooklyn, let's be honest, it was trash and pee. Everywhere I've lived there's been a defining smell. And now I know L.A.'s. It's this.
I finally got to take a walk in my new neighborhood.
Of course I was working while I did! Listening to the L.A.-centric Dave Navarro project, Panic Channel, which rocks in a very 120 Minutes kinda way. In fact, the lead singer used to be an MTV VJ. But it's Dave, so there are the arty tendencies. There's a really long song about a savior figure named Uncle Elijah! Still, the single sounds like Switchfoot. Whether you think that's a good or a bad thing depends on your view of soaring choruses and lighters (cell phones?) in the air.
But back to the walk. I drove up to the dogwalker and school's pass-through called Moon Canyon, strolled all the way up and down San Rafael past the Self Realization Fellowship (where middle-aged lovelies stroll about in long skirts) and Bebe's future school, yippee! Walked out on a vast plain where I could see all of downtown, and headed back, with a stop down Elyria street to look for the other end of Elyria Canyon. (I'd had an unfortunate encounter with poison oak earlier at our entrance to this overgrown "park." So far it seems to be under control thanks to hydrocortisone and perspicacious leg-washing.)
Then I scooted toward Crane, the other street I wanted to live on, and gazed at their lovely canyon views. But I still like ours, if not better, as much. After all, we can see glamorous downtown Glendale! And so for the first time in a while, I said, ah, that's why I wanted to live in this neighborhood. Getting out and into it makes all the difference.
ps if I were hip like my pal Daphne, I would have meant this smell. Oh well.