There is a steady stream of people flowing and rushing past at the top of the Metro station in Downtown LA. It seems like me and the old man panhandling across the sidewalk from me are the only ones capable of standing still. I bring a book to read while I stand there waiting (I just finished this one and I am still mourning it's ending... not because of it's sadness but because I always hate to end a real book like this). Guys are less likely to hassle you if you're very obviously reading.... it doesn't always work but if they do try and talk to you you have a really good reason to ignore them.
A girl alone in LA is a magnet for guys hassling and hitting on you. Some of the choicest examples:
- [in the book section of Goodwill] "MOM! Mom!" Mom?"
- [My face registers nothing, I continue staring at the books]
-"MOM? ---huh. THAT didn't work..." [he turns and walks away]
- [also in the book section of Goodwill a few minutes later] "Can you read THAT?!"
-"How long does it take you?!"
-"I don't know, I haven't read it yet..."
-"I have NEVER finished a book!"
-"HEY! [right in my face] You did your hair like a UKRAINIAN!"
-[elevator door mercifully shuts]
Anyways, back to the story at hand, I stand there reading giving my most frigid face possible (you know the one, Chelle!) until I feel someone grab my hand and Jesse sweeps me around the corner and down the street to our favorite happy hour at Seven Grand. It's an upstairs bar that's all plaid carpet (just like the old school hotels and restaurants in Scotland), dark wood, taxidermied heads, marble bar tops, dark intimate corners and billiard tables, a knocked out hallway with booths and ash trays where we can smoke (hard to find a place for that in LA) and five dollar classic whiskey cocktails till eight.
It should go unsaid that after spending the day dealing with conversations like those above that these happy hour meetings are pretty dang nice. We tell each other stories, laugh at the silly guys, plan our next apartment, discuss ad agencies and award winning ads, and empty our wallets and try and decide if we can find enough dollars to buy a second round before eight... we never can. Then we amble down the street toward the metro, enjoying the cool breeze that picks up and reminds us that LA is actually a desert. The other day there was a Johnny Cash cover band playing in the park. They were pretty awful but I loved every bit of it. Especially because nearly half the audience were street dwellers and travelers--not many cities would put on a show for that crowd. And to be fair I don't think LA set out to do that, it is probably an attempt to culture downtown... and we are all very appreciative! I think it's so sad that people have fled downtown areas most of my generation's lifetime but that is now changing!