I have now been here almost a week and produced two, three blog posts. I blame jetlag and Instastories. The former because it makes me fall asleep after dinner, the latter because it gives me the illusion I’ve already shared everything there is to my adventures here.
So in order to get anything documented, I will now ignore the chronical order and start with where I am – today! Today I biked all the way to downtown all alone without getting lost once. I also did not get involve in an accident. (I became the victim of bike theft in the evening though but I will not go into it further because it ruins my mood and also my story.) As I stopped at a red light, a man called “Nice bike!” to me. When I arrived at City Hall and took photos (of the building, not of me biking), a local came to me and asked if I was a student or a tourist. (Apparently only those two ride bikes. I am also very flattered to have been asked if I was a student twice already in this city.) He asked if I was comfortably biking in L.A. to which I replied yes, an unsatisfactory answer to him. “You should really watch out. All these homeless people. This isn’t Germany, you know”. I am still trying to understand the connection between biking safety and homeless people.
At City Hall, I went up to the Observation Deck and observed L.A. from above. On the way up there, I passed through the room highest up, a fancy gallery kind of space, where some Korean Award Ceremony was held. I liked the inscriptions on the walls about democracy, which made me think about the European elections.
Mostly because the name sounded so nice, I went to the Angels Flight. It’s a a 117-year-old funicular and the world’s shortest railway. Upstairs you find mostly office buildings so after a short while of looking at local office workers eating lunch, I went down again to find my own lunch – at the Grand Central Market. The amount of choice in this country never ceases to amaze me and Grand Central Market was no exception. It took me more than half an hour to decide what I would get.
For the afternoon, I had lots of plans. I was going to go on a tour of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, go shopping, see the library…I would just quickly pop into the famous “Last Bookstore” before. Turned out that bookstore is what Instagram is on a week night when you are supposed to go to bed early: you just can’t even get out of there again. The “Last Bookstore” was, however, considerably more inspiring than Instagram tends to be. It’s not only a bookstore, it’s also kind of an artsy space, a hang out and marketplace where you can sell books and buy crafts from other in-stores. I literally spent two and a half hours there and had to disclipine myself to move on. A wonderful place!
Can you ever have too many books? Hmmm, yes. Which is why I love libraries. You get all these stories but you don’t need to have a huge house (or a huge budget). The L.A. Public Library has done me so much good. Emily lets me access their ebooks on my Kindle through her membership and I have been reading so much from there! Naturally, on my tourist list, the LAPL was a sight I had to see. And what can I say? It’s amazing.
New books on Goodreads to-read-list: Elisabeth Cohen, The Glitch; Elizabeth Noble, The Reading Group; Leah Franqui, America for Beginners; Katie Williams, Tell the Machine Goodnight; Viet Tanh Nguyen, The Refugees; Celeste Ng, Little Fires everywhere.