All posts by la_shane

*Overland Update*

I recently posted a somewhat tongue-in-cheek entry about the stop sign that was just installed on Overland. Designed to slow traffic down on it’s path to and from the 10 Freeway, the stop sign is apparently part of a battle being waged by residents of the neighborhood to prevent the proposed widening of the road. Proponents of the widening argue that the route is overloaded with vehicles using the route as a pipeline. Local residents argue that people already drive too fast and recklessly on Overland and widening it would only make things worse. I joked that the stop sign was slowing down my shortcut. I followed the TrackBack ping that Mack Reed from LAVoice sent to my entry to find that the issue is not at all a laughing matter. As the father of a one-year old, I can appreciate the fight that the residents of that neighborhood are fighting.

And from now on, I’ll take it a little slower as I make my way to and from the 10 Freeway.

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Although I’m certain that the residents of Overland between Olympic and Pico fought long and hard to have a traffic-slowing stop sign installed midway between the two major East/West traffic routes, I can’t help but feel that the conspiracy to slow me down is continuing. First it was the major re-piping of the sewage system under Olympic Boulevard near La Brea, then it was the overhaul to the intersection of Beverly Glen and Santa Monica, and now this. Don’t they know that Overland is a crucial shortcut to the 10 Freeway for me? Also, what exactly are they doing at Santa Monica and Beverly Glen? Every time I drive through that area I am routed and corraled into a strange new lane as they tear out the old asphalt and dividers in preparation for the new. What that new configuration will be is anyone’s guess. I guess we’re lucky that we don’t have something like Boston’s “Big Dig” fiasco to contend with, but like everything else in this city, the construction here in LA is sprawling, extensive and never-ending.

Plus, they keep cutting into my shortcuts.

Mr. Bones

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If you’re like me, you want your pumpkin-buying experience to include livestock, hay, a “pumpkin bounce” and overpriced Halloween decorations. Luckily, even if you don’t have the time to drive to a pumpkin farm or county fair, Los Angeles has the answer. Just east of Beverly Glen on Wilshire Boulevard, in a small vacant lot just down the street from some of the highest priced condos in the city, sits “Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch” It’s the first time I’ve ever been charged $3.00 admission to buy a gourd. Inside the confines of the hay-covered lot, there is a meager petting zoo, face painting, a maze of pumpkins and hay, and dozens of kids bouncing in an inflatable pumpkin, flitting in and out of the halloween displays and gnawing on pre-wrapped caramel apples. It feels more like a set, dressed to match someone’s imagined vision of a country pumpkin patch than anything else, but if you have kids, it’s not a bad way to blow three bucks and take home a twenty dollar pumpkin. Actually, according to the signs posted around the lot, this is the last year for Mr. Bones’ Patch at this location. I think the signs were intended to make me feel sad about the fact that someone decided to make better use of the valuable real estate (which also transforms into a Christmas Tree lot called “Mr. Greentrees” in the winter) on Wilshire, but I couldn’t muster up any such feelings for the loss of this place. There’s something weird about the whole “Pumpkin Patch” phenomenon. I thought it was limited to Los Angeles, but according to this site, it’s a much bigger trend. I had no idea that pumpkins were such a lucrative business.