LA Sensations

Thanks to our own Faboomama for the helicopter photo.
Thanks to our own Faboomama for the helicopter photo.

Every morning on my way to work I round the corner from Burbank onto Balboa. There is a copse of Eucalyptus trees right on that corner, and when my windows are down, which is most of the time, the smell of Eucalyptus comes flooding into the car and totally crashes my I-hate-everyone-and-everything-crabby-morning-commute party. It never fails: I can be in the middle of cursing some ginormous road-hogging SUV or a cyclist who is riding past the “please walk bikes” sign at either end of the crosswalk, and that smell comes in the window and I just think “God damn, I love LA.” Wherever I have lived there are certain sensations that seem to belong to that city. When I left DC and moved to the wholesome midwest, sad to say, police sirens and that hot-day, humid garbage smell would make me homesick. To this day, the cicada noise on summer nights brings me right back to my growing-up years.

Wherever I may end up if I ever leave this crazy city, I know that the thick scent of jasmine on a summer night, or the sound of helicopters circling overhead, or the smell of Eucalyptus coming through a car window will always remind me of this place. What about you? What are your LA sensations?

5 Replies to “LA Sensations”

  1. The day after it rains and the smell of the sage and pinion pine wafts down the mountains as the storms clear out.

    The first smell of cool damp breezes in the evening that signal the end of summer. (That should happen soon).

    The metallic smell of the first summer heat wave.

    The pungent smell of the eucalyptus after the first rain of winter.

    Sigh…you are mad to even entertain leaving this city. I know I’ll have to go out feet first as I won’t go willingly. (Yes, you are stuck with me LA).

  2. As a newbie, I’ve already started to love the evening hour as the sun sets. It’s just the right time to take a stroll around my neighborhood.

  3. I know that humid garbage smell…and just had a whiff of that while driving into the San Gabriel Valley to see my mom. And sometimes you can get a concentrated whiff when walking around Echo Park Lake on a hot day.

    I too know the smell of eucalyptus and also enjoy the orange blossoms that blow into my mom’s window.

    I’d also add the hum of the freeway. As a kid, this sound scared me. Now, it soothes me as I imagine it ebb and flow like ocean waves. This might sound silly to someone who actually lives on the ocean, but what can i say? I find the freeway sounds soothing. Without such hum, it would be too quiet…the kinda quiet that gets eerie.

    Oh yeah, and the sounds of rattling grocery carts pushed along the asphalt on trash day by the homeless (or eager recyclers).

  4. I know those trees, they do smell good!

    I am watching the tumbleweeds grow along Victory Blvd. They’re still green, but soon they’ll be drying up and blowing around. Just in time to decorate my yard for Halloween. And I love it when people use them to make ‘snowmen’. How’s that for LA?

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