I have arrived in Los Angeles.
Spent last night at the apartment of my cousin Brian and his girlfriend Kelly. Then this morning we drove down to USC and they helped me move in, showed me the campus, took me grocery shopping, and helped me get my car over to the parking center.
You see, despite the fact that I live in a building with 12 parking spaces and 16 residents, half of whom apparently didn’t bring cars, I couldn’t get a permit to park here, so my only option is to park my car in a parking garage farther away from my apartment than the building where my classes are.
I have a writers reception thingie to get to tomorrow evening, and being functionally carless, I must resort to the “tram,” a bus operated by the school. I decided to give it a whirl today to make sure it works. It doesn’t. Busses are supposed to come every 30 minutes. I waited an hour before finally giving up.
Of course, I could walk. From what I saw today, the neighborhood looks pretty good. From crime reports I’d heard, I was expecting it to look really run down, but it actually looks like a country club compared to many neighborhoods in Manhattan that I blithely stroll through alone after dark (though maybe I shouldn’t). But I guess looks can be deceiving. Taped to the front door of my apartment was a report of a recent (Sunday, when I was safe in Kansas) crime:
A guy came and grabbed a student’s bike. The student and four of his friends confronted the guy. The guy pulled out a gun and fired a shot in the air. The students backed away, and the guy ran to a waiting SUV, then turned and fired four shots at the students. Apparently no one was hit, but damn.
Now excuse me while I go barricade my door.