Pages of Euphoria
Friday, April 01, 2011
  Street Parking Urban Warfare
My bonding session with the city of Los Angeles has been going well over the last four months. I have been enjoying cultural crown jewels of the city like The Getty Center and the La Brea Tar Pits.  The former is a combination of art, architecture and urban design that would make Leo da Vinci do backflips in his current state.  The latter is a museum showcasing a ridiculous slice of deep-dish history from roughly 35,000 years ago that would make any dinosaur enthusiast weak in the knees.

Miriam Mishayev, content at 10,000 ft.
However, my experience thus far in the city of angels has not been completely absent of negative attributes or effects.  Said differently, LA alone is largely contributing to a degenerative disorder that I refer to as Rabies Affected Driver Clusterfunk Onset Phobia, or RADCOP.  I have diagnosed myself at stage 3 out of 4 of the disorder, and my condition is not seeing any sort of improvements, no matter how much Dr. Drew I listen to.  Symptoms of the disorder include a level of anxiousness comparable to that of going skydiving with a fear of heights, an inability to concentrate, complete loss of listening ability to significant other, the current irritability level of Barry Bonds and a complete failure of car parking abilities. 

I recently experienced a flare up of RADCOP when taking my sweet lady to the Pantages Theatre to take in Beauty and the Beast, Broadway style, for our two year anniversary.  Between you and me, I had to drag her to the event, kicking and screaming.  Yet there we were, all the way out in Hollywood to see the show, and it was time to find a parking spot in the furious vehicle war-zone that are the streets of LA. By this time, I could already feel the RADCOP tensing my body up like a hand balling into a fist.  I'm scanning the packed streets like a hawk for an opening while driving fast enough to avoid holding up honk happy traffic.  Cars are changing lanes all around me.  Signs tower menacingly above open parking space with an overwhelming amount of confusing information about street sweeping, zones, permits and hours.  I am worked up into such a frenzied state that I cannot even hear my girl pointing out available spots, which puts her in a similar state of discontent.  Finally, I find a spot after enduring a ridiculous RADCOP induced stress load, which is then quickly washed away by a quality Broadway production.

There are a few main contributors to my street parking phobia in LA:

1. LA has the worst traffic out of any US city, as reported by Forbes in 2010.  There is a ridiculous amount of cars on roads paved with finite pavement.  And the fact that the drivers of those cars are not peace loving, altruistic, go with the flow, smiling people but engine revving, horn blasting, caffeine wired maniacs bent on driving their vehicle up your tail pipe, only makes the situation worse.

2. The state of the roads in Southern California is simply atrocious.  There are pot holes big enough to swallow my poor Honda Civic whole.  Driving around town sometimes I think to myself this is what it must feel like to drive in the moon rover what with all of the craters.  Can someone tell me why the condition of Southern California (if not all of California) roads are in such deplorable conditions? Where are the funds devoted to infrastructure being invested?

3. Possibly the fact that I am on edge when I drive anyways.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs
With all of this said, I am learning to live with my RADCOP disorder and taking it one day at a time.  I feel like am slowly adjusting and growing the skills necessary to compete in the war zone that is the parking scene in LA. I owe much of this recent improvement to the relaxation gained from engaging in hot yoga and getting outdoors to places like Glen Ivy Hot Springs.  Maybe someday in the future there will be some form of efficient public transportation in this great city alleviating both traffic and road conditions. One can only hope. Or maybe write Arnold Schwarzenegger a letter.
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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I come from a small town north of Seattle, WA, where I learned that rain is a magical thing because it turns things green. I have had the chance to go a few places and see a few things of which all I have are pictures, memories and stories. I am currently living and learning about Los Angeles, California, and what it means to be an Angelino.

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