- Each morning at certain times of the year there is a marine layer from the ocean that keeps us from seeing blue sky much of the morning until it burns off. You can feel the humidity from it, almost like a fog, but not so thick. It is a result of living this close to an ocean, truly a unique blessing.
- Each night (and pretty much through the day) are the city noises of sirens and emergencies taking place constantly. I've discovered when there are soooo many people, there are also soooo many hospitals and medical facilities. Thus, there are many emergencies and sirens that go past my work window multiple times daily, and also into the night-time sleep hours. It's something to get used to. Another noise is continual car honking. People are in a hurry here, so they go at Mach speed from stop light to stop light, a block between each, to wait for a LONG light. If you happen to wait a millimeter of a second longer than the light turning green, be prepared for a honk behind you. People are laying on horns continually, and think nothing of rudeness about it. Where I come from, it's rather rude to honk your horn so readily, but here, it's just normal and expected.
- Though we're in a deep drought, the unique foliage is beautiful. I never tire of the variety of palm trees and colorful bushes. Even in the heart of Concrete City, a palm tree can be found here and there.
- There is a good system here for junk that people need to get rid of. Few own a pickup truck, wherein is used to take junk to the landfill. Normally. I have no idea if there are even any landfills here, though big trucks take big garbage dumpsters to be dumped multiple times a week from our own apartment building. But if people need to get rid of something they just put it out on the curb, even in the inner city, and someone will come along and take it, either for their own use or to sell it, or refurbish it, or get recycled money from it. So each morning we can see trucks loaded to overflowing with just junk picked up from curbsides to take... somewhere. I've seen old couches and chairs out on sidewalks to be picked up, or old metal doors, or broken a/c units. You name it -- if it's too big to fit in one of these fancy high-performance cars, you just put it out on the curb and it will get picked up by SOMEONE.
- I love the buses here! They have to fit so many people on them, they are almost 2 units. So to be able to turn a corner, especially with so much traffic on the road, they expand in the middle, like an accordian.
- The graffiti is a given, but there is a particular apartment community, with several buildings in the complex, and on the side of each one are these amazing murals that depict some cultural story or capture some important feeling to those in that unit. There are about 25 buildings, so the murals on the sides are diverse and unique. These are seen on our way to work in East LA.
That includes random murals on random buildings on the infamous "Soto Street," or Latin Mecca USA.
- Sidewalk vendors. You only need a product you think people will buy, a cart, and an umbrella. Then you just set up shop wherever there's sidewalk space and hope to make a living at it. And that includes the used-clothes-on-the-front-fence capitalistic venture also! Sometimes the clothes are on there for days, but that doesn't matter, provided it doesn't rain!
You gotta love it, America!
- And let's not forget about the juggling clown who comes randomly juggling into the middle of a BUSY intersection while the cars are stopped, hoping for a few dollars someone may toss him. And if your doors aren't locked, careful!! He's liable to just open the back door and hop in, thinking it's a fun trick that may bring a few more dollars. YIKES!
- And ever, and always, the traffic. The endless traffic, and cars, and stoplights, and people, and... you know, typical LA-isms. Speaking of...