Might I also add quietly, we jaywalk. On the straight lines, on the diagonal, a-little-too-close-to-buses and yellow cabs. It's what we know. It's sort of an inbred New York gene, and once a New Yorker, it's hard to disengage. Even under the stern warning of my brilliant sibling, a bonafide Pedestrian Master Planner.
I tried, I really did. I waited on the street corners of Los Feliz and Pasadena for the light to change green. It was a bit like waiting for Thanksgivukkah to roll around. No one else seemed to mind, no one appeared to be in a hurry. I could have crossed back and forth and back again in the time it took for the "Walkin' Man" sign to illuminate. Yet I was determined not to become a ticketed statistic. So I waited, paused, glanced at the Pacific blue skies and reminded myself how lucky to be lingering at a crosswalk in a warm clime. Emblazoned in my memory was the recent New York Times article accounting in excruciating detail the perils (and price) of jay-walking in LA. Enough to keep my Tretorn-clad toes firmly planted on the curb. But it was driving me CRAZY.
So while I waited, I looked around. At graceful Spanish-influenced architecture, at benches crafted out of recycled skate boards, at towering Bird of Paradise and lush greenery and citrus fruit ripe for the pickin' on front lawns.
I was also on the prowl for a California piece of pie. And who led me in the right direction? A woman waiting at a crosswalk in size zero yoga pants. Pie-n-Burger is a Pasadena institution since 1963. By my abacus, that's fifty plus years. I didn't even pause at the burgers, moving directly to the laminated pie menu. So what if it was 10 o' clock in the morning? I hesitated between Butterscotch Meringue, Rhubarb and Ollalieberry. (Who knew there was such a berry? A cross between a loganberry and a youngberry; in the blackberry family). The waitress refilled my green-rimmed/diner-white coffee cup and said, "Get the cherry." So I did. Still warm, it did not disappoint. Classic crust (like me, a little flaky) bursting with cherries, both sweet and tart. You gotta love a town that offers upwards of twenty pies on a single menu.
It was worth the wait at the crosswalk.