"In the twenty plus years that I've lived here," my friend Ann Marie gesticulated, arms wildly dramatic, "You are the one and only person I know to arrive in LA without renting a car." Really? I found that hard to believe. I had done my homework, checked out the Metro, the stations, the TAP card information. I consulted my light rail expert in Seattle who assured me that Pasadena boasted a light rail line and that LA was growing subway passengers daily. I was determined to use Public Transportation because, well, that's what New Yorkers do. We're movers and we have places to go. Running for buses, careening down stairs onto subways is in our blood. Unashamedly hailing taxis right out from under the noses of Times Square tourists posing for pictures with anemic Elmos and disfigured Buzz Lightyears comes naturally. Waiting around is not our strong suit, and quite frankly, you can see it in our faces. It's particularly obvious during frigid temperatures, Polarvortex winds and snow lashing at our upturned collars.
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.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm