not from l.a.

by la rebelde

Last week, mi manito, mi prima and my 8-year-old nephew paid me a visit in Los Angeles. The last morning of their stay–after a 13-hour day at Disneyland, a trip to a museum and a full afternoon at the beach–we grown-ups sat at the table in my apartment with our coffee and pan dulce, discussing the day’s plans while my nephew watched Powerpuff Girls, the movie, and swung his Captain Jack Sparrow sword around while wearing his Captain Mouse Sparrow ears (he came up with that one). We wanted the day to be a little more low-key, especially since they planned to drive back to Nuevo México that night.

Manito wanted to see SpiderMan Tres in an IMAX theater, because they don’t have one of those in Burque. So we did our online research. We could either drive 33 miles to Ontario or 18 miles to Universal City. Universal City is closer and we planned to have dinner and listen to mariachis later that night in East Los. So it seemed like a good plan.

Here’s where I’m sorely reminded that I’m NOT from LA. And I haven’t lived here long enough to know the basic things that SoCal folks seem to know.

I google-mapped it. And we headed out to the theater, expecting it to be attached to…oh, a mall maybe. When we arrived, we were told we had to park at the bottom of the hill and take a shuttle to the theater. Say whaaat? Manito asked the brown folks at the booth if there was a brown folk discount, because $10 parking is ridiculous when you’ve already shelled out $16/adult ticket for the freakin movie. They gave us a voucher thingy. (Not sure if it was the brown folk hookup, but I appreciated getting my $10 back.) We got on the shuttle, still not knowing what to expect. When we got to the top of the hill, it was madness! Madness, I tell you!

People crammed in everywhere. Young lovey-dovey couples with hands in each other’s back pockets stiltedly strolling along. Kids sitting in water fountains that shot smooth streams of water from the ground. Theme restaurants and teeny-bopper shops. Cartoon characters and movie posters screaming at us. I was definitely not happy about experiencing Disneyland part 2…unexpectedly. We had just enough time to get to the theater. Definitely not low-key.

At least the scenes of Spidey swooping between the buildings of Gotham City were worth seeing in IMAX. And my nephew loved it. Throughout the entire movie, he leaned over to explain what was going on in my ear. Just in case I missed something. The kid has a way of making the situation seem so much better!

4 Comments to “not from l.a.”

  1. isn’t universal city ridiculous? i went there a few years ago and had a geeky moment where all i could think about was baudrillard and simulacra. the thing about cities that sprawl is that you find these constructed places that simulate density (like NY or Chicago or SF) where people actually do stroll around because they’re not constantly in their cars! I was blown away recently by a new shopping mall here in Austin called the Domain, where the shops are arranged along a simulated city street, and the store buildings have apartment units on the second and third floors. It’s a trip, I tell ya.

  2. so ridiculous! i had no idea there’s one of those street mall things in austin. i’ll definitely have to check it out next time i visit! unfortunately, that probably won’t be until n.a.c.c.s.

  3. I agree that Universal City is ridiculous. I have only been once, and only for a few minutes, and that was enough. Then again, I spent a lot of time in Ontario when I was in college, which isn’t much better. And it may only be 33 miles, but try getting there in less than an hour!

  4. oh yea. believe me, i’ve tried to get to ontario in less than an hour. i don’t think i’ve succeeded yet. except maybe that time i went to the airport at like 4 in the morning! :)

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