Monthly Archives: September 2012

Jasmine outside my back door…

About a month ago, I got a new job. So I packed up my things and moved to Venice, CA.

It seems a simple and obvious thing, but walking up in a sunny bungalow surrounded by flowers is destined to put one in a better mood. Provided you don’t have allergies (I don’t).

For San Franciscans, it’s a matter of pride to say how superior their hometown is to LA. Usually, a complaint about traffic is in there somewhere. However, Los Angelenos don’t seem particularly compelled to return the attitude, perhaps because they are too busy enjoying the weather.

Have I mentioned the weather? Because its ridiculous how nice it is. Even on the hottest of days, there’s a nice breeze, and it stays balmy and pleasant well into the evening. In SF, going out without packing a sweater is considered high risk behavior.

In order to deal with the weather, I’ve had to dig out my minimal collection of summer clothing. Since I’ve spent the last fifteen summers in San Francisco, I look like a time traveller from the late 90s, sporting a brand new sundress back from when “Friends” was still on the air.

A bit about Venice. Yes, there are canals. And yes, it is charming, and yes, living along them means you have to be wealthy or inherited wealth…just like its namesake in Italy!

But while the architecture of Venice, Italy remains resolutely old world Italian, Venice, California is a mish-mash of styles. You can tell the owners’ idea of paradise, because they built a house that reflects it. Quirky, attractively disintegrating bungalows nestle beside multi million dollar concrete monoliths. I’ll walk by a house and think “Ah, that person really enjoyed their trip to Bali” or “A fan of ‘Dwell’ magazine I see!” There’s even one place that I am positive was built by a fan of “Lord of the Rings.” However, it’s for sale, so I’m guessing that particular mania is not as profitable as the others.

And everywhere, extravagant gardens! Everything is blooming, spilling over the tops of fences. Plants that are carefully nurtured and babied indoors elsewhere, are simply slapped into the ground here, where they run riot. Tree roots buckle up the sidewalks, not by inches but by feet, making them less of a path and more of an obstacle course designed by Dr. Seuss.

So is there anything I don’t like about it so far?

Not really.


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