Two dumb thoughts on Los Angeles…

March 27th, 2009

A couple random, uninformed thoughts from someone who has only been here three months:

– Los Angeles is stuck in the year 1986. Seriously. Everyone still skateboards, everyone wears speedos at the pool, all of the architecture and Day-Glo looks feels like, well, the 1980s. I’ve got a South Korean friend in school and I asked him if visiting Koreatown felt like going home. He said “Koreatown is bullshit. That is not Korea. That is Korea in the 1980s.” I told him that’s how I generally felt about Los Angeles.

– For some reason, every major road gets an article. It’s not “I-10,” it’s not “10,” it’s “THE 10.” (Likewise for 405, 5, 101 and 110). I can’t think of another city in America where the roads are referred to as such. Back home no one calls “I-95” “THE 95.” (Or 495, 355, 395, 695, etc.) We call it “95”– and guess what? It’s a more important road than any of the freeways in Los Angeles. Sure, there’s “THE Jersey Turnpike,” but at least “The” is followed by a proper noun and not a number. So what’s up with Los Angeles? I think I figured it out. In Japan they call all mountains “san.” It’s not “Mount Fuji,” it’s “Fuji-san.” Meaning “Mr. Fuji.” In Japan they treat their mountains with reverence and respect. Here, it’s the freeways.

3 comments to “Two dumb thoughts on Los Angeles…”

  1. I like this.

  2. Sorry Josh, but “Fuji-san” means “Mount Fuji,” not “Mr. Fuji.”
    Homonyms run rampant through the Japanese language, which is partly what makes it so difficult to learn.

  3. Damn. I will never trust anything I learn from Paul about Asia ever again. Oh well…