Laurel Canyon

The other day I was waiting for a conference call to start.  I waited.  Then I waited some more.  Then I finally called my client only to discover that the three people I was to be conversing with (the call that THEY had requested, scheduled and confirmed fully twice) had all simultaneously forgotten about it.  Alas.  I was set to my own devices and the call schedule was reset.

A few days earlier I had a meeting with a guitarist/composer in Studio City so I decided to go back and check it out.  Studio City is in the Valley, an area when to referred to by LA residents is usually accompanied by a certain look of displeasure like one had recently detected an unpleasant smell.  Geographically it is just on the other side of the mountains from West Hollywood and Beverly Hills so if you climbed over the hill and fell off like the Cliffhanger guy from the Price is Right you would drop right on to it.

It looked like it had some intriguing shops, cafes and what appeared to be a good book store.  (Appearances are deceiving.  It turned out to be a Borders)

The real draw of Studio City (at least on a + 70 degree day when one is in possession of a convertible) is that it is accessed from Hollywood by way of Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Laurel Canyon Blvd is one of the routes that connect the LA Basin to the Valley.  It is a twisty windy road that feels like it is deep in the country even though it connects two halves of a vast metropolis.  The canyon was settled in 1910 but became a mecca for the hippie musician set from the 1960s.  Frank Zappa lived here, as did Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison and various members of Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds.  There is a vague lingering scent of patchouli to this day.  It is most excellent fun to traverse in a tiny car with the top down and I did so with enthusiasm.  Once on the other side I drank in the small town feel of Studio City.  I also wolfed down a delicious Boston Cream cupcake from a local bakery, but we need not dwell on such trivial matters. I elected to take Coldwater Canyon Blvd home, an equally serpentine bit of road that winds past Franklin Canyon and deposits the driver in Beverly Hills.

All in all it was a nice way to recuperate from a missed meeting.  I am trying to adhere to a policy of making lemonade when handed lemons.  So far the only real result is that I gently burp bumper sticker platitudes like the one I just emitted, but it is a policy worth working on.

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