Saturday, May 2, 2009

'About me' and LA

A few weeks ago John and I took a short vacation to Los Angeles. We went to see the World Baseball Classic Finals and took a few extra days to see what LA was all about. I was really excited to go to the WBC again and it looked like USA might make it to the finals this year. However, the idea of spending time in LA wasn’t too appealing. All I knew about the city was what I’d seen on TV. Desperate Housewives suburbia, glimpses of hotspots on TMZ, 90210? None of it had any character and, aside from hitting the beach, I couldn’t think of anything to do. So, I turned to Yelp for help. Armed with the recommendations and reviews of fellow Yelpers I dove into our LA vacation and ended up having a blast. In the end, I learned two things about myself on that short trip. The first was that I love riding a bicycle. The second? I want to move to LA.

On our last day there we spent the morning at Santa Monica Beach. John rented rollerblades and I got a beat up, dirty mountain bike for an hour of fun in the sun. We cruised down to Venice Beach in true tourist fashion, taking pictures of ourselves and getting in the way of locals. That hour was incredible, though, because remembering how fun it is to ride a bike inspired tremendous change in my life. As soon as we got home I put my bus pass in the shredder and set out to buy a bike. Without a second thought I became a cyclist. Saving money, living healthier, commuting faster, doing more for my community and the environment; it was all just right for me. I had no idea what I would need or how I was going to do it exactly, but I’d figure it out. I love riding a bicycle.

Winter here in Chicago is sometimes hard to bear. It is brutally cold and it seems to last for six months, give or take a month or so. The winter does have its fleeting moments of beauty. There are a few peaceful minutes when the city is painted white with freshly fallen snow. However, those minutes are usually followed by long weeks of dirty, gray slush and mud. Being able to escape the gray grip of winter and enjoy those few days of warm, green spring in LA was awesome, but it turned out to be a mixed blessing. It was just the break I needed to survive the rest of the winter in Chicago. The downside was that I was hooked. Who needs 60 inches of snow and temps below zero? I want to move to LA.

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