My sister and I looked down toward the ground and spoke in one loud voice.
“Hi, Mr. B!” we said.
Mr. B, a blind Australian cattle dog, also known as a Blue Rescue, turned his fabulous bluish-gray head in our direction and began barking.
“Thank you!” his owner said.
It was our pleasure. We met Mr. B and the lovely woman who had adopted him on Friday during our walk around Griffith Park in Los Angeles and she told us calling out to him was a very helpful part of his training.
We were flying back to Brooklyn on the following morning and meeting Mr. B—who lost his sight at a very young age--did a lot to rescue us from our end-of-vacation blues.
This whole trip was a rescue mission for me as I got to spend quality time in a great place with people I love.
We stayed with my Uncle Joe and Aunt Sara, as we’ve done so often in the past, seeing some great sights, eating (too much) great food, and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation.
All vacations should work out this well.
We left town on July 1 and enjoyed a wonderful July Fourth barbecue at Joe’s house.
In addition to the great food and excellent company, the day featured a rather strange incident where Joe had a friend post a notice on Craigslist offering the long-unused piano in his living room to anyone who wanted it—and two guys actually came to haul it off in less than two hours.
In fact one of the moving guys, who’s also a piano instructor who had studied in England, tickled the ivories for us before he and his partner dismantled the instrument and loaded it into a van with seven other pianos.
I don’t know about the other guests, but this was certainly a first for me.
Palm Trees Grow and Rents are Low…
My sister and I hit Venice Beach, which is about as strange and wacky as people say it is and then we got a private tour from one of Joe and Sara’s friends of the incredible Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project.
We also visited the Huntington Gardens, one of my favorite LA attractions and I made a return trip to the California Science Center is see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. I had seen both of these places before and I’ll gladly see them again.
At my sister’s suggestion, we used more mass transit for some of the sightseeing this time, which gave our hosts a much-needed rest and brought us closer to LA’s everyday people.
I was amazed how friendly people were, especially the bus driver who took us down to the Science Center and this very kind gentleman who was working at the information booth at Union Station—which is a beautiful thing to see as well.
This man was actually leaving the building to go home when my sister called out to him. And instead of saying “my shift’s over” and storming out, he very nicely gave us the information we needed.
It hurts to say this, but that kind of courtesy can be hard to come by in New York. (And here comes the hate mail…)
We spent our last full day at the LA Zoo, one of those attractions that I had once dismissed as “too touristy”—and, of course, I loved it.
As always when I travel to LA, I agonize about whether I should move there or not. And as always, I do little else but agonize, replacing action and logic with excessive handwringing.
This time out, however, I am a little less fearful about making the move.
Yes, I loathe the hassle of driving and owning a car, and yes, the massive Mad Max freeways scare the screaming bejeezus out of me, but irrational fear has ruled my life for far too long.
Now moving to LA feels more like a change of address than a change of religion.
Mr. B’s owner told us that despite his blindness he gets around the house just fine. He’s found a way to adjust to his situation, which is something we should all keep in mind.
Look, I may never move to LA, but I am going to stop torturing myself about it because all self-abuse does is make life tougher—wherever the hell I’m may be living.
And you never know. Perhaps some day I’ll be greeting Mr. B on a regular basis.