Across the country (and back) in 36 hours

Some sort of photo essay about E3 itself is coming soon. Have to work out the presentation details.

Flew out of Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening around 6PM. Connected in Las Vegas (read about that here. Landed in LA around 10:30PM local time.

Los Angeles scares me. It’s not the big city itself, or the guys at Diana’s who decided our conversation about video games merited harassment (the food was great, though), or the flatness of most of the topography (though as someone who has lived in the Appalachian region for my entire life, I do tend to prefer hills and trees, as they provide cover from predators).

Bring the water to LA/bring LA to the water, indeed.

Well, maybe that is a part of it. It doesn’t feel like a place where people should be living (at least not in that quantity). Jesuit missions built a day’s walk apart, housing travelers? Sure. At that size, everything seems scrappy and resourceful. On this scale, though, that many people standing defiant in the face of nature feels desperate and requires ruthlessness (thank you, Ray Chandler, for that sentiment, if not those words). Bring the water to LA/bring LA to the water, indeed.

Speaking of which, when my host indicated the direction of Chinatown, I acknowledged what he had said. About ten seconds later, my inner monologue: “Wait. Chinatown. The ‘Jake-Gitties-she’s-my-sister-she’s-my-daughter-forget-it-jake-bad-things-happen in’ Chinatown.” This kind of association was pervasive throughout my entire trip:

Garden Grove: Sublime/Mountain Goats
Alameda: Elliot Smith
Santa Monica: Everclear
Redondo Beach: Patty Smith
Watts: Stax/riots
Straight Outta: Compton
Beverly Hills: 90210

I attended the convention on Wednesday. For lunch, my host suggested we walk to Little Tokyo, which he insisted was only a fifteen minute walk. Having no sense of city districts, I agreed. His car-addled brain had slightly underestimated the distance.

An hour and fifteen minutes later, I had the oyako donburi at Restaurant Aoi. We took a cab back to the convention center in the rain.

The rain. The skies were overcast and during the afternoon, it stormed. In Los Angeles. I got back to Pittsburgh at 6AM Thursday (after a red-eye that connected in San Francisco), it was 65 degrees and sunny. This was all very confusing to me.