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the skunks of los feliz
3.08.2004
 
Winters in L.A. are stealthy, mostly mild affairs, the few noteworthy events being a "rain event" or a mudslide that sends a Malibu manse or two on a long ride down a short cliff. You may not even notice that it is the dead of winter when you're tooling around the hills in shorts and a tee-shirt while the old folks back east are shivering in multiple layers of LL Bean and and fretting about the cost of heating oil. Heating oil? Whassat?
And then a day like Sunday rolls around, when the invisible veil of winter is lifted and Southern California shows you what it's all about. Clear blue skies, temps on the comfortable end of the 80's, plenty of bared skin, and traffic to beat the fucking band. Cars with the tops down, windows down, arms dangling out in the slipstream. An endless current of music, dopplered into an indiscernible, jangly hum.
Through some weird atmospheric quirk, the smog never fully materializes, so from a vantage place in the hills you can watch the jets glide over the basin and to LAX, one after another, at perfect intervals. There's a blimp out there, and helicopters, and biplanes pulling banners, because let's face it, we put ads everywhere in L.A.
It's then that you realize you've been in winter's gentle grip all along. Yeah, L.A. is a great place to be in the winter, but it's the best place to be in the spring. Pretty soon I'll be in one of Dodger Stadium's faded orange seats, stuffing a Dodger dog down my throat and watching Adrian Beltre ground into a double play. That's spring.
As for summer, let's not even think about August. Plenty of time for that hellish, smoggy mess when it arrives.
 
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