Say what you will and call it what you will. Regardless, this thing has been staring us in the face for a few weeks now here in the US. As of the date of this writing, the president is putting out hopeful messages that American workers can get back to business by Easter 2020 or better. Yet on the same day, the mayor Los Angeles is out there saying the city of LA would be in lock down for months to come.
OK everyone, I'm not going to get into an exhaustive analysis as to who's right and wrong and for what reasons they may have. What I will simply say is that while I firmly believe the steps we've taken as a society currently to combat this virus should be applauded and we need to continue to be diligent in our continued approach, we also need to get back to work - period. ESPECIALLY in Los Angeles by the way, where so many of my colleagues, customers, vendors and FRIENDS have been immediately affected in horrible ways. That includes myself. Right now, I'm OK, but I know more than a handful of folks who aren't right now. The whole town got shut down. That's not right. Keeping our town shut down for months isn't realistic.
With that said, I wanted to post the following tract that I think is beautiful and thoughtfully written. I posted it on my Facebook page earlier today too, but I wanted these words to be on a more permanent tableau. I don't know who the author is, but I'd like to meet them, because in my view they hit the nail right on the head. This was sent to me via text message a few days prior by a friend. He passed it on to me, and now I'm passing it on to you. This town will get back to work again - soon.
In theatre we have a tradition - whenever the theatre is empty we are always sure to leave one light on. Typically on a stand in the center of the stage, this light is known as the ghost light. There are many stories about its origin- but it’s meaning is unmistakable. It means though the theatre is empty, WE WILL RETURN. So here’s to us. The actors, the technicians, the directors, the carpenters, the designers, the dancers, the teachers, the students, the freelancers, those on tour, those at sea, the electricians, the stitchers, the makers, the stage managers.... THE ARTISTS. Many of us have taken big hits during this virus. Financial and emotional weights have come crashing down as our entire industry is reduced to nothing but a bunch of ghost lights. But those ghost lights are temporary place holders. They are a sign. We might be down now- but our passion, our creativity, our drive is still center stage. We’ll be unplugging those ghost lights in no time. Until then- here’s a ghost light- to let the world know we will be back.
Wow... I've got a little extra air in my chest and spring in my step tonight. Yes. I was just informed by my local 11 o'clock news (which I rarely watch, but everything happens for a reason) that the three most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles are right smack in the middle of the grand district of Van Nuys, CA.
It just so happens that I spend A LOT of time driving through this part of town, and indeed these intersections. Drum roll please, here they are:
1) Coming in at the top spot with 47 crashes last year (2019) is the beautiful intersection of Sherman Way and Sepulveda Blvd.
2) Second place goes to Burbank Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. where one of the primary entry points to the famed Interstate 405 (aka "snore-O-5") lives and breaths every single day at 8:00 am and 4:30 - 5:00 pm. 43 crashes there last year in 2019... And also in Van Nuys, CA.
3) And last but not least is the intersection of Sherman Way and Woodman Ave. Hmm... Are we seeing a pattern here? Yes we are! Because... This intersection is also in Van Nuys! Woo hoo! Number of crashes at the number three spot? That would be 40.
Doing the math brings us to a total of 130 crashes last year in 2019. Now this begs the question, why does Van Nuys hold this title in a city as large and sprawling as Los Angeles? I'm not quite sure. That part of town is generally pretty mellow, although if you go out looking for trouble, you'll probably find it.
But beyond that, one reason could be the exorbitant quantity of strip clubs and billboards advertising those strip clubs at virtually every single corner; above the guy with the paper sign begging for cash who's there in the same spot... literally every day.
And speaking of that guy, maybe it could be the spectacle of the sheer quantity of homeless encampments, also on every single corner. And not just in Van Nuys, by the way. I personally get a kick out of seeing virtual garbage dumps and homeless communities just down the block or around the corner of a $2 Million per home neighborhood in Hollywood and surrounding areas.
Or it could also be because half the population here in Van Nuys is pretty much stoned all the time. Seriously, you can't drive down the street with your window down for more than 45 seconds without catching the vapors from some a-hole's mobile hotbox while cruising down Oxnard Street... Oh yeah, where there also happens to be another strip club and two pot dispensaries... One of which used to be a bicycle shop. My how people's priorities change.
A lot to look at and watch out for. Too bad people aren't watching out for the stop lights instead.