Western musings

Needless to say, Las Vegas left me completely dispirited. The Strip is effectively completely unregulated; all the infrastructure (including the new ped bridges and monorail and bollards lining the sidewalks) results from collusion between the casino bosses, installed as a customer convenience. The searing heat, labyrinthe [and mind-numbingly identical, varying only in which rococo theme was pasted on] buildings, and herds of Middle Americans waddling about — all added up into a frustration not even the only-legal-here carousing (which wasn’t even that cheap!) could assuage.

Los Angeles didn’t help much, although I did get a chance to glimpse some prettier residential streets this time. The juxtapositions still startle, the weather (smog aside) still pleases, the people are still lovely. The sense that a city is waiting to emerge hangs around some of the 1920s parts of town, but it’s overwhelmed by comically segregated suburban desolation that continues to march over the high passes into ever more remote, sometimes inhospitable valleys (Victorville, anyone?).

Bike stuff seen: a protected turn lane & bike lane on State in Santa Barbara, a bike lane on the 101 freeway near Montecito, and advanced stop lines on Santa Monica in West Hollywood.