jillian’s thirty-seven mile los angeles adventure

So Friday, I did almost forty miles on my bike:

– from the beach to Beverly Hills in the morning
– from Beverly Hills to the Critical Mass meetup at 6pm
– Critical Mass itself, through K-Town, Rampart, the Central Core, the old Banking District, Little Tokyo and Chinatown
– a loop around the Cornfield
– back to Chinatown for dinner
– home through Downtown and straight down Wilshire

My favorite parts of the day? The part I was happiest for was when we got to Olvera Street. We were there, at the center of all things Los Angeles, in the oldest part of the city, flying around the circular plaza across the street from the “La Reina” church, a few hundred yards from the oldest building in all of Los Angeles (the Avila Adobe, for those who were wondering, built when Los Angeles was still an outpost on a muddy river, a town existing only to support the cattle farmers, a town made of hides and tallow)

Then again, I just love being in Old L.A. I love flying past the old buildings in downtown, examining them for detail, looking at Los Angeles as it was when it was still centralized. I love the city, love seeing its streets traced in my mind.

And, although it frightens me, I love, sometimes, feeling like I’ve fallen through the cracks of Reality, into a slightly alternate, magical world where nothing needs to make sense. Like when we were standing, a dozen Massers, with our bikes, at the edge of a bonfire in the Cornfield. A boombox was fuzzily playing a 1950s love song, in six-eight time, and a score of people were standing at the edge of the fire, some dancing, all watching the flames, surrounded by smoke and the smell of burning sage. It was all time in Los Angeles, pulled into one moment, a few minutes where it felt like all history was happening at once: the city skyscrapers visible, the harvested Indian corn, the ragtag band of nomads from the Mass.

My adopted cousin Anton took photos:

I like being able to perceive the world differently every so often. I think it keeps me sane.

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