Chapter Five: Los Angeles

Yesterday I arrived in Los Angeles at about 1 pm after an arduous 2.5-day journey across over 1700 miles and 8 states. Everything about the journey was surreal, from leaving Bloomington for good to entering LA’s freeway system for the first time in my own car.

The first day was an endurance test, taking 19 hours to get from Bloomington to Denver through exciting states such as Kansas (I still think Ohio is worse). On the second day I departed Denver and drove through the Rocky Mountains, and was stunned by breathtaking vistas at every turn. I’ve always wanted to see the Rockies, and I got the full experience. It’s one I won’t forget, but one I hope I never have to experience from behind the wheel of a fully loaded vehicle that struggles with even the slightest of inclines again.

On day 3 I left my second overnight halt in Las Vegas and arrived in Los Angeles about 5 hours later. After good deal of sweating, my car was unpacked and I got to catch my breath and explore my new home.

The home is a nice little two-story residence right in the middle of Echo Park, which is pretty much right in the middle of the entire LA area. It’s an older house with hardwood floors that sits on a corner lot. My room is on the second floor, and it’s going to be a while before I get used to the thermostat’s current setting of 87 degrees. I’m going to have to get on my three roommates’ levels of heat tolerance quickly if I want to stop sweating constantly, but this being LA, that’s a journey that will likely be beneficial.

The home is pretty Spartan. My closet doesn’t have a door, my bathroom doesn’t have a mirror or storage of any kind, and the noise of the outside world enters as loudly as if the windows were open when they’re closed. But as far as LA goes rent is pretty reasonable, and my roommates seem chill.

Today (day 2) I walked to a taco place a block from my house. It was incredible, and I plan to go back many times in the future. The city has lots of great food to offer, and I can only imagine how many other great eateries I’ll discover.

Some furniture I ordered ships tomorrow, including a desk. I predict I’ll have to buy a lot more before my room is complete. If there’s one theme of my time in LA so far, it’s that it is absurdly expensive. But that’s not really a surprise.

In some ways I already miss Bloomington. The cheap rent, the smaller population, my friends, the quiet. But I’m confident the payoff here in LA will be more than worth it.