Garcetti Inauguration Day

From this

little campaigners

to this

We did it!

The campaign trail is over.  Eric Garcetti was sworn in as the 42nd Mayor of LA yesterday. Mark and I were there.  We took the red line downtown.   I was sure I would be needed to MC, sing a song, hold a bible, but if you have Jimmy Kimmel, Moby and your wife on hand I guess not. Alas, my work was done.  As exciting as it is to see your guy win, there is a little bittersweet element, “Don’t you guys need me anymore?”

My sister Carole and my nephew Charlie who also worked on the campaign were there along with my brother in law Kevin and a good friend of Charlie’s who helped him make calls for Eric.  It was on the steps of city hall.  All were invited, but only a few  ( 1,000?) got a paper invitation with a seat.  We were in that group and we were pleased.  There was the blue group and the purple group. Purple group over here!

before it started...

The purple group were a tad closer flanking the stage.  I was on Eric’s stage right.  His wife Amy Wakeland looked great in a red/orange dress and Eric had a sharp hair cut himself. The new city councilman were sworn in and when that was done they did a big group hug.   Paul Koretz got caught in the middle and looked a little uncomfortable.  Sure it was the heat.

Moby singing, Eric down front with wife in orange red dress

Then the big moment.  Eric had a kid give him the oath. Yeah, cute, but how about a mom blogger?  Heh?  I can say “repeat after me”.

I kept scanning the heads of the people on the “floor”.  That’s where the Garcetti family was, politicians, consulates.  I saw Jan Perry, Nate Holden, Gray Davis and there front row was the other mayoral candidate Wendy Gruel, and now former city controller.  She looked very nice in a green dress sitting next to her husband and some council members. I was glad to see her there.  Since I love peaceful democratic processes and good sports.  Man it was hot…

hiding from the sun

Though the record June heat in LA left us all sweaty I tried not to drink to much of the water as I have a phobia of porta potties.  My phobia is that they are GROSS. The “Garcetti Fans” they had passed out came in handy to block the unrelenting sun. I was glad when Eric mentioned working.. wait, when Mayor Garcetti mentioned working with Neighborhood Councils.  I’m on one and I would like to stay active in helping our community, our city.  “Over, here, over here, I can help.”

Before we left Rex told me, “Mommy, you have a fancy face, but not a fancy dress.”  But, it’s a day event Rex and I need a dress that will breathe.

“Not fancy” he repeated.  He asked why he couldn’t come and play with Maya, like he had the other times I worked for Eric.  “We will try to see her this summer.  They have a lot going on right now.”

Carole and Fancy Face

Eric quite rightly bagged the idea of a fancy party, though Rex might not have approved and threw a fair like gathering at the new park that adjoins city hall.  There were bands, food trucks, porta potties.  I don’t do food trucks.  There is always a line and I don’t love the food, for the most part.  I talked to a few people I knew from the campaign and then we walked a half mile to a restaurant.  Now that the sun was down it was a lovely night.

Cold wine, good food and recapping sharing a neat experience with my nephew.  Good luck Mayor! We are still Garcetti fans.


A Grievous Loss

I don’t know if this is news outside of Los Angeles, but it’s a story that has a lot of meaning in our home.

A very nice 17 year old girl was killed Friday. She went to the same school members of my family go to, so it seems a little closer to us, even though I didn’t know Lily Burk. But one thing I have learned of late is when you read about something bad in the paper that something bad happened to someone, it really has. I know that seems obvious, but when I read bad things, sad, hard things I think I try to think of ways in which they don’t affect me. To try to keep me safe. Like, “Well, I wouldn’t have gone hang gliding in a rainstorm.”  Or, “Well maybe they got some insurance money for their house in the hurricane zone.”

Being a victim of the Madoff thing taught me that. And I certainly can’t detach from this story. She was only a few miles from where we live, it was broad daylight when some piece of shit abducted her to try to get some money.  Her body was found the next day.

She is an only child and the pain her parents are in is unimaginable. My sister said today she couldn’t sleep last night for thinking of their pain. Mark and I did sleep, but when we would wake they were the first the thing we thought of. It’s too scary, too sad.

How would one ever get past this? Really, why would one? A death is hard in of itself, but their child was murdered. A National Merit Scholar, she had the lead in the school play, she was somebody. There are no words, and I can’t help but personalize it. I can’t but think, “How do you keep your children safe?”  She was driving errands in what is reported to be the the third safest city in America (NYC and San Jose are ahead). She wasn’t a solider who died saving others. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

All that love and care her parents lavished on her. The joy she brought them… ah, I ‘m sorry I’m not funny today. Another day… but my heart is heavy for this family and terrified for my own.

Driving Averse

I have to give fellow parent Mike (Amy’s dad) credit for this title. One day he said he was “driving averse,” and I thought, “That’s what I am.” It sounds so much better, “I hate to drive.”  ‘Cause it’s not hate. And in my life I have been happy to drive. Gosh, I use to drive between San Francisco and LA (almost 400 miles) every other week at one time in my life and thought nothing of it. (Sidebar: I used to get books on tape, mostly novels. One time I decided to get something to educate me, and it was something like “Make Your Life Financially Healthy” or “How the Stock Market Works,” something like that. It was so dull I almost drove off the road.  And then lost money in the stock market. Go figure!)

Happy to have a car, just don’t want to be in it a lot…

Luxury Pediatrician

As a native of LA, I spent 12 years in Northern California enduring the dumbest, most narrow-minded insults from well-to-do liberals who parroted what others had said before. They would constantly say that LA was superficial, that we were jacked up with breast implants, and never read a book. As if LA was the land of Entertainment Weekly on every avenue. People in San Francisco, and points a tad north and east and south of there, never seemed to grasp that THEY WERE THE INSULAR RICH PEOPLE. SF is one the whitest places I have ever been. It’s politically homogeneous. A moderate would be considered a fascist there. There was only one Jewish deli in town, and truth be told, it wasn’t that good.

When my friend Bonnie was about to move down here from Marin County, I said, “Don’t believe any of the bull sh– Nor Cal people tell you about what’s bad about living in LA.” I told her, “People are friendlier here.” (It took me two years to make a friend in SF). “You can go hang out with ‘hey look me over’ people if you want, but there are plenty of all other types as well.”

What is harder here, is you are in an urban, mixed population. Traffic, density, lots of public schools you would rather not send your kid to. That unlike Marin, Palo Alto, or most of SF ( except for three blocks that haven’t been mowed down by redevelopment), you can be wealthy and be right next to working class people of all colors. You will go to a doctor who treats all classes and so forth.

Bonnie moved here, and she said she was like, “Oh, yeah, this is a city.” As you drive across town, you will see all types. She also grew to really like LA and is now bummed her work has taken her back up north. And here is the punch line. Check out the picture.

That is her daughter’s new pediatrican in Palo Alto. A huge playground, a library. I have never seen anything like it in LA. It’s perfect that it’s in Palo Alto. A rich, liberal enclave full of people yammering on about how insulated and superficial LA is. Right, the “real” people live in Palo Alto, where life just keeps coming at you.