L.A. diary


January 2002



[the past]





January in Los Angeles

January in Los Angeles is the only time and place on Earth one can observe two people, one dressed in a t-shirt, the other in a thick jacket and a woolen scarf, standing next to each other. The one may be convinced that he lives in eternal summer, while the other checked his calendar which convinced him that it must be winter. Both seem to be comfortable with their decision.

Occasionally it rains in January, which sets the city in a state of emergency. Car crashes triple in frequency. The local television news crews swarm out to report first hand how "brave" Angelinos cope with this weather. A frequent response of the asked person is that he just moved here from "back East" and that he actually enjoyes the rain. After hearing that the next days will be 70 degrees and sunny again, the news anchors in the studio agree that it is so much nicer to be here than in the terrible cold winter "back East". Sometimes it seems that everybody just moved here.

One strange experience for someone who is used to short cold winter days and long summer days, is that the sun sets around five in the afternoon, although it is a comfortably warm day.

There are seasons: winter is 60-70 degrees (below 20 C) and occasionally rainy, while summer is 70-80 degrees (above 20 C) and always sunny. This difference matters, though. I met my neighbor Randy today on our new balcony. The apartment building is in constant reconstruction, but now this resulted surprisingly in an actual improvement. We talked about how great this addition to the building is - one can see over the lower structure in front all the way to the ocean. We agreed that we should have a party there sometime. He weighed in that this would be great in summer when it would be warmer. He was comfortably in his little chair, holding a guitar and just wearing a t-shirt.