"Obama's An Idiot" is where my political bitches now live. Go ye thereto and read.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life In The 'Hood

So, Jean wanted a story or two from our vacation last week. Well, here goes...

First, let me say this. GPS units (Guessing Positioning System) can go to hell. After my last experience with one, I'll take a good map over one any day. Notice that I said 'good' map. The piece of shit we had had very poor detail, so we ended up driving to areas of California we weren't really interested in visiting. Like, a half hour north of where we wanted to turn for instance, through neighborhoods instead of toward the beach, onto Patterson marine base instead of around it. That folded up piece of shit went into the garbage can.

But, we persevered, and on day 3 of vacation, we get to Anaheim and check into the room. The plan was to meet up with my brother, his wife, and their son and go to Philippes for dinner, to get what is supposed to be a world renowned french dip. Evidently, Phillipe's is the inventors of the french dip sandwich.

Well, Phillipe's is in downtown L.A., and we are in Anaheim, roughly 25 miles or so away. Which, out in the sticks is no big deal. In L.A. freeways during rush hour traffic, it's a whole 'nuther scenario. So with the GPS programmed, and us loaded up in cars, off we go.

About halfway there, the dumbass GPS says we need to take an exit. I believe it was the 101 freeway which then led to "Caesar Chavez" avenue. Okay, this ain't right.
Now I ain't trying to be racist here, but when you see all the billboards and signs in spanish, you know you're in a predominantly mexican 'hood. These folks didn't really like us being there either. So we turn around with a handful of those same folks giving us the evil eye. Back down Caesar Chavez avenue to the 101 and back on 5 to head farther north.

But no. The GPS recalculates and says we need to take the next exit, which is something like the 110, and then the next exit, which is ... uh, "Caesar Chavez" avenue. Okay, now we're well into East L.A. Bars on windows, a line of people outside the day's pay 'musician for hire' place, and once again, spanish signs and billboards. Once again, the residents were all giving us the evil eye.
Fuck that, back on the 110, back to 5, and head north. GPS - recalculate, do your thing now, don't lead us astray here.

North on I-5, real close to our destination now. I can almost taste that hot, fresh, delicious french dip sandwich. Some nice hot fries, an ice cold coke, ...
The GPS says it's time to take the next exit. I don't remember which this is, but we go ahead and take it, and - wait for it - there it is! "Caesar Fucking Chavez" avenue! And the occupants of the neighborhood are looking at us like we're sitting atop a UFO and have antennae growing out our heads.

Let's take a minute to ruminate here. We're in East L.A. Not a good place to be in during the daylight hours. A bunch of white people driving a sedan and an SUV, with out of state license plates, in a veeeery shitty neighborhood, with some not-so-nice looking people staring at us from the porches of run-down houses with bars on the windows and big cars in the driveways, while evening fades into night.
My first thought was "With the advent of all this modern GPS technology, I wonder how many times these people see idiots like us driving through their neigborhood?"

About then, Mrs. Curmudgeon says "Everyone make sure their window is up!"
I reply, "Windows won't stop a bullet! "Let's get the fuck outta here! Go back to Anaheim, take in some Arby's or some shit. Fuck that french dip."

Turn around. Back up to the freeway, merge north on I-5 yet a-fucking-gain. GPS - recalculate. Drive a bit more and ... yup. Take the next exit. Turn left on "Caesar gawd damn Chavez" avenue. But, the marvel of technology tells us we are within 900 feet of our destination. Sweet.
Drive a little. Okay, now we're 1100 feet from our destination. U-turn. Now, 600 feet. Okay, where the hell is it? Stop at a gas station to ask (Yes, some guys do stop and ask directions occasionally). Lo, and behold, we can see Phillipe's from the driveway of the gas station.
A couple times around the block to get to the place using the fucked up one-way streets, and there we are! Phillipe's! At last!

Total time departure to arrival: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

We have our sandwiches - which I will point out - were okay, but not that great. Not worth the trip. Especially, considering the reputation.

So without listening to the GPS this time, we head back to our hotel. We arrive at the motel in about 30 minutes. Breathe a sigh of relief, and settle in for the evening.



Jean said...

Holy Shit!
May I suggest AAA Trip Tiks?
Or, yeah...a good detailed map.

Anonymous said...

Some years back, an SUV load of tourists got off the freeway in L.A., in the same area you were cruising in. A gang opened up on them with SKS and AK47 rifles, wounded the 12 year old son and killed the 11 year old daughter. No charges were ever brought. You were really at risk.
I use GPS. I find the best way to use it is to tell the thing to make maximum use of freeways. NEVER tell it "shortest route" or you wind up driving 23 miles on a one lane dirt road, as I did this past summer taking my wife to a school in Habersham county.
The best bet is to use GPS in conjunction with, rather than in place of, a good map.
Glad you made it out alive. It could have been one of those deals where someone just quits posting, and you never know what happened to them.

curmudgeon said...

Or stay put and order room service.

I'll probably end up getting a GPS one of these days. We don't usually do much driving in that fucked up state, but I do take off into the mountains quite a bit on the ATV's. It could come in handy.