Kiss your whites goodbye -- Labor Day is nearly upon us. To some of you, that means the end of summer; to others, the beginning of Indian summer. Either way, it's time to reflect on the calendar months traditionally associated with sunshine. To that end, most of you will spend the weekend drowning in beer and barbecue sauce, but for a waistline-friendly alternative that will leave you not so sad about the passage of time, here are 10 annoying things about summer in L.A...
10. With the coastal climate pretty much the same, but now responding to the nickname "summer," people dare to walk. A little bit. Sometimes. It's exciting to finally witness a "New York moment" where two long-lost acquaintances run into each other and have a ten-minute conversation. How you can tell this "New York moment" is in L.A.? Not used to in-person run-ins and without the help of caller ID, they never call each other by name, buddypal.
9. June comes around, it's light later, a friend's in town, and weeknight drinks are on. Where to go? Toward the beach, of course. Which way is the beach? Or the bar? I'm not drunk yet, I just can't see anything with all this fog.
8. Finally! A warm summer day. You're planning a picnic...that turns into a scavenger hunt. It's inevitable if you're hankering for that simple sandwich of your youth. Good luck finding a between-bread meal that doesn't have avocado, aioli, cibatta, chutney, arugula, wrap, or remoulade. And if you were thinking of washing it down with chocolate milk or apple juice, you'll be drowning your sorrows in a kefir-pomegranate-coconut infusion that's so against oxidants, the emancipated radicals have organized a million molecule march.
7. It's time for pool parties! Where 98 percent of the time, 99 percent of the people don't get in the pool. Legend has it that a frat boy dies every time someone wins a wet t-shirt contest simply by the contents of her martini glass sloshing onto her shirt. RIP SAE: At least there's a silver lining to all this skinny-but-not-dipping.
6. L.A. already has morning rush hour, evening rush-four-hours, lunch traffic, leaving early on Friday traffic, weekend going-out-and-going-East traffic, road construction detour traffic, and fender-bender-lookie-loo traffic. But with summer comes Bowl traffic, Dodger stadium traffic, and thanks to the ranks of unemployed, self-employed, flexible-hour employed and work-from-wherever creative types, we also get seven-day-a-week beach and back-from-the-beach traffic. Want to multi-task? Open up that sun-roof and get a tan on your way to wherever you're going. Or not going, as the case may be.
5. The sun comes out for real and L.A. summer has arrived... along with the tourists. Just when you think you've outsmarted the ranks, leaving for your long weekend early on a weekday morning, you arrive at LAX only to find that it's swamped. How can this many people be leaving when so many are staying?!
4. To address traffic congestion and encourage biking, L.A. has bike valet! But it is L.A., so the line for bike valet isn't moving. Used to lines for normal valet, you comfort yourself with the same happy thought you do in your car: "I may have to wait, but at least I'll arrive at my destination without having to physically exert mys--oh dammit!" Meanwhile, the growing line of bikes is causing a pedestrian traffic jam. Congrats, L.A. You've invented "foot rage."
3. All ready for a casual function in Hollywood, you've swapped your flip-flops for platform wooden sandals just to be respectful. Only the bouncer informs you that since they serve beverages in breakable glass, open-toed shoes are prohibited for liability reasons. Unless you have a high enough heel. Then they're not.
2. Break out the Benjamins. Gas prices are higher by the coast. So you can drain your tank circling for a free spot, pay for a meter or a lot, or fork over cash for valet so someone else can drain your tank circling for a spot.
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1. You've finally ditched your car, your bike and your foot rage, and you're at the beach for an open-air concert. Awesome. Romantic. Even the seagulls are respecting your right to your food. Then a gaggle of bleached blondes sits in front of you and the squawking and picture-taking begins. And then -- this is a true story -- one says, "Ohmigod! I love that we're at the Hollywood Bowl!" No. You're really not. I vote for a rule: you can't store more on Facebook than you store in your own brain.
So as you watch visitors pour into L.A. for the long weekend, just remember: they come for the sunshine and star-sightings and think they're getting an authentic L.A. experience, but like a good cocktail, it's missing the slight tinge of bitterness. You've got to live here for that.
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