Tuesday, April 30, 2013
My Ode to THE 405
It occurred to me last night (while driving home from my friend Meredith's after eating copious amounts of vegan Thai food) that I have a favorite freeway. This seems like a ridiculous notion, but then...I do live in Los Angeles; a city where freeways get so much respect that everyone puts a THE in front of the number. How do you get to Northern California? THE 5 North. How do you get to Vegas? THE 10 to THE 15. Duh.
I grew up near DC and highways were just "270" or "495". These highways are, apparently, not worthy of the "THE" designation. Honestly, when I go home now...most of the highways seem sort of like a joke. The main road from Frederick (my hometown) to DC is 2 lanes for part of the way. TWO lanes? Seriously?? That's crazy to me. Freeways here (what is the difference between a highway and a freeway?? I feel like NO ONE in Maryland refers to anything as a Freeway) are like 8 lanes...and that's still not enough. The best part about drivers in LA is that they use ALL 8 lanes to block traffic by going 40mph rather than 65. The only way to maintain a constant speed is to dangerously swerve in and out of ALL 8 lanes. And if you don't want to get looked at like an alien...then do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT refer to the carpool lane as the "HOV". No one knows what that means. (I mean, but seriously...what alien on the east coast thought up "High Occupancy Vehicle??") The carpool lane in LA is 24hrs a day 7 days a week...you may anot exit the lane at your choosing...you must wait until a break in the double yellow line. You can and will get trapped in the carpool lane. You, also, cannot ride in it by yourself just because it is not rush hour...because in LA..it is ALWAYS rush hour. The last time I landed at like 11pm and saw long trails of brake lights...I knew I was home.
So, last night on my drive back to Long Beach from MDR (like, oh my God...Marinahhhh del Rheayyy)...I got to thinking...I really just love THE 405. It's my most favorite freeway. It's glorious in its size. The lanes are luxurious. The road is so bumpy that you almost always think there is something terribly wrong with your car. Sometimes, you can see downtown LA if the smog clears enough and planes fly right over you to land at LAX.
It's like a little piece of heaven on Earth :P