Something that always makes me giggle about Los Angeles, are the endless streams of people not at work in the middle of the day. (Lawyers, agents and studio execs are exempt from this however, since all they do is work, and go to many lunches. You only see them on weekends at yoga.) This is mainly attributed to the legions who are actors, writers, directors, producers, and the unemployed production professionals between shows who may be on the streets, but are completely stressed about where/when/how the next job is going to materialize. Then there are those who are out an about who are working, but are in the employ of someone with a perception that they have less time than the rest of us, but in reality just have more money and can therefore hire out for minding, errands and dogwalking. What is really funny though is that all of these people never really seems like they are trying to find a job or even working, rather they all seem to be working out at Runyon Canyon. I feel that I have credibility on this topic as I have been one of the LA unemployeds tromping up down Runyon with wannabe starlets, pasty-looking writers, and all manner of canines. And most every time I am in town, I head over for a dose of Runyon-life.
It was about 400 degrees by 9AM, but the parking opens up right then, so I was glad I waited. Not only do I get a kick out of the street-theatre of Runyon, but there is a really excellent steep face that I needed for some serious uphills. I hit the trail with a good steady march, and got to the bottom of the climb in only about five minutes. I realized just how much I was sweating and that it was time to shed a layer, something I often don’t get to do at home, but was going to fit right in being half naked in the land of obsessively perfect <ahem, too skinny> bodies. Even just in a sports bra and shorts I was more covered than some of the ladies. But what the hell, it was hot.
At the top of the climb, I took a quick break, went back down the same way, and then back up as fast as I could. This is when the music choice became critical and the only thing that would work was something synthesizery. Those types of songs make me feel like a robot machine that will plow down anything it its path as opposed to a flesh and blood asthma sufferer, wheezing her way up the hill. I got some Daft Punk to shove my ass to the top and catch my breath, then deadmau5 started thumping away for a super-fast take off down the hill. I love a downhill run. I jammed past all sorts of trudging unemployeds, hipsters dressed inappropriately for the weather and venue, and the young starlets wearing extensions that probably cost more than two months rent. Depeche Mode helped me weave around cute groups of moms and babies and dogs, all of us exchanging smiles as I went on by.
As I neared the bottom of the hill, feeling quite energized by this workout, the Doobies came on for a cool down. I thought about just how long LA has been part of my life, but also how just plain weird of a place it always seems. As “Minute By Minute” played in my ears, I thought about coming here every year as a kid, head exploding every time I saw a limo or a movie star or the Beverly Center. I have been lucky to see LA over several decades and lived here for 11 years as an adult, and while it is a place built on having the newest new all the time, I don’t miss the feeling that I have to keep up with that anymore.
I will keep coming to Runyon though.