my first california community meeting
2007-04-13/2:27 a.m.

On Tuesday night I channeled my inner Mikki and went to a community meeting for my awesome community of Los Feliz. Basically last week we saw an alarming flyer posted in our apartment lobby that said the streets north of us were trying to get permit parking for their streets. This would be HORRIBLE for many many people. Hilariously, the people trying to get this permit parking are rich people with nice houses that have driveways and often garages so I have no idea where they’d even get the nerve to complain about parking. In our building, for example, more than 20 people live there and not a single one of us has a parking space.

The real irony is that I went to this meeting to fight for keeping parking public in our neighborhood, when parking stinks, people hit our cars while we’re parked outside, people attempt to break in and people are dicks about parking spaces. Yet, we need somewhere to park so here I was, defending my right to do so. First of all, considerably more people showed up than were expected. They had a room that could fit 99 people, but over 200 showed up, so people were in the aisles and spilling out of the doors. I thought that was really awesome and made me really love my neighbors. My favorites were the families that came (including a few Mexican families with not a lot of English being understood, but they all came to a meeting! So awesome) and the many elderly people. My heart was warmed.

It became clear about 2 seconds into the meeting that over 200 of the people there were against the parking permits and less than 10 people were for them. It’s always nice to be on the winning team! The lady who had organized this initiative was a hilarious character named “dana gould” who lives on our street, just north of Franklin. She seems to think that we need to do this… for a reason that was never specified. There was also a lady who was constantly on the verge of tears who had a perma-frown who kept saying “it’s for the kids! Think of my children!” which makes absolutely no goddamned sense. What does parking have to do with her kids?? She never explained it.

Long story short, she was shot down hilariously and was way out numbered, which you could tell just made her frowny face all the frownier. She even yelled right at me once. Basically a map had gone out that had the area that would get permit parking in it and it called this area the “permit area.” Then, at the meeting, a city guy said “this is only the proposed area, this map is incorrect, it will actually affect many more streets” which was CLEARLY news to one dana gould. And the room erupted in chatter. Then later I said that no most of the people in the room live south of Franklin and that the ones north of Franklin that showed up are on our side. She turned to me (I was sitting behind her) and she spat “don’t you get it?! This isn’t even the real map!! Maybe if you had been here at the beginning of the meeting you’d know that.” ooooooooooh. It was on. So I informed her that I was in fact there at the beginning and witnessed her being told that the maps she made were wrong and that it was hilarious. She huffed and puffed and turned right around.

Some choice quotes from the evening:
“Permit parking?! What is this, the WEST side?”

“If you want a safe neighborhood with no cars on the street, move to the suburbs and get outta Hollywood!”

This is most likely totally uninteresting to 99% of my friends, but I had a really good time at the meeting and wanted to write down some of the details. At the end of the meeting the board voted to not even send a letter and get this in motion so it was stopped literally before it was started. Hoooooooray!

Also, last weekend we took a free microwave home from work. They were giving away a perfectly good, new stainless steel version of our old white one, so I snatched that sucker up. Mike was taking the old one out to give away on the curb and he passed an older man who lives upstairs from us (whom neither of us had ever seen before) and the guy said something like “oh, did it break?” and I yelled out from down the hall “no, do you want it?!” It totally works, but didn’t have a tray and the clock didn’t work anymore. And it turned out this guy’s microwave broke a long time ago and he doesn’t have a car and was on crutches so he couldn’t pick up another one, and also he said he was broke. He was so happy to get the old microwave. He called it an Easter Miracle. And really, it would have been taken after two seconds on the curb so he had great timing. So we got to feel like real good samaritans just for taking a new microwave from my office.

All this good doing has made me think again about going to medical school. I always think about that when I feel like my career is shallow and ridiculous. Meaning, like every other day. It'll never happen though I may go to more meetings.








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