Judith Kaluzny

On a recent Saturday I went with Jane Reifer to Los Angeles to an event at The Velaslavasy Panorama on West 24th Street in Los Angeles, meeting one of Jane’s sophisticated city friends.  Of course we got there by public transit.  Jane is the foremost transit authority in these here parts.  Metrolink, red line, expo line, bus, amtrak.  The Panorama is amazing and with a utterly marvelous garden in the back.  We happened on a really interesting place to eat, maybe on Adams.  After, we walked the neighborhood, some really incredible houses, and it was landmark walk with postings at significant locations.

The really wild part was back in Fullerton at 1:20 in the morning.  The last train from Union station is at 10:10, but Amtrak runs a bus to our station and points south at 12:40 a. m.

So Jane and I walk from the station up to Commonwealth through that spacious open plaza, past the Kelly Thomas memorial.  At Commonwealth, we encountered a group of men holding up a woman as she vomited into the street next to an SUV.  I went to Harbor Boulevard, crossing north past the Florentine fiefdom amidst a bevy of barely clothed  but seriously shod women.  I had to elbow my way through a crowd blanketing the sidewalk at the grill end of it.

I was heading west to Malden Avenue.  There was another crowd on the west side of Harbor, so I cut down Amerige.  The north lane had a barrier across it.  At the end of the Mo’s Music building, an FPD truck was athwart the south lane and a cruiser at the north lane, both flashing the red and blue.

As I passed the recorder’s office, there was a man sitting on the sidewalk slumped against it, a friend trying to help him up, and two large officers coming up to them.  At the pedestrian alley, where the vehicles blocked the street, three officers were standing on the sidewalk near Ross Publications.

“What’s happening,” I asked them.  “We’re just blocking the street from traffic.  There’s a lot of people walking across here, and we don’t want them to get hurt.”

“You don’t know about Darwin principles?” I asked.  “Huh?” said one young officer.  Another laughed.

I turned to walk through the parking lot alongside Ross, and there were two more police vehicles parked at the end of the rows, flashing lights.  Very disorienting, there in the dark, and with the bar lights outlining  the area.  I made my way through more people walking and milling about.

As I walked up my street to my house, a feeling of wanting to cry welled up in me.  Maybe it was a subliminal sense of the taxpayers cost for four vehicles and five officers defending one side street crosswalk on behalf of inebriated visitors to our fair city.