Jiffy Lube, Los Angeles. March 2014
Jiffy Lube, Los Angeles, March 2014
Right next to the WLA carwash is a Jiffy Lube. I had a coupon for both so I dedicated the afternoon to car care. Located on Sepulveda Blvd., this is outside my normal rounds. I think I was out and about doing errands and decided to pull in for a wash and a change.
What struck me about this particular waiting room was the utter bleakness. No frills, just a blank TV and a soda machine. Dimly lit, smelling faintly of used motor oil, it is one of the least attractive places I have waited. The patio wasn’t much better – dusty and reeking of cigarette smoke. I usually go elsewhere for both wash and oil change, but the lure of the coupon was irresistible.
As is often the case, I couldn’t decide which photo to post; which one do you like?
Car Wash, Santa Monica. June 2013
Millennium Car Wash, Venice. May 2013
Millennium Car Wash, Venice, May 2013
Car Wash, Los Angeles, April 2014
Handy J’s, Culver City. April 2014
Handy J’s, Culver City. August 2014
Handy J’s, Culver City. September 2013
Car Wash, Los Angeles. March 2014
20 years ago, one of my neighbors initiated a campaign to plant street trees in our neighborhood. He chose a variety that spits tiny droplets of sap, dead leaves, and twigs throughout the year, and a multitude of little yellow flowers during the spring. I can usually wait about a month or so before our cars are too disgusting to stand, so it’s down to the car wash. This collage includes 4 different establishments. The one with the two dogs waiting for their car was my go-to when I worked in Santa Monica. I could stop on my way in, get a quick once over and still get there by 9. Now, my regular hookup is Handy J’s at the intersection of Washington Blvd. and Washington Place.
When you bring your car in for cleaning, you fully expect to wait, and these four places have similar but different vibes in their areas. Handy J’s has an outdoor barbecue restaurant on the corner owned by the same folks that run HJ’s. They grill on a large charcoal barbecue and the smell of tri-tip and ribs wafts across the lot, borne on the perpetual on-shore air from the ocean to the west. Santa Monica has free wi-fi, little bistro tables, and if you are hungry, a McDonald’s right across the street. Millennium is one block away and in a pinch I might go there, but HJ’s does a better job and I get coupons. Now that we all have our mobile phones, it doesn’t much matter where we are, we are always in our own little worlds. In years past, you might strike up a conversation with your fellow waiter, but there isn’t much conversation anymore; we are all too busy peering at our 5-inch screens.