Parking Violations Bureau


Parking Violations Bureau, West Los Angeles. February 2016

I met a friend in Century City to pick up a camera I was borrowing from him. With my car idling at the curb outside the Fox Studios parking structure, a very unpleasant Parking Enforcement dude gave me a ticket for parking in a red zone. I went to this office to contest the ticket as by definition I wasn’t parking, but standing, because 1.) the car was still running, and 2.) I was actively loading the equipment into the trunk of my car. I got an affidavit from my friend to this effect, went online to research the exact wording of the ordinances, and showed up with my sheaf of paperwork and supreme confidence I could convince the judge to reverse the citation.

Through that door are the offices of the examiners. They aren’t judges, but civil employees who interpret the law. Mine was very friendly, listened to my plea politely, and collected my evidence. About two weeks later, I got the letter that denied my claim on the grounds that even though the car was running and I was present, the fact that I had waited for him to walk from the structure to my car constituted parking, and I had to pay the fine.

If I had said he was waiting for me, and I pulled over to pick up the camera, I probably would have beat the ticket.


Hammer Museum

The Hammer Museum in Westwood Village is a lovely intimate place. The bulk of its permanent exhibitions comes from the collection of Dr. Armand Hammer, the former Chairman of Occidental Petroleum. Between Dr. Hammer and J.Paul Getty, the oilmen have some of the best museum spaces in the city. In addition to the permanent collection, it features rotating exhibits by a diverse spectrum of artists, numerous public programs, workshops, symposia, film series, lectures, and admission is free. Always.

On Thursday at 12:30 the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has a regular 30-minute Mindful Awareness meditation. T used to go frequently, and I came along on this day because Michael Perricone, master of the Tibetan Savasana Bowls (also called singing bowls) played during the half-hour session. The hypnotic music enhanced the meditative state and although I am not a regular practitioner, I emerged from the session relaxed and present. The bowls are a centuries old instrument used for meditation practices throughout the world. They come in different sizes and tunings. During the early days after Jake’s passing, a casual acquaintance sent me a link about how different frequencies of sound affect different areas of the mind and body, and certain tones are held to be beneficial in eliminating stress, fear, and grief. We did a little research and bought two bowls from Bodhisattva – one for her and one for me.

After the meditation, we wandered through the galleries admiring Dr. Hammer’s taste in art, spending a lovely afternoon with Daumier, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Goya, Stuart and Sargent, among many others. It is a wonderful, accessible museum with an ever-changing mix of art and artists.