I left New York last week on the sort of Tuesday morning one tries to avoid facing. It was overcast, raining and cold when the cab driver arrived outside my old apartment where I was still crashing. Visibly annoyed at the pile of luggage I was bringing to the airport, he started complaining while I ignored him and focused on fitting my boxed up bicycle in his backseat.
Later that day, I arrived in Los Angeles. Despite the sun and warmth, strangers still took each opportunity to complain about the so-called bad weather. After collecting my bags and bike box, bearing telltale marks that TSA had aggressively inspected and rearranged its intricately packed contents, I headed to Union Station on a bus, which offered my first look at the sprawling highways and suburbs of the city. Another cab driver took me the last few miles to my friend Julia’s house in Echo Park.
Not quite ready to begin reassembling my mess of bike parts or gathering the last bits of gear I’d need to bike the thousands of miles back to Brooklyn, I went back out to walk around the neighborhood with Sarah, another friend living nearby, and her dog. In the evening, a few more transplanted friends from New York took me out for tacos and margaritas. Exhausted from traveling, I went to sleep early in hopes of making the most of the time for sightseeing and errands before rolling out of Los Angeles.