This weekend my daughter really wanted to take the bus into Westwood Village, for a special "daddy daughter date." We could - of course - drive, but she really was excited about taking a bus.
By the way, that Statue of Liberty billboard on the right of the photo above isn't a billboard - it's the side of a twelve story building.
Much of Westwood Village isn't much of a "village" anymore. This is at the corner of Westwood & Wilshire Blvds. - which has the distinction of being the busiest intersection in Los Angeles.
This is to prove that - yes - we did take the bus. The MTA driver was super friendly, and there was zero traffic into Westwood (it was a Saturday). I actually walked from our home to Westwood Village a couple of times last year (long walks). Riding with my daugther = much more fun!
This is much more of the "village" of Westwood Village: on Broxton Avenue, with "The Fox" movie theater visible in the distance through the trees. In addition to being the home of UCLA (my alma mater), Westwood has the highest concentration of movie theaters in the world.
Westwood is technically part of the city of Los Angeles.
Westwood, as well as places like Brentwood, Hollywood, Encino are all communities within the city limits of Los Angeles. Meanwhile ... Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Pasadena are all seperate, independent cities. Confused? Don't be. Even people who've lived here their entire lives aren't sure what's part of the city of L.A. - and what's not.
Lunch at Subway. Pay to park - unless, of course, you took the bus.
Dessert at Diddy Riese. Now we're talking!
Huge line out the door. Yummy ice cream and cookies - at a price that blows away all competition.
Their big cookie ice cream sandwich is just $1.50. THAT'S why there's almost always a line.
We decided to take a completely different bus route home. It involved a transfer, but my daughter was really excited about the prospect of going a different way and taking two buses home (twice as fun).
We love being able to help our kids engage with the city. 3000 years ago King Solomon wrote "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
This verse is often limited to what some might see as "religious instruction" - rather than all of life. Thinking out loud, I wonder if my daughter will even want her parents to show her how to ride the bus - where to get on, how to make a transfer, how to read a schedule - when she's older. How much better to have her mom and me start to show her now.
Even on a "date" with her dad.