Yesterday AK and I found ourselves with the kind of weekend day we used to have back before she worked an average of six and a half days a week. We slept till nine. I made blueberry walnut pancakes. We hiked Debs Park, where we watched the world’s second most energetic dog catch air and practically take flight as he chased a ball thrown by his similarly athletic person. His person had another dog, a curly mix who was content to walk the trail at a reasonable pace.
AK did that dog’s voice: “Oh, you know…I just like to read.”
I added on: “Brunch would be nice too.”
We bought DayQuil for AK, who caught my cold this past week, and antidepressants for me and anti-aging moisturizer for both of us, because it’s time to find out if that shit works, at Target. Then we went to the Natural History Museum, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been to since it reopened. I really wanted to see the Becoming L.A. exhibit (although a part of me also mourns the old California hall, with its earth tones and wagons and dioramas of mission life; because I love how museums are museums of themselves, first and foremost).
As someone who grew up loving sepia and bonnets, I’m always extra thrilled to see old-timey photos of my own people—in this case, Angelenos. My family has lived in Southern California for four generations (with the exception of my paternal grandmother, who moved here from England as a kid). I looked for them in the photos of canneries (mom’s side) and the aviation industry (dad’s side). AK’s family has been here almost as long. She looked for her last name on the list of L.A.’s founding families, just in case.
“It would be nice to discover you were heir to some sort of unclaimed land grant,” I agreed.
|Gov. Pio Pico and family. No relation to AK, alas.|
There were plenty of women who started having babies at seventeen or eighteen, but also more than a few who hadn’t had their first until their late twenties.
“I guess there’s always more variation than you hear about,” AK said.
I geeked out hard on a room-sized model of Downtown L.A. as it looked in 1940, honing in on Bunker Hill, still home to a cluster of Victorian homes that, even then, were dwarfed by the surrounding buildings. I thought of The Exiles. There were screens placed on the sides of the model, where you could peruse a digital version of the map with your fingers and zoom in on certain neighborhoods and landmarks.
The museum closed and we visited our friends Jennifer and Joel, who are in the process of moving to Ojai and thinking about all the things in L.A. they’ll miss.
“Like potato tacos at Chano’s,” Jennifer said as we walked past it. “I know we can come back anytime and go there. But we won’t.”