Archive for the Sustainability Category

Everybody SHOULD Ride the Bus in LA!

Today I took my new Zero to a shop in Culver City to get the seat fixed. It was too short, now I love it! The story of how I got home is far more interesting…

 

I checked to see how long it’d take on the bus. 1:40. No thanks. Lyft claimed they could do it in :40. So I took Lyft line. And he immediately got on the 10. At rush hour. And stayed there. By the time we got to the 110, I was so bored I decided to get out downtown, run some errands, and take a Metro bus the rest of the way home.

 

If I lived downtown, or anywhere served by the Metro rail lines, Lyft wouldn’t even have been an option. The shop was only a mile from the metro station, an easy walk for this ex-New Yorker. I really miss living someplace walkable. DTLA is currently too expensive and too choked with the dust of construction and all the diesel vehicles serving those sites. Most of the rest of LA isn’t walkable. Yet.

 

Walking through DTLA is one of my favorite pastimes, and taking the bus home was fun too. It was so enjoyable, I took the bus the whole way back to pick up my bike the next day. Which wouldn’t have been ideal if I had to be somewhere, but my schedule was pretty open. I like the busses that don’t have that black mesh on the window. Those huge windows make for a far more entertaining trip watching the scenery pass by. For instance, I saw a homeless encampment high on a hill in echo park I’d never have noticed from a car window. And a stunning Victorian in Pico-Union I’d never glimpsed before.

 

Metro has an Office of Extraordinary Innovation currently doing a study to determine how best they can compete against the rideshare apps stealing their customers. I fear that by the time their study is complete, they’ll have been innovated out of business. Yes, riding the bus in LA is slow and tedious. Yes, we need those tunnel boring machines to dig faster. But what can we do to ensure LA doesn’t just give up on Metro entirely in the meantime? At Move LA’s conference, they were pretty optimistic. But more people keep moving here, and all stuck in this old LA mentality they saw in some stupid movie where everyone has a car.

 

Newsflash Flatlanders- the cool kids aren’t driving cars here anymore. They’re biking and taking public transit. And yes, hailing a rideshare when it’s actually faster than public transit or cycling. And it’s not always faster, you know.

 

My hopes are for more Metro bikes, especially along the LA River. While I don’t want Metro to steal all of Spoke & Coco’s bike rental biz, I’d sure like to be able to use one to commute while my bicycle is waiting for its fly paint job. It’d also be great if Metro would just dive in and do some test routes. By compiling TAP card swipe data, they could see which connections are most common and come up with more direct routes. Or even try some rideshares themselves, using DASH buses to serve “smart routes” or something. I know that once we have enough affordable housing in central LA, and a complete* Metro rail system, LA will be an awesome place to live.

 

* I won’t consider it complete until there’s a subway under the Sepulveda pass, from the valley to the airport.

 

More pix from my trip…

Things you see walking to the bus stop…

 

I like how Heaven Market just plastered their sign over the old 7-11 sign. And LOVE how multicultural LA is. No matter how much I whine about this place, I will always love that.

 

Remember how in Mr. Robot everyone ends up selling stuff at flea markets in the street to survive? Well, that’s life here on Alvarado st.

 

My bad blurry pic of a moped rider in a rad pink vest.

Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?

On Wednesday morning I woke up feeling like my entire country had been raped. I felt so hopeless, powerless and terrified. So I did what I always do when I feel like that. I called my mom and cried it out. That gave me the strength to call in sick and take a mental health day. I spent time with good friends and commiserated on the horrific state of the nation. That night, I went downtown to meet my boyfriend for dinner and we decided to join the protest at City Hall first. Speaking my mind on CNN felt so empowering. Marching with hundreds of my fellow Angelenos made me prouder of my city than ever. Los Angeles’ diversity is her greatest asset, and it felt so good to be a part of that at it’s best. We all came together to protest this travesty that has befallen our nation.

Continue reading Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?

Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

Pinkyracer caught on film Sunset Blvd blog

Recently, LA Times reporter Robin Abcarian contacted me through our mutual friend Arlene Batishill of GoGo Gear. She was looking for a motorcyclist to take her lanesplitting during rush hour traffic. As this was slated to be legalized (officially), she wanted to write an informed article on the subject. A true professional journalist! So refreshing.

 

Continue reading Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

How To Plug A Tire

plug cut

Many years ago, as a motorcyclist surviving the streets of NYC, I had a great teacher. Armen Amirian taught me a lot of things, including things about myself. That I’m more a rider than a wrench, as I lack the patience to do most motorcycle maintenance. One of the more valuable lessons he taught me was how to plug a tire so it will stay plugged. Most bike shops won’t do this for fear of litigation. You can do it yourself quickly and easily on any roadside. Of course, this is all at your own risk. I’m only telling you what’s worked for me. I can’t guarantee that this will work for you. Armen prefers the mushroom type plug, which requires a fancy set of tools, the ability to separate the tire from the rim, and basically a proper workshop. If you’re stranded on the side of the road, or can’t afford to pay someone else to do all that, this is what has worked for me…

Continue reading How To Plug A Tire

line dry


line dry, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

what have I been up to? Well, doing what I did best as a child. Degrading the property value of my parent’s home. 😉 Today was very productive, not only did I actually apply for a job or two, I straightened up around the house, and installed this clothesline. And did the laundry to hang on it. I was calling it “The Clothesline Experiment” and then I recalled that I’m an old hand at line drying. Although, for Baywood, where the average home price is safely over 6 figures, it was certainly unusual.

Why, in Barcelona, that’s all anybody did, unless they wanted to pay 4 euros for the (American) dryer in the laundromat. And instead of nice, expansive backyards to hang their clothes in, everyone had a rack hanging out the window. Sometimes on windy days, peoples clothes would blow onto my patio. I never knew quite what to do with them, and put them all in the hall, in case they came from someone in my building.

I never thought it would happen, but I’m actually homesick for Raval. Shitty neighborhood, but I do miss the city life. Even though I’ve been in San Francisco pretty much every evening since I arrived, it’s still not enough.

So none of my clothes blew off, because I used plenty of clothespins. Tried the old-school ones, that are pure wood, no hinges, and discovered they can leave splinters, so the delicate clothes got the little curtain clips I bought for no good reason at IKEA in Barcelona. Which work great for this purpose.

Anyway, I was partly trying to conserve energy, partly trying to prevent undue wear on my clothes. My parents have a rather old washer and dryer, so they are a bit rough on the clothes. But I wussed out and did some things in the dryer, the things I knew would be better off there. So I technically did not save any energy. If anything, I wasted some, since the dryer wasn’t full. Yes, this is one green strategy that should be all or nothing.

I think I’ll talk dad into buying a Bosch energy star washer & dryer. Or whatever equivalent they sell at Costco, the store that can sell him ANYTHING.

It was a good experience for Valentino as well. I finally let him come outside for a minute. After so many years of me acting like the world was about to end every time he so much as looked at an open door or window, he was terrified, and ventured out very cautiously. Poor guy. I think it’s time we got him a chip n collar so he can go play in the grass like a real cat.

a proper trash can


a proper trash can, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

Now tell me honestly- If it was THIS easy, would you still throw your
recyclables in with your trash??? While the color coded bags might be meaningless to most people, there are little icons of what goes where, and one can peek into the bag to see what has gone before.

Should all trash cans, particularly in public places, be like this? What could be done to improve this design?


This one seems more obvious, with the shaped openings and color photos, but it’s overwhelming and quite hideous. If you’re going for any kind of ambiance other than “trash sorter” it misses the mark. But does it contain lessons for the first model? The first one was in the train station in Bilbao, the second one was sighted at the Barcelona airport.

Sign on Franklin St.


Sign on Franklin St., originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

It’s official! I’m gradumated. 🙂 Need to go to sleep now, but had to post tonight’s pics first. The full force of what I’ve done hasn’t quite hit me yet. It almost did on the way to school, when I thought about the first semester, and how I almost didn’t make it. Thinking about how I got through that and managed to actually graduate from one of the best MBA programs in the world got me a little choked up. But I didn’t want to mess up my makeup, so I thought about how I still need to find a job. 🙂

My peeps:

I’m going to continue missing everybody as I did while in Spain. Never before in my life have I known such an intense level of camaraderie. I feel like I am leaving my 286 best friends.

Salvtem Per Aqvem

Salvation through water. SPA. cool! I wonder if that’s actually how the word Spa was derived. Anyway, this hotel I’m staying at in Bilbao has the most awesome Turkish bath, filled with circus people. OK, so the circus (du Soleil!) people are hotel guests like me, but it’s still interesting. This Italian acrobatics coach invited me to dinner after the show, but since it didn’t include a free trip to see Varekai (again) I demurred. He’s old enough to be my dad, ok. I did, however, talk up my niece, as she is a killer gymnast, and could totally own Cirque Du Soleil.

More later, gotta get out and enjoy this gorgeous day!

I need a jacuzzi.

Can’t wait to get back to the ancestral home and test out mom n dad’s new hot tub. It’s been a rough week. Even the fun times were hard. But I went to Whole Foods, stood in the “pharmacy” looking lost, and the most wonderful associate helped me out. I just told her I needed energy and she asked the right questions to get to the root cause, which I agree is B deficiency.

She also pointed out that too much soy can suppress thyroid function, which explains why my thyroid checks out normal, but I have those symptoms- cold and tired. So I got some fabulous protein powder that solves both problems. We’ll see if it brings me up to speed…

Who is this Johnathan Rea guy in WSB I’ve never heard of before??? He’s got some seriously big ones. And damn, I can’t wait to do a track day at Estoril, they’ve got some killer elevation changes!

Sometimes I have these incredibly vivid, ultra-realistic and completely surreal dreams. Last night I had one which was a manifestation of my current feelings about myself re: men. It was very weird and disturbing. Will take quite some time to record it all, but the details are still quite clear, which is unusual, even for me. It’s as if I actually was doing all those crazy things out in the street last night, when I know damn well I was in bed the whole time.

OMG

I have to stop buying cotton. 🙁 For all my whining about how the cattle industry is sucking up what precious little water we have left, I just found out (courtesy of H&M’s CSR report) that it takes 2,245 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make one pair of jeans. No idea if that’s with the most efficient irrigation methods (70% of farm water is wasted worldwide due to poor irrigation) or with typical irrigation.

That means I’ve got at least 40,000 gallons of water in the jeans sitting in my closet. Including the socially responsible pair that just came in the mail.

My deepest apologies to those who were hoping to do a little subsistence farming with that.