Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Checked out

If all goes well this year we'll fulfill our little dream of moving from Santa Ana to downtown Los Angeles. I'm a huge fan of libraries, and EzraPounded and I agree there's no better library in California than the Los Angeles Central Library. I know I'll spend hours reading in the stacks, lounging by the outdoor fountains, and checking out (get it? get it?) their exhibits, like the Richard Neutra sketches and drawings coming in May. It's great to hear stories like the one about Ray Bradbury writing Fahrenheit 451 on a rented typewriter at the Central Library.

Just as Fahrenheit 451's Faber went up against the book-burning firemen, a bicycle shop on First Street in San Jose called Faber's Cyclery is up against developers with their eyes on knocking the historic shop down. The business owner, Alex LaRiviere, has a dream of his own...a bicycle and beer museum with graffiti walls.

LaRiviere's sky-high pile of rusty bikes used to fascinate me. One summer home from college a couple friends from SoCal flew in for a visit. Instead of taking a straight shot on the 101 Freeway to my parents' house, I remember driving Alisa and Sunny through SJ's less-than-sparkling First Street and Monterey Road. Even with out-of-towners I couldn't resist a drive past the tangled bikes and other oddities along the aging corridor. I'm pretty sure they haven't been back to San Jose...

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