So you want to find out cool things to do in LA via public transit or by bike? Or maybe you’re interested in how to drive safely around cyclists? Or maybe you just want to hear about how I almost got run over today?
Life Without Wheels is a chronicle of my adventures on Southern California public transportation and commuting on my bicycle. The main blog is Just a Girl on a Bike, and there is also a blog page to record my training routes for my planned bicycle tour to the Grand Canyon.
In the Summer of 2008, during what I call my “photography season” (because I have a weekend gig during spring/summer doing portraiture of little children in their dance recital costumes), I decided that, due to the ailing nature of my 2000 Hyandai Elantra, I would attempt to make it to all my shoots without driving, as well as to work, the dance studio, etc. I would only drive once a week, for errands and such.
I did end up driving to a couple of shoots, but I also “metro’d” to Orange County from Koreatown, LA, and did a lot of carpooling. I also began, at that time, riding my bicycle to work (at LACMA) which is a fair 5 mile straight-shot from my apartment. No biggie, right? Well, in August/September the experiment began to wear on me, and I began driving into work more and more. On September 4, 2008, I was on my way to work at approximately 10am. As I turned into the underground parking garage at the museum, a speeding motorcyclist broadsided my vehicle (going so fast that his motorcycle flipped over the top of my car and landed several yards away). I’m not going to go into the details of the accident, i.e., whose fault it was, etc. (I do believe he was at fault–especially since he ran into me–but I could never prove it in court, unfortunately.) Anyhow, after a two-week-insurance-paid vacation in a rental car, I became one of the many officially transportation-less in Los Angeles, CA.
Well, the experiment became reality. For more than a year now, I have suffered the pains and triumphed in the joys of frequenting the Los Angeles County Metro system and of being a bicyclist trying not to get run over in LA.
This blog has many goals: first, to give others out there who think they can’t abandon their cars occasionally and walk, ride, or take the bus in LA the empowerment to believe they can. Secondly, perhaps my thoughts and daily observations of the trials of the LA transportation system will help (in some way, maybe???) make it better. Third, I know there are other people out there like me: professionals in LA who have chosen to live life sans wheels. I’d like to hear from them and see if we can’t make a dent in the “car culture” of Los Angeles. I have to apologize and say that for me this is not about “being green” or environmentally conscious in any way. I became a proponent of public transit merely by chance and circumstance, although I welcome all those motivated by such trends to comment and join in the discourse.
You can also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/danceralamode
Dancer a la Mode, also known as Amanda F. Lipsey, is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, where she couldn’t imagine life without wheels. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles, in the unincorporated area of Koreatown.
Employed full time as a member of the development staff at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, she is trying to see if it’s possible to maintain a professional career while utilizing only two forms of transportation: Southern California public transit providers and her own two feet, whether they be pounding the pavement or cranking the wheels of her blue Huffy.
Amanda is also an accomplished choreographer and dancer, having completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography at California State University, Long Beach. In Southern California, Amanda has presented her work at the Electric Lodge in Venice and Koo’s Gallery and Performance Space in Long Beach. In 2003, Amanda’s work represented CSU, Long Beach in the college edition of Dance Magazine, and she choreographed the premiere of the one-women, one-act opera, Before Breakfast, by Thomas Pasatieri. In 2002, Amanda earned a BA in Dance Studies with a minor in Political Science from the University of South Florida, Tampa. While in Tampa, she performed with the emerging local company, Dance, Music, and Design, and choreographed for Moving Current, the local modern dance collective. Amanda has presented work at the American College Dance Festival, and, in 2002, she was awarded the Victoria Catherine Seldon Endowed Scholarship from the University of South Florida.