I jaywalked. Without thinking about it, I crossed a busy street in the middle instead of walking 50 feet to the signal. What was I thinking?
It would be no problem if I was back in DC, where jaywalking is a right. I've had pedestrians swear at me and give me the finger as they dash in front of my car near the Jefferson Memorial. But here in LA, as it was me on foot, dashing in front of cars, they looked at me like I was mad. And perhaps I am.
There are other signs that my Angeleno-ness is fading away. My internal map is fuzzy. I can't remember the name of Playa del Rey. Is the Tujunga offramp off the 170 or the 101? I haven't heard of any of the hip restaurants in town. I even check the box scores for the Nats AND the Dodgers.
But jaywalking was the wakeup call. We locals have been warning out-of-towners for years about tickets handed out liberally for the offense. And yet, I didn't even notice I'd done it until an Angeleno pal pointed it out to me, shocked.
Give me a day or two and I'll remember where I am. Just in time to see you Tuesday, September 6th at 7pm in The Crawford Family Forum for KPCC's first in a series of Open Newsroom discussions: "Journalist or Vulture: covering disasters in the Southland." I'll be joined by colleagues Nick Roman, Managing Editor; and Cheryl Devall, Senior News Editor to talk about the delicate balance of covering this particular kind of news. Admission is free, but reservations are required. To RSVP, visit kpcc.org/events.