Turning the Corner

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Since I haven’t updated in a while, it would be good to start off by saying I am continuing my long term support of plants in the Los Angeles area – starting just about New Years, and I am set to continue to be here until the end of March.

I am staying in a long term hotel in Placentia, CA (basically between Fullerton and Anaheim – or as the people out here can better understand, near where the 57 meets the 91).  Generally speaking, the area is a mix of commercial and manufacturing.  Other than the one smaller hotel chain next door, the immediate area are a series of office complexes, gas stations, larger manufacturing plants, smaller manufacturing plants, and business store fronts.  With no residential properties, this area is simply a place where things get made or sold.  The area produces foam products, aerospace fasteners, hardware for instruments, mass produced food items, and products & services for every desire need.

… and of course there is an orange orchard in the middle of it …

One captivating thing about the Los Angeles metro area is that it never ceases to surprise me.  The LA Metro Area is Huge!  The eastern edges of it around Corona and Riverside are nearly sixty miles from downtown; and downtown is only two-thirds the way to edges to the west and north.  Arguably, there are four counties that play in the LA Metro area – and they are HUGE counties.  While a city that big doesn’t get that way overnight, compared to the other great cities of the world … it kinda did.  In the 60s, housing areas were still popping up as new in places that are so ‘inner city’ that you couldn’t fathom they were anything but ‘inner city’.  Resort places like Disney and Knotts Berry Farms were built up on cheap land far away from residents, and now they are engulfed and surrounded so that they can never expand again.

When things build up that fast, things get engulfed in the wake.  So, what you find is that there are things inside of LA that just didn’t get out of the way.

Like that Orange Orchard.

Maybe a manufacturing area isn’t the best place to plant a lot of orange trees.  But they sit there like saying “Hey buddy, we were here first.”  The Hookah Lounges and Juice Bars may come and go, but those trees are going to stand for a while if they can help it.

And you get that throughout the city.  Turn a corner and you are in the middle of an oil field.  Turn the corner and there is a roller coaster.  Turn a corner and there is a vegetable farm (saw one this morning, at least an acre, and the farmer was working the field with a handheld hoe).

Sometimes I feel like the only one seeing it.  Visiting one plant I was talking to a guy who worked there for 10 years.  I asked about the horse farm three blocks away.  He thought I was crazy, so I literally took him over there to see it.  Smack dab in the most industrious, residential part of the city where there would be nowhere to take a horse for a ride … there was a farm with about five horses on it.

But that’s LA for you.  Every time you turn a corner, there is something there to surprise you.

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