Sunday, November 9, 2008

Driving for the Arts

Aaarrgh! I'm so tired this morning after a week of driving, driving, driving. I spent two hours this Friday getting to a rehearsal that only lasted for 2.5 hours. Doesn't make any sense, does it? The light traffic we have been enjoying here in the L.A. area due to last summer's high gas prices seems to have vanished.

I have dubbed this the "year of the concert." I decided to take full advantage of living in the big city by going to more concerts and other cultural events than I have in the recent past. And besides going to concerts, I have been very busy playing concerts every weekend. I know I really shouldn't be complaining that I have so much work when financial disaster may strike my favorite arts organizations any time as has already happened with both the Pasadena Symphony and Opera Pacific, but all the driving does get to me. It's so draining because you worry all day about getting to the event on time and you feel like you are spending your life in your car.

Thursday, I went with Kathy and Bart to hear Midori play at Disney Hall with the L.A. Philharmonic. We unexpectedly ran into heavy traffic and just made it in time for the 8:00 performance after having been on the road for an hour and a half. It's usually a 20 minute drive. I would have been SO upset if I had missed her performance!

Last night, trying to get to Burbank by 7:00 pm was another example. My sister, who lives in CT, warned me about protest demonstrations taking place in L.A. concerning the vote on Prop. 8. I hadn't heard about it, but I checked the Sigalert Traffic report several times before setting out at 5:15, and things didn't look too bad. But by the time I got downtown and attempted to transition to the 101 freeway, traffic had come to a complete stop. I learned in this morning's paper that the demonstrations started around 6:00 pm in the Silver Lake district of L.A., just where I would be travelling through. But fortunately my handy dandy GPS receiver saved my life as I just kept on going to Route 5 and got to my venue from the opposite side. Once the man-in-the-machine realized what I was doing and stopped trying to get me to turn around and go back, he efficiently guided me to my destination in his lovely Australian accent.


  1. I know what you mean. Last week, I was waxing nostalgic at lunch with co-workers.

    "Remember when gas was $4 a gallon and we could actually drive (instead of park) on the freeway?" I miss those days.

    I have no optimism for the two public transit bond issues. They will do nothing for me as they don't come anywhere close to the places that I normally frequent (work & home). The routes are politically determined rather by geology, population and terrain.

  2. I share your pain. I sometimes wonder how many miles and how many hours I've logged in my 20 years as a music critic. I get so sick of driving that in my leisure time I generally try to just stay at home. I've become a real domestic animal.