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California Dreamin’

California Dreamin’

With apologies to the Mamas and the Papas, here’s my experience spending two weeks in LA:

• Cars of all kinds dash down Wilshire and Santa Monica at speeds in excess of 50 MPH—in 30 MPH zones.

• The Peninsula Hotel provides a 7-series BMW to drive for anyone renting a suite, and the house car is a Rolls.

• Porsches, Mercedes, Jaguars are not to be noticed, they’re as common as squirrels. The Lambos, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls are top dogs, and there are a lot of those, too.

• The restaurants are packed. Some check vaccine cards, some do, but some of those which do don’t require ID, which is pretty senseless.

• If you want a fully-staffed, high-service experience you have to escalate to the more expensive hotels and restaurants

• The wait staffs and management at restaurants are uniformly polite and efficient. Most of the hostesses have had their personalities surgically removed. “Sit over there until the rest of your part arrives,” said the hostess at the supposedly upscale BOA.

• The expensive stores are pretty empty. Saks was like we snuck in after it closed. You could have played soccer on the main floor of the men’s department.

• Wearing a baseball cap backwards (or sideways) was once considered hip somehow, then a fashion statement, then just trite. Looking at a guy sitting down to dinner at a fine restaurant with his hat on backward (in fact, just wearing a hat in there) just seems like a further decline of civilization.

• Everyone’s eating outside here, with heaters blazing. I should have invest in heater stock.

• Masks are required indoors in public areas, and about 90% of people abide by it.

• Parking ranges from futile to ridiculous.

• I see houses, elbow-to-elbow and not in the best of repair, perhaps a quarter of the size of my house with no land around them, that cost $2 million.

• The LA Times is a fine newspaper, much better balanced than the ultra-left New York Times.

• The very sophisticated room iPads and wireless phones have scores of features, most of which don’t work properly of require an engineer to operate.

• There is one of those heaters in the garden attached to our suite. I’ve learned to operate it.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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