In Los Angeles for the Civic Debate Conference Day 1

the race is on! Who will get to LAX first?

the race is on! Who will get to LAX first?

Flew in pretty early and arrived around noon. The last 30 minutes of the flight we were involved in a drag race with what looked like an American Airlines flight?

I have a few of these photos but I think one really is enough to show you how weird it was. 

Anyway, the flight was uneventful. Got a bunch of reading done, which is the sign of a good flight.


Took no time to get from LAX to my hotel which is in what some have called an ok area, some have said kind of “not great” area (I leave interpretation of that up to you, o readers). So far so good. Pretty quiet and the rooms are clean and inexpensive. Glad I found the spot. Although a police helicopter did circle the hotel for like 90 minutes this afternoon. 

I only brought my still camera and this action camera on this trip as I’m trying to pack light. Also rocking the iPad Pro again - still getting used to it and don’t really get it yet. There’s a lot of stuff I’m much more familar with doing on a laptop and doing it here on this IPad just doesn’t work the same way. But I’m learning. 

it was amazing.

it was amazing.

After checking into the hotel here I examined my Facebook feed where my loyal and intelligent LA friends made a list of suggested spots to eat and check out. FIrst on the list was some Mexican food. I went to Al & Bea’s Mexican food. Amazing. 

This is a bean and cheese burrito with red sauce and it was really good. The thing about it that I thought was weird though was the tiny bits of cheese that are somehow evenly distributed throughout the beans. I’ve never had a burrito like this before, it was great. Very different than Texas and a vast improvement over the horror-show of Mexican food that exists in New York City.

I was finishing eating and messing on my phone when the strangest thing to ever happen to me (most likely) happened.

A woman was getting burritos and she started staring at me. She approached me and asked me if I was from New York. I said yes. She then identified herself as the mom of one of my students who is graduating on Sunday. We were supposed to meet on Sunday but I guess fate, the spirit of Los Angeles, or some other force deemed that we should meet today. Of course we took a selfie and tagged her daughter in it and put it on Facebook. Los Angeles, what a small town.

This seriously has to be one of the strangest things I’ve experienced. It was pretty great though, and we get to meet again on Sunday!

I told her I was planning to head to a place called The Last Bookstore downtown and she offered me a ride, so off we went. After saying goodbye (“See you Sunday!”) I went to check out the Last Bookstore. I’ts seriously one of the best bookstores I’ve been in!


I only bought 4 books so that’s doing pretty well considering they had some great stuff and most every book was $5. Got some weird ones too but also a couple that are actually pretty good. This footage is from my Snapchat specs, version 1. 

I found a lot of great old pals in this bookstore. Love that Watson translation (he did several good ones across religious texts). Of course Sophist and Vico. This was a great bookstore.

Had some coffee after that in a great spot suggested by someone who knows where to get good coffee. Waited there to get hungry and explore some dinner options downtown, but I never got hungry so I returned to the hotel and did some writing (including this post).

So that’s the day so far. Now time to go have a drink or two where Bukowski drank (supposedly!). Very excited to see some more spots.