Down Rodeo

While in Los Angeles, I finally got to do it, after all these years: roll down Rodeo Drive with Rage Against The Machine’s “Down Rodeo” pumping out of the stereo. If you’re of a certain age, I know you’ve always wanted to do this, too. Just admit it.

I’m rollin’ down Rodeo with a shotgun, these people ain’t seen a brown-skinned man since their grandparents bought one

No one thought much of it. I was driving an Audi, which I’d just washed. And, well, I’m white. I actually blended.

I also drove into the residential area of Beverly Hills, to see how the other half live. It looks pretty much how it looked in Beverly Hills 90210. (If you’re of a certain age, I know you watched Beverly Hills 90210; just admit it.) White guy in a nice car. People smiled and waved at me as though I were their neighbor.

Rodeo Drive’s shopping district, a mere three blocks in length, is lined with astonishingly expensive, pretentious stores, many with names you’d recognize. The thin crowd is mixed between shoppers and tourists.

Overdressed store employees lurk just inside or just outside the empty shops, passing judgement on passersby, deciding if we are worthy, as we window-shop.

The guy washing the windows wears a suit and tie.

This statue stands, inexplicably, in the middle of the road at an intersection.

What a strange place.