I hate the way L.A. drivers always stop dead when they see someone on foot. They’ve been over-trained by the DMV and it vaguely pisses me off. If I’m standing on a street corner, just looking at the traffic and not even stepping off the curb, some L.A. driver will come along and stop and wait for me to cross. Putz. If I’m standing in a parking structure — not walking down a ramp but just standing five or ten feet from my parked car — an L.A. driver heading out of the structure will hit the brake and wait for me to do something.
Drivers in New York or Paris or London or Rome or Portland are much less considerate, and that’s the way I like it.
It’s recently gotten to the point of impish obstinacy on my part. Now when an L.A. driver stops and waits for me to cross a street or walk down a parking structure ramp, I’ll just freeze and stare back at them. When I do this it’s like I’m saying, “Yes, you’re a very courteous driver but I’d rather live in a world of shit in which I take my chances, a world like Manhattan or Boston or Chicago, and so no offense but I’m going to politely decline your courteous gesture by staring at you until you give up and keep moving. I’m not trying to be hostile but I don’t like to be stopped for. So we’re going to play this game in which you’ll sit there and stare at me and I’ll stand here and stare back at you. It might take five or ten seconds but eventually you’ll give up and move on.”