Downtown L.A. as Seen from East Los Angeles
Today, I drove Martine to her ophthalmologist in East Los Angeles. As she is on MediCal, her doctors are not always conveniently located. I don’t mind, however, partly because I find East L.A. (colloquially: East Los) to be a fascinating neighborhood. And the Adventist Health Care Center on Cesar Chavez Avenue seems to be well run. (It is a far cry from the Budapest Hospital I visited in 1977, where patients and staff smoked incessantly and dogs roamed the corridors.)
First I took Martine out for lunch at Philippe’s French Dip Sandwiches on Alameda, just at the fringe of Chinatown. The place has been in business since 1908 and is still very much a going concern. In fact, we had to wait in a 30-minute line to place our order. But my beef stew and Martine’s French dip beef sandwich were both winners.
It turned out to be a hot afternoon: 93º Fahrenheit, 34º Celsius. I set in the Adventist Health Center’s ground floor waiting room, enjoying the air conditioning while waiting for Martine’s tests to be performed. In the meantime, I read Ted Lewis’s British noir classic Jack’s Return Home, on which the 1971 film by Mike Hodges called Get Carter was based.
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