Friday, October 29, 2010

A Night at The Greek... That Wasn’t Supposed To Be - Part One

The Greek is an almost hidden outdoor concert venue tucked into the foothills of Griffith Park just north of the most affluent residential area of Los Feliz.  On this cool October night, the Indie rock group ‘Interpol’ closed The Greek’s 2010 season. For me, it was a great season in many ways: Great Music, Great People, Great Money. Who could ask for anything more?

 I follow The Greek’s concert schedule and work there whenever it hosts an event but tonight there are just too many other things going on in LA; The Greek will have to close the season without a final visit from City 7100.

That was my original plan, but when I picked up a couple at Universal City and took them to Los Feliz, the plan changed. After dropping the couple at their destination I checked my watch. Its a little after 10:20 PM, to early for the concert to be over but I might get lucky and find someone leaving early. I’m nearby so I decide to check it out.

I continue on Los Feliz Blvd until I reach Vermont where I head north toward the entrance. It’s only about a mile on Vermont but when The Greek is “loading” (the hour before the start of a concert)  it can take ten to fifteen minutes to travel past the multi-million dollar homes that line the winding road.

Now without traffic, it takes less than two minutes to be within earshot of the music and for me to get lucky. As I approach, a young lady hails the taxi. She jumps in and asks me (in a subtle English accent) to take her home to Hollywood. We had a nice chat during the twelve minutes it took to get her home. It was her first time at The Greek, she loved it and Interpol.

Because The Greek borders a residential area, concerts end by 11:00 PM and it’s almost 11:00 PM so I decided to head back to The Greek for the “unload” rush. On my way, I accept a dispatched call for a passenger named Michael who is waiting to be picked up at The Greek.

As I approached Vermont, I see a solid stream of cars leaving The Greek thus confirming that the concert was indeed over. This will make it tough to find and pick up Michael but I accepted the call so I have to try. I pass multiple groups of people jumping, waving, yelling and whistling trying to get me to stop on my way up back up the hill (some even stand in the middle of the street to force me to stop). I say, “Sorry, I’m taken” as they try to open the locked doors. I continue on.

I pull to the curb and am immediately meet by another flood of wannabe City7100 riders. The first rushes forward saying, “Did you come for us? We called for a cab.” I ask her name hoping she responds with Michelle assuming the call taker made a spelling error. No such luck. I frown as I explain my predicament. She asks to first on ‘stand-by’ in case I cant find my passenger. 

The next wannabe rider ducks his head into the window asking to go to Orange County (a 50 + mile trip). I cross my fingers and ask his name.  He replied, “Mike.” (Yeah!) “But I didn’t call. We need to get to Newport Beach, can you take us?” (Aargh!) I hated to kiss that $150 fare good-bye!

It was clear that I wasn’t going to find Michael so I waved at my ‘stand-by’ and mouthed, “I’ll take you.”  She grabbed her friends and they all piled in… four beautiful young ladies. Okay, it wasn’t $150 but I still ended up with a great ride. They went to Birds Café for a late night snack. 

Was it really fun? Of course! One beauty wore a knit frog cap that I mistakenly mistook for a pair of devil horns. Remember, I’m looking in the rear-view and it was dark so I thought the erect frog ears were horns. Not to worry, I was immediately corrected by the other beauties “It’s a yellow frog - they’re very rare don’t ya know.”

Later the three beauties in the backseat found out that City7100 doesn’t have a radio so they began to entertain me. The beauty in front looked on enjoying the impromptu rap concert. At one point, she said to the frog cap beauty, “You are the whitest Asian I know.” I later parroted that phrase and the back seat went quite. Oops… they hadn’t heard her say it but they heard me. The beauty up front came to my rescue and explained to the bewilder backseat trio that I was repeating what she had said during the rap session. 

Whew - disaster averted and the rapid fire fun resumed. More singing, a few jokes, a hundred questions and a ton of laughs followed before I heard, “Do you have a my space page?” (or was it face book?) Either way, the answer was the same, “No, but I blog and I‘m going to blog about you.” 

I handed her a card and said, “Check it out when you get a chance… ”  Within a minute or two I hear, “I like you narrative style  - I can’t wait to read the rest of it.”

Wow! Fun, affirmation and I have writing style too! Who could ask for anything more?

Part Two later -- Yes, there’s even more….

1 comment:

  1. San Diego is a pretty awesome city, but it sure has nothing like that!