Back in Rowland Heights for a few days on the way back home. Auntie seems to feel obligated to keep us entertained, which is how we ended up at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. It's a fine testament to the power of televangelism. Kinda like how Notre Dame or Chatres were testaments to the power of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, except they have more parking in the O.C. Was more impressed with the innumerable marble plaques honoring donors than the gleaming steel and glass structures. But maybe I'm prejudiced because the Hour of Power used to be on Sundays just before the football games, so I couldn't wait for the damn Hour to finish. I would've loved a Crystal Cathedral T-shirt, but I'm resolving to spend less money on frivolous things, and giving a televangelist 20 bucks for a shirt would definitely fall under "frivolous."
Talk about glass and steel, we drove over to the Cerritos Public Library. Apparently the city gets a ton of sales tax revenue from Cerritos Auto Square, and the library showed it. There's a big tropical fish tank at the entrance, complete with a couple of mini sharks at the top of the food chain. Dark wood in the periodicals section, gleaming chrome and steel in the stacks. A couple dozen computers at the Internet station, with Aeron chairs for butt comfort. It's a little perverse in that the only way for a city to provide decent services is to build as many malls as possible and maximize housing prices (thereby minimizing the number of people and maximizing property tax revenue). Cerritos (61%!) also happens to be one of the seven LA County cities with a majority Asian population.
Did get a chance to hit Frank & Sons, the legendary twice-weekly LA collectibles show in a non-descript warehouse just down the road from where we were. Unfortunately, the Darksteel single prices were still way over-inflated, and it was almost dinnertime and starting to rain, so we couldn't stay long. I could've easily skipped dinner and spent all night there, but there was the thing about being polite guest and all that. Dad probably suspected the same, which was why he insisted on coming along.
I've only driven through this part of Orange County on freeways, so it's a little different to be sitting in the car driving along all the big avenues that I've only known as exit names. Makes you realize what a vast wasteland the whole place is. Plot after plot of planned communities of low-slung single-family homes, separated by mini-malls and not-so-mini-malls. I'm surprised they're still finding space to build. I guess the prices are high enough now for the builders to take the trouble to grade the hills and build houses up there with views of... um... the vast wasteland of blahblahblah. On the other hand, the houses do make perfectly nice cocoons. They had the chance to customize their home as it was being built and pay for some upgrades. I would've loved to have been able to upgrade some of the Home Depot-special junk they used in our house. All the cul-de-sacs and twisty lanes keep traffic down and quiet, but it sure makes it a pain to navigate, since you're in for a big loop if you miss your one turnoff point.Posted by mikewang on 09:22 AM