It took me a little while to figure out what it is that seems so odd about this grid style of road layout which we have here, but now I've done it. (Actually, I did some time ago but I never had occasion to write about it before; since I didn't do anything today worth commenting on, it now gets its chance.) And that odd thing is, there are no small residential streets.
Really! Sure, some cross streets are less important than others: only about every third one gets a stop light on the big up-and-down streets. Really, though, that owes as much to the need to not stop traffic entirely on the streets going into LA than any superiority inherent in thoroughfares like 17th here; 17th isn't visibly any more a big street than, say 16th. The result of this is, you can be in a little residential neighborhood and go two blocks over, and all of a sudden there are restaurants and cell phone stores. It isn't that one street has both kind of things: there are houses on some parts of Mass Ave and commercial establishments on others. It's that what I'm used to is a branching road structure, where you go from main roads to secondary roads to lanes to driveways. There isn't anything like that here. There are main roads (Olympic and Wilshire one way, Lincoln the other), but all the rest of the streets, like our 17th here, vary startlingly in their nature, and it changes the whole idea of neighborhoods.
Ah well, it's interesting to me anyways!