Environment: (the built one, that is): LA Observed links to a couple of stories about kayaking the grim concrete trench that is the Los Angeles River. Well worth a read, and don’t miss the 1999 LA Weekly story, in which the journalist makes it to the sea before being picked up by police.
The LA river was once a real river, but due to its tendency to flash-flood, was turned into a trickle in a concrete trench back in the 1930s. Since then, it’s starred in a wide variety of movies and TV; the ones I can remember from the top of my head are Terminator 2, Earthquake, and V (which hilariously stole the river scenes directly from Earthquake, the cheapskates).
BTW, one interesting factor of living in the LA area is that you realise just how much of the TV and film of your childhood is taken directly from these surroundings; last time I was at the local train station, I looked out over a patch of sun-baked scrub and a couple of warehouses, and could clearly see The Six-Million Dollar Man running across it in my mind’s eye — wakka-wakka-wakka.
All along, I’d assumed these great sets were chosen for a particular reason, not just because they were right around the corner from the studio ;)
Talking of my local train station, here’s a good article about a very Irvine situation; it seems people keep a second, clunker car at the train station, due to the shortcomings of the Southern California public transit system.