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August 24, 2006

Little Jerusalem

David and I spent yesterday visiting people on the Westside: first my grandmother in West Hollywood, then my friend Claire in the Pico/Robertson area, and then my friend Annie and her husband Adam in Westwood. Claire had just moved into her apartment this month, so we went out for a walk with her to explore her new neighborhood. It is a very heavily Jewish area; we passed kosher markets and butchers, about a million synagogues, and stores selling everything you might need to set up a Jewish household. There was even one store that specialized in mezuzot, boasting that they offered "the full line." Claire needed some groceries, so we went with her to the Elat Market. Entering that market was like stepping into another world, like being in, well, Elat. It was full of people pushing and shoving each other out of their way to get their shopping done. The strangest thing was that the shoppers didn't push their shopping carts around the market like they do in American grocery stores. Instead, everyone parked their cart in an aisle, so the aisles were just full of one cart after another, parallel parked in a line. Then they would go around the store getting what they needed and bringing the groceries back to their carts. But the carts were blocking the bottom shelves of each aisle, which made me wonder if anyone even buys anything that is located below cart level. When we went to check out, it was hard to tell where the lines were, and people kept cutting in front of us. As we left the market, we saw a pair of Mormons proselytizing to a woman with a shopping cart outside, and wondered what terrible thing those two boys could have done to have been given what is probably the toughest mission assignment in the world!

Posted by eklanche at August 24, 2006 01:58 PM


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