Tub Thoughts

The Car Question

3 weeks ago by

The Car Question

Alors ça fait plus d’un an que je suis à LA, j’ai repassé mon permis et je l’ai eu du premier coup tellement je suis la première de la classe, et depuis, ben, je continue à prendre Lyft.

(Nan pas Uber – même si tout le monde s’est remis à Uber, je sais pas quoi penser alors je ne change pas.)

Je n’arrive pas à me décider.

Voiture ? Pas voiture ? Petite voiture ? Grosse voiture ? Vélo ? Trottinette ? Patin à roulettes ?

Comme vous le savez peut-être, je suis la reine de l’indécision – ce qui me perdra. Au lieu d’écouter ce que mon cœur me dit « achète une voiture qui te fait plaisir et voilà » je passe ma vie (nan mais je dis bien ma vie) à peser le pour et le contre.

Avec mon mec, avec mes copines, et avec mon chauffeur Lyft aussi d’ailleurs.

Une partie de moi veut rester cette fille cool et détendue qui habite à Venice et se déplace à vélo.

Une autre partie se dit que cette fille cool pourrait avoir une petite voiture hybride pas polluante qui est là pour quand elle veut aller ailleurs que chez Gjusta.

Cette partie dit oui mais si c’est pour s’en servir juste deux ou trois fois par semaine alors est-ce que le monde a vraiment besoin d’une autre automobiliste ?

Surtout que la fille à l’esprit pratique qui est en moi est en train de vous écrire depuis son Lyft, d’où elle abat pas mal de travail, au lieu de conduire et de perdre son temps dans les embouteillages comme tout le monde.

Et puis, avec l’argent qu’elle mettrait dans une voiture, elle pourrait se payer un trainer et être canon à l’année.

Tellement canon que ce serait un gâchis que de ne pas conduire une décapotable rutilante pour aller à la plage avec la musique à fond.

Ou un SUV bien classe pour faire ma connasse.

Oui mais, dit la femme canon mais responsable qui m’habite, utiliser la voiture de Chris marche aussi, si c’est qu’une ou deux fois par semaine.

Mais ew, demander sa voiture à son mec.
Et ew, surtout, être une conductrice du dimanche. Conduire peu c’est conduire MAL.

Telle que vous ne me voyez pas, là, je suis, à chaque fois que je me retrouve au volant de la voiture de Chris, la grand-mère hyper concentrée (pas de musique, fenêtre ouverte pour bien entendre la circulation, pousse un soupir de soulagement dès qu’elle est garée tellement l’expérience était intense, oublie de mettre la voiture en mode parking, la voiture part en marche arrière, merde oups désolée) qui se fait klaxonner à chaque intersection.

Ne me lancez pas sur le sujet des virages à gauche à LA, s’il vous plaît.

Oui – peut-être bien que ça vaut le coup d’acheter, juste pour ne pas risquer ma vie à chaque fois que j’emprunte la voiture de Chris pour aller chez Whole Foods.

Et pouvoir, comme toute vraie Angelina qui se respecte, vivre dans ma voiture.

On ne peut pas vraiment dire qu’on vit à LA si on n’a pas de voiture. C’est un leurre. Ne pas avoir de voiture à LA, c’est un peu comme être en vacances éternelles. Et c’est pas mal d’ailleurs.

Sauf que.

Avoir sa propre voiture, c’est pouvoir y laisser des trucs, pouvoir aller chez Opening Ceremony, puis passer chez une copine, puis acheter une lampe, puis aller à un cours de sport parce qu’on a toujours une tenue de prête au fond de son coffre.

Chanter à tue-tête. Crypto-draguer aux feux rouges. Partir en weekend à Big Sur sur un coup de tête.

Alors, vous en pensez quoi, voiture ou pas ?

Vous conduisez quoi vous ?

xo
G

35 comments

Ajouter le votre
  • Yes! If you’re living in LA, you need a car. Full stop. Get a hybrid or electric vehicle so you’re not increasing your carbon footprint as much. Your whole experience of living in CA will be better.

  • No car!

    I’m a Vespa rider (with occasional Lyft/car rental/Metro use). I last had a car 10 years ago, and when it was totaled in an accident, I realized I was cranky about spending so much money for a vehicle that was supposed to bring freedom, but I spent way too much time strategizing about parking to call it freedom. Ooh, do I want to go out for impromptu drinks on a weeknight… ah but I have such a great parking spot and I’ll never find another one when I get home! Etc.

    Just bought a new Vespa this weekend and am thrilled. (PCH Powersports on Lincoln woot!) I don’t go on freeways (although you can), but you’d be surprised how much of your driving, with or without packages to carry, you can do on surface streets. You do have to get a motorcycle license, and I’d recommend taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course to learn to ride and pass the DMV driving test.

    That’s my advice!

  • I grew up in LA a million years ago. Cut my driving teeth on the freeways; when I visit after all these years, I can slip right back into that groove. (However, I should note that in the days before pollution controls on car emissions, every summer day my lungs would be hurting so bad by dinner time I couldn’t eat. Ew.)

    Part of me can’t believe you don’t own a car there. It puts such limits on what you can do! But part of me admires you too. You have made your own life in a healthy way, staying focused in a neighborhood that is fantastic. Why lose that?

    In other words, I would be having a hard time deciding too.

  • Cars are high-maintenance money-pits……but if you must then electric is the way to go!

  • My dream car is a 2CV converted to electric. Hey, Citroën, I’m waiting!
    My other dream is to move into town, instead of being in the admittedly beautiful French countryside, where I have to drive to get to Pilates, to buy groceries, to take my kid to gazillion activities. Where Internet is at 1990 speeds. I would ride my bike to town but there are no shoulders and many big trucks. Also many hills–yes, a challenge for pedaling up, but mostly a worry about whether impatient drivers will try to pass and end up in a head-on collision with someone coming over the hill (which happened to someone, fatally, near our house).
    I think there’s nothing better than not having a car. Especially with all the car service options. No business would invest in equipment that sits idle 99% of the time. It’s a huge expense for just occasional convenience–an expense I have, admittedly, and would love to get rid of.

  • I am currently coming up on my 10 year anniversary in LA—and dun dunnahhh—- never owning a car! // I currently utilize public transportation and I love the freedom of zoning out during my commute. Understanding –public transportation isn’t for everyone– and I hate the stereotype of people telling me— « You have to have a car in LA » well it all depends on your patience/lifestyle and finances (for me especially). Don’t get me wrong, when Uber/Lyft came out — was a life saver in certain instances— I think it is great you can borrow your BF’s car— and I like your bike and Venice lifestyle– I hope to live in that neighborhood someday—Think you are just fine, Garance— do whatever you are the most comfortable with, trust your gut :)

  • Never been to L.A. (reading and writing from Europe) but a car for me is a constant worry. Never want to own a car anymore. But still I think you should buy one and see if you like it.

  • No car. Maybe an electric bike with a big basket for groceries.

  • No car. Maybe an electric bike with a big basket for groceries. :)

  • Hello, une petite ford maniable pour les créneaux avec un joli design et..; un son de ouf pour écouter de la musique. Focus pour un coffre qui tient la route (je suis bordélique). ;)

  • I spent Saturday test driving cars to replace the one that was totalled the week before. It used to be fun and free to own a car in LA , now it’s a track meet. I do have to replace mine but if you can just invest in one great car between the 2 of you for getaways, (best part of owning a car in Cali.)
    I love to drive but the appeal is disappearing with all the crazies here. No one obeys the laws and hit and runs are out of control.

  • Benedicte 2 avril 2018, 4:04 / Répondre

    On habite en plein Paris et on a chacun notre voiture (je sais…). J’adore conduire, j’adore avoir ma voiture, je me sens indépendante. Ma précédente auto a rendu l’âme et je me suis dit « j’en rachète pas, c’est tellement ridicule d’avoir DEUX voitures à Paris, bal-bla… ». Au bout d’1 mois j’étais tellement malheureuse que mon homme m’en a racheté une.

  • No! Just say no! You can continue to borrow Chris’s car. Your bike rides are good for you, for other bikers (more bikes = more safety), and the planet. Cars are a trap!

  • Rosita Wheeler 2 avril 2018, 4:29 / Répondre

    Why not a 2CV. It is convertible (very LA) and super easy to drive. Plus you build arm muscle with the steering wheel, that’s a bonus! My first car was an orange 2CV just like your pic. Martine (that was her name) still has her place in my heart!

  • Fabienne 2 avril 2018, 5:04 / Répondre

    Voiture….mais petite voiture économique. Je viens juste d’acquerir une Fiat 500, la plus basique, neuve pour $ 13 000, taxes included.. et cela a changé pas mal de choses : se rendre plus souvent aux Pilates, aller justement chez Whole Foods sans attendre que l’epoux ne soit rentré du boulot, rejoindre les copines à un après-midi piscine….etc… tout comme vous, l’achat d’une voiture me rendait perplexe (dépenses, pollution, etc…) Les transports publics à Los Angeles sont quasi inexistants… et conduire une petite voiture, rien que pour vous, Malibu, Santa Monica et le Ghery Muséum seront à un clic de contact. Bien à vous.

  • Girl, you need a car in LA. And do not get a stick (manual shifting transmission), that’s part of why you’re not enjoying driving. The only way a stick makes any sense is if you have fantasies of being a racecar driver or you have a very strong (obsessive) need to always be in control. A car represents freedom. Also, since you work from home, you have the freedom to adjust your driving schedule so you’re not on the road between 7-9:AM and 4-7PM. If I’m honest a car represents your style too. It’s like having well cared for and selected handbags, jewelry and shoes. Yeah, so get a car you like and learn the best routes to take from natives or longtime Angelenos. Waze helps but will not always suffice. Talking about your route is what keeps us connected in LA, like SNL The Californians.

  • I have friends who live in LA sans cars!
    I don’t have a car and I share my boyfriend’s (and contribute to the car payment when I use it a lot). Biking is the way to go, if you need extra motivation watch the documentary « Home » or one of Al Gore’s, or see how they made fun of the guy with the Tesla because most of his electricity comes from unsustainable and polluting sources so it’s not actually that « green. »

    How chic is a woman on bike? So chic! And smart!

  • Ha, ha I was just reading through the comments (which I never do) this time only to see what advice readers are giving you. After doing so, I would be more confused than ever. It’s all over the map. If you want to remain in Venice beach you obviously are ok by bike, but living L.A. in general means you want to move around from place to place (read store to store). I can relate only in the way that I’m not used to driving in lots of freeway traffic – makes me nervous. I’m now living part of the year in Palm Springs from Vancouver Canada and hired a driver to drive my RR (by the way a Range Rover is an excellent choice) here for me…with me and my two dogs as passengers. How weird is that? I’m totally ok driving around PS, but now I have to go back to Vancouver at the end of April. Not sure yet how I’m getting there. Must either drive the car myself or hire someone. Oh decisions….

  • my husband and i made it 4 years in santa monica (commuting to weho everyday at 3pm) and never owned a car! it’s so possible, la especially does not need another car driving its roads. there’s so much pollution and traffic (not to mention awful drivers). cars are by no means necessary at all, just a security blanket.

  • Melanie Steinemann 2 avril 2018, 11:21 / Répondre

    I once worked with a woman who would not make a left turn period. I get it now…they are terrifying. I also have a friend whose car always smells like a locker room because she was always changing in and out of workout clothes. I’m sure the pressure to get a car is huge in LA, but I say keep your sanity. You have access to one, that’s better!!!

  • The future is not individual car ownership – there are so many more sustainable options now like car sharing, electric scooters, slowly improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Hybrid cars still have an enormous carbon footprint – the production, batteries, electric generation, landfill waste, city infrastructure built to support cars. Garance, you are a role model for so many, and your transportation choice can be a style statement!!

  • Christina 4 avril 2018, 1:49

    Exactly!

  • I live in LA and absolutely abhor traffic. Even though it’s troublesome, I schedule my entire day around avoiding traffic (except those awful days when it’s 23 hours a day!). But I still vote yes to having a car! I love that I have the freedom to go anywhere I want! I love not paying for surge pricing and timing when to finish getting ready with when my Uber/Lyft driver will arrive. I love listening to podcasts in the car! I love having a mini portable home with me wherever I go. I still Uber/Lyft though…especially if I know the area I’m going has terrible parking or expensive valet (I’ve seen way too many valet drivers be reckless with cars)!

  • déjà: une électrique. Pour la planète! (moi j’ai une 206 diesel bien polluante. PAS BIEN)

  • I’m like you with weighing the pros and cons and this is how I worked around it when I bought my car: Buy it and if you don’t like it sell it. Set a timeframe of 6 months to use the car as driving practice, drive often and everywhere (money spent during this time is education + freedom). Then evaluate, was it good, do you need it, is it worth it. I sold my car after 2 years because i dont need it anymore, but it was so worth it driving and in the city now is so easy. Good luck!

  • Christina 3 avril 2018, 2:47 / Répondre

    Car sharing is the magic word!

  • I own a car, scooter, and a cycle. But, if I could re-do it all, I’d stick with my scooter and my cycle and suggest the same to others.

    Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and so I strongly feel that owning a vehicle or not is not as important as the ratio in which you chose the various modes of transport to commute.

    Your commutes ought to be in the following order/ratio (so as to reduce your contribution to the worsening the environment) –

    Walk or cycle the most (good for you and the environment)
    Use public transport (good for the environment, and generates revenue for the government and creates jobs)
    Use shared cabs (good for the environment, and generates revenue for the individuals and creates jobs)
    Use a two-wheeler (good for the environment as compared to a car)
    Use a car (the worse of the lot, even the most eco-friendly car has a stronger footprint than all of the above and you aren’t helping the economy in any considerable manner beyond making rich and spoilt automanufacturers and oil corporations richer)

    My personal suggestion – Do not get a car until you can master the above ratio. If you genuinely master it, you will realize, you DO NOT need a car.

  • Remember that VW van you rented for fun?
    That’s what you need. It’s room enough for shopping ;) (kidding), you can take it for short camping trips when you need to get away, transport your bikes and dog, nap when you feel overcome with your over-worrying, and it just feels cool. All the time. I love my van.
    Enjoy :)

  • Can’t you just decide together that Chris’ car will be from now on the ‘Chris’ and Garance’s car’? Why have two cars in one family, if you don’t need to drive every day? Then it’s not a question any longer of borrowing your partner’s car, but planning when somebody is using the car. In the rare case it doesn’t work out you take the Lyft.

  • Bonjour Garance!
    J’ai été très chanceuse de voyager à LA pour 5 jours en février. J’ai beaucoup aimé la ville, mais je n’ai pas de permis de conduire et je ne sais pas conduire. J’ai pris le bus – metro (système peu fiable et dure à comprendre) j’ai pris quelques uber et le vélo me rend anxieuse, surtout dans une ville comme LA. J’ai beaucoup aimé mon voyage, mais sans voiture, je n’ai pas pu visiter tout les vintages clothing store que je voulais et les dispensaires pour acheter des souvenirs à mes ami.e.s. Ma suggestion: achète une voiture. Elle n’est pas obligée d’être dernier cri, mais elle sera payée entièrement et te permettra d’aller où tu veux quand tu veux. Et je dis ça en tant que fière piétonne qui n’a toujours pas de permis malgré avoir franchis le cap de la 30aine (mais j’y travaille, pour au cas où je retourne à LA.
    Bises

  • i drove during high school, but once i went to college i was all done with cars. however, i’ve always lived in places where walking, biking, and mass transit were great options (chicago, now madison wi). i love not having a car, and i love walking and biking everywhere. and taking the bus feels relaxing because even if it’s crowded, you don’t have to pay attention to anything and you can just relax. so… big proponent of the no-car lifestyle here. PLUS, it’s kind of silly to get one these days, isn’t it? with all the car-sharing options out there? you can just rent a car when you need one and the rest of the time you’re free!

  • Voiture, sans hésitation. Au delà du plaisir de conduire (qui justifie à lui seul l’achat d’une voiture), la voiture ouvre tellement d’horizons, offre tellement de possibilités. Elle repousse les frontières de la ville. Pour le modèle, je dirais une décapotable, parceque LA quoi !

  • Hi Garance !
    I love my car here in L.A. Have lived in London and San Francisco without a car, and that was OK. But here in Los Angeles with all the interesting areas and things to do, a car is fun (with radio and air conditioning of course)
    Living in Los Angeles without car is like living in the old West without a horse :-))

  • Depuis que j’habite en plein Paris j’ai lâché ma voiture avec un immense plaisir .
    J’en avais plus que marre de devoir prendre systématiquement chaque matin ma voiture . Il est vrai que de mon nouveau chez moi je peux tout faire à pieds en métro ou à vélo …un grand luxe de mon point de vue.

  • Quand j’habitais a Paris, je n’avais pas de voiture, j’allais partout en bus ou a pieds.
    Depuis que je vis aux U.S. je suis toujours en voiture, n’ayant aucun autre mode de transport la ou je vis.
    A LA peut-etre une petite decapotable, parce que conduire au bord de l’ocean c’est magnifique.

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