Autumn in Los Angeles

Autumn Leaves

Outside my San Fernando Valley window.


I love living in L.A. but miss the seasonal metamorphis. Each year seems to roll into the other without imprinting any discernable sense-memory. I can recall the winter of ’90 but not the summer of ’96, or much since. Recounting a decade is like sifting through snapshots of hairstyle changes and evolving musical tastes — without your sinuses contracting with the dropping temperatures, or the mustiness of fallen leaves to infuse the memory, it’s as if it were all a dream.

On my street today, amongst the unchanging Magnolias and the evergreens, there were a few precious oaks, their colors showstopping. My senses were livened, but at the same time, I wanted to be transported back east from whence I came, and if only for a couple days, smell the raked wet-leaf piles, feel the dread of the impending winter for which there is no escape, and sense the excitement of the looming holidays. That scene at the end of the movie “Big,” where Tom Hank’s character Josh walks home down that perfect suburban New Jersey street, is the autumn of my childhood.

L.A. has it’s charms, to be sure — perpetual sun, no scraping ice off your windshield, surfing on Thanksgiving — but the only way you know that Santa Claus is coming to town, is if you go to the mall.

Pam Alster, former stand-up comedienne, TV writer & suburban mom brings a decade of living on the dark side to light in her bestselling debut novel Robin’s Blue. Available in paperback and on Kindle.


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