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Slice of Life LA: Bike Commuting with Nicole Richie and the Bag Lady

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A Memorial Weekend BBQ in East Hollywood was my destination yesterday. And since my recent habit has been to use public transit mixed with the bike, that's what I set out to do from my Sherman Oaks flat.

First, I was off to Ralphs Fresh Fare at Ventura and Coldwater to pick up some food. I shop, exit and head to my bike. Right then, an escalade pulls up and parks in the fire lane (asshole). A man who could have been a bouncer gets out of the car and hides behind it as he takes photos of something. I turn and it looks like an 14-year-old emaciated version of Nicole Richie. Oh wait, it is Nicole Richie. Gross. Other photographers swarm around the grocery store as Ralphs staff guards the doors protecting one of their many celeb shoppers who pass through here.

I bike through the parking lot towards the bus stop and see Alimi Ballard (of Numb3rs) being ignored by the paparazzi as he puts his groceries in his car. He's cool. I like his show.

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I catch a bus down Ventura to the Universal City Red Line station and head underground. A crowd of friends and family is around a man lying on the ground with a woman at a call box asking for help. It seems he just collapsed after a long day at Universal Studios. Seeing nothing I could do to help the situation other than gawk, I moved on and caught a train towards Hollywood.

At Hollywood and Vine, the one of many crazy bag ladies in our city enter. But something is different about her. She is wearing a backpack that something everyone in LA should carry around, but no one does. In the past, I only know one person who carries one of these around and she works for the city's Emergency Preparedness Department. Of all people to be prepared, it was the crazy bag lady with her 72-hour emergency backpack. I feel ashamed as I should be carrying one around too.

I get off at Sunset and Vermont and head West. My destination is on the safest street in Los Angeles and where I should expect to see some crazy shenanigans nonetheless. Here, I arrive at a BBQ on a side street that is one side, apartments, one side, Scientology Centre.

The most normal part of my day begins as I open the gate to the apartment complex.