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Baxter Street Makes Me Cry Like a Little Girl

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Ok, so I exaggerated with that title. But only just a little. Baxter Street, which is one of L.A.’s steepest streets – cutting through Silver Lake and Echo Park – makes my stomach turn and my head spin. Every time I get to the top of the hill I think: “This is the day. It's the day that I’ll gently ride the brakes of my little Subaru in third gear all the way to the bottom.” And every time, I turn the car around and find other streets to get me to my friends on Echo Park Ave. (I used to drive a stick, and give me a red light at La Cienega or Sweetzer with a Mercedes and a BMW crowding my bumpers any day.)

The last time I faced this asphalt nemesis was on Sunday afternoon when my friend’s 4-year-old daughter was helping me navigate the neighborhood from the 2 freeway. I then realized where she was taking me: It’s a straight shot down Baxter to get to their house. So I get to the top of the hill, look out over my dashboard and realize (again) that I can’t see the street in front of me. I can only see the bottom of the hill, which is a very, very long way down. The vertigo kicks in, and my heart starts racing. I back the car up and turn left instead, hoping I don’t tick off too many locals who probably watch and mock everyone who does this.