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Simulated Scenery

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Who says the seventies (and bad taste) are dead? Not the City of Los Angeles, which has been testing artificial grass in a median on Sherman Way.

Yes, while you're sitting in your car waiting for the light to turn green, you can look to the median for a glimpse of verdant, plush, refreshing plastic grass, and drive away feeling... well, there's no other word for it: renewed.

If this pilot program is successful, the mind boggles at what other throwback technologies the city can employ in the name of public beautification. Perhaps City Hall could benefit from the installation of fine plywood wall paneling. Venice Beach could be covered in lovely orange deep pile shag carpeting. LAPD could turn in their Crown Vics for El Caminos with fringed headliners and those chrome chain steering wheels.

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Now, it's not that there is something intrinsically evil about grass that is an extruded petroleum product whose manufacture involves the use of chemicals with sixteen syllable names, but in a grass v. grass throwdown, the good old-fashioned, dog pile infested, ant pile harboring, jean staining wonder that is organic grass wins hands down.

Plastic grass had its chance. It fades, wears out, causes ACL tears in NFL running backs, and just plain looks tacky. In a city with more than its share of ugly public spaces, artificial grass is like putting vinyl siding over your cracked stucco home and hoping the neighbors think you got a nice, new paint job, when, in truth, you're not fooling anybody.