Me: Don't you feel like Los Angeles is more dangerous than New York?
Ned: No, how do you mean?
Me: When I'm in New York, I never feel any real sense of danger. Any hour of the night, whatever, I've never felt my senses ever go on high or even medium alert to any threat. When I'm out in L.A., every time I go outside the house, I do feel a vague sense of alertness. For one thing, the cops may fuck with me. For another, I feel like there's at least some element of crime going on that I may directly encounter. And also, the mere fact of driving a car puts you in a kind of daily danger that you don't face in quite the same way in New York.
Ned: I don't really feel that way.
In front of us, at that exact second, a black Volkswagon Jetta makes a right turn from Gower onto Sunset and is instantly nailed by a huge rumbling green truck. The Jetta skids to the side of the road and a small Asian girl leaps out, runs back into the street, picks up the piece of her car that was ripped off, and runs back. The truck, driven by a bluetooth-wearing Hispanic man, continues on down Sunset without stopping and gets onto the 101 south.