George Packard, retired schoolteacher, took a stroll down Wilshire Blvd. He’d walked this stretch of Wilshire Blvd. countless times before. They called it the Miracle Mile area, a euphemism, a PR ploy. Whatever. George Packard just knew that he liked to walk down Wilshire. It was the most city-like of all LA’s streets. George Packard prided himself on his familiarity with the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Say what you like, George had become enamored of the huge, sprawl that comprised the metropolis called Los Angeles. He enjoyed learning its streets, it’s freeways, its endless thoroughfares.
George had always been fascinated by geography. It was a particular fascination, particular to him. That is to say, most people were not so curious, not nearly as interested in geography as he was. George was unusual in this respect. Aside from delivery men and taxi drivers, most people didn’t care about streets and where things were. In any case, today many people relied on GPS devices; they never figured streets out; they never really knew where they were, where they stood. But George had always loved to learn about geography, about other countries and cultures. He loved to travel for this reason. A new city was like a new book, unopened and unread.
His Grandmother used to call him “Curious George”, a disparaging sort of moniker, at least that is how he perceived it. And young George was correct. For “being a curious monkey” was not a compliment in Grandma’s book. Indeed, Grandma herself possessed no curiosity, only a thirst for money and position. What was the sense in being curious? One had to be practical in life. As a child, George couldn’t understand why he couldn’t be practical, why he could never really fit in. But now that he was older, he was glad that he was still a Curious George.