Imagine a NASCAR track, but the banking is at a 45-degree angle and beyond. And instead of cars, imagine bicycles without brakes racing around that track. The track is a velodrome, and the sport is track cycling. It’s fast, furious and Kate Wilson is one of the best at it.
Kate Wilson, a senior at Summit View School, is a nationally-recognized track cyclist. She is a member of the Connie Cycling Junior Racing Team, based at the L.A. Velodrome at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Coached by Olympian Connie Paraskevin, Kate started in 2006 and has medaled more than a few times. Most recently, Kate, along with a teammate, won the gold medal in the Women’s Madison Event at USA Cycling’s 2011 Elite Track Championship. Kate also competed in the Junior Track Nationals in Texas and was one of the 16 cyclists who represented the United States at the Junior World Track Championships in Moscow. In addition to track cycling, Kate also competes in road racing. She is on the NOW and Novartis for MS Development Team. She also competes in biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and shooting. This last winter, Kate placed first in her division at the Mammoth Biathlon. And before cycling and biathlon, Kate played soccer for a club and for her high school.
All these sports and school! But perhaps athleticism is in her genes. Kate’s mom, Jan Palchikoff, is an Olympian in rowing. Her father, Dr. Wayne Wilson, is a renowned sports historian and is the Vice President of Education Services at the LA84 Foundation, a private foundation established with part of the surplus from the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Dr. Wilson also competed and placed in the side horse event at his state’s high school gymnastics championship. When I ran into their family at Mammoth last winter, I ended up on a cross-country skiing adventure. Their love for sport is quite contagious.
If you see Kate and her family in the neighborhood, my advice to you is to start stretching. Because before you know it, you’ll find yourself participating in some kind of really, really fast sport.
In this super duper fast-paced world, where we can find and access most information with a click of a mouse, where three clicks are too much, where we have to abbreviate ‘laugh’ because it has five letters, where we reply without a salutation or even write a full sentence, and where we have to sync our work Outlook calendar to our color-coded Google calendar, it is nice to have the game of golf.
For me, the game of golf is a nostalgic escape. It is an escape to a quieter and gentler world, where the pace is slow and civility is required. When I play golf, I actually hear full sentences. If conversations were written down, they would probably include commas and, *gasp*, even semi-colons. The premium put on etiquette, that at first feels so foreign and off-putting, is a return to a world that values the importance of how we behave. Rules such as proper attire make the environment feel more equal; adherence to tee time signifies respect for other people’s time. Golf requires a lot of dignity and decorum: respect for one’s self and accountability to those around us.
Golf and its history are far from perfect, but the game has evolved. Fortunately, even through its evolution, the required sense of civility has stayed intact: we still acknowledge and greet each other, wait for our turn, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, make sure we don’t leave a mess at the tee box, fix divots and other mess we may have made, encourage each other, help find lost balls, and wait for others’ to finish before leaving. And no matter how well we play, we say ‘thank you’ and shake hands.
Although I enjoy my connected world where I Tumbl, Like, and Press, it’s nice that there is still a place where pleasantries are important, live and audible conversations happen, and people can get to know one another in real time.
The report explores and analyzes the record-setting transfer of wealth (TOW) currently taking place in the county. It states that despite the recession, L.A. County residents had an estimated networth of almost $1.3 trillion in 2010.
By 2060, an estimated $1.4 trillion is expected to be transferred between generations.
Read it. Think about it. Strategize.
On any given Saturday or Sunday, the space is bustling with sounds of children running around, the clickety clack of some woman’s heels, and vendors tempting passers-by with sea salt scrub, new cell phones, cell phone covers, helicopter toys, pillows and the like. Women and men wait near the modern stalls where they can get their brows waxed and get a haircut, respectively. Cotton candy, popcorn, a celebrity-endorsed milkshake, the Orange Julius/Dairy Queen-adjacent-to-Mrs. Fields situation, smoothies, and pretzels tempt many who are on their third diet that week. Meanwhile, customers stop by Shiekh, JC Penney’s, Macy’s, and Bakers’, as they have for many years. Though the need for toilet paper and desire for new electronics bring new people in for practical reasons, a new gym, a hamburger stand, and the restaurant/brewery make them stay.
If you are a Los Angeles native in the Culver City and neighboring communities of Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Heights, View Park, Crenshaw, Westchester, Marina Del Rey—and basically any surrounding community within the five-mile radius—the mall off the I-90 Freeway on Sepulveda/Slauson, the revamped Westfield Culver City will always just be Fox Hills Mall to the locals.
Beyond shopping, the Fox Hills Mall continues to serve as a social scene and the central marketplace for the community. When I asked a friend to go with me to Target at Fox Hills to pick up cleaning supplies, she quickly replied that she would need another 20 minutes because she would have to put on mascara as she was sure she would see someone she knew, which was often true.
As we made our way to Target, we passed by deejays and their turntables in front of a couple of stores (including Macy’s), saw our younger selves in the next-gen set shopping for clubbing clothes, and dodged kids racing to the Halloween Spooktacular event. But beyond clubbing clothes, items for the home, cleaning supplies, and seasonal events, Fox Hills is also where people run into their high school friends and maybe even their third cousins, including non-biological cousins.
As you make your way from Claire’s to Hallmark, you might learn who just got married and/or had a baby. I am willing to bet that there are people who have left the state-or even just the neighborhood—and ran into a friend or family during their Fox Hills visit.
Fox Hills Mall is Culver City’s marketplace. It is where the action is and where it always has been.
It is a central gathering place for the community.
Fox Hills forever.**
The blog was also posted on Culver City Patch.
** Edited out of Patch.