Driving: Me Crazy!

You know what I hate most about my new life in Orange County?

No, not that. That either.

What I hate is that if I stay out any time later than, say, 10 p.m., the odds seem to be about 50/50 that the freeway exit I need will be randomly closed. Or even that the entire freeway will be randomly closed. Is this some kind of cruel initiation ceremony being perpetrated upon me? Because if I'm forced off the road at, say, Knott's Berry Farm, I don't yet know how one gets back to Santa Ana using surface streets. Even the detour signs seem to give up at a certain point, as if to say, “Fuck it, dude, you're on your own.”

Yet when I Mapquest pretty much any destination in OC, it tells me — of course — to use the freeways. So I'm supposed to depend upon them, even though I obviously can't.

In Los Angeles, I always knew that if I drove far enough in one direction, I'd hit either Santa Monica, Wilshire, a numbered street, or Olympic, and I could easily orient from there.

This being an interactive blog, I thought I'd ask for some pointers. What are, say, the four most important surface streets I should learn for times like these?

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