Now, it there any sort of POD for this world? All I can say is that the following timeline is a work of fiction...in more ways than one...
Since the initial Blue Flash
segment was based on a dream, I figured I might as well keep up the theme and base the world Peter & Rose ended up in on a dream – or dreams, in this case – as well.
In POD 57 I said (in a footnote): “Actually, my "dream L.A." is fairly consistent, in its own bizarre way.”
And it is. Apart from some fuzziness in dimensions (“Dream L.A.” is considerably smaller than the real one – at a very rough estimate, it's about one-third to one-tenth the size of the real thing, depending...and that includes the geography), you could map the locations “in” it out fairly regularly for all the dreams I've had the last forty or so years that are set there.
Dream Cahuenga Pass
Real Cahuenga Pass –
note embarrassing lack of
heavy forest cover...
But there's still that “bizarre way” in there. For all its consistency, it's still a dream.
I mean, I've moved/added whole mountain ranges
here and there in Dream L.A. (which, technically, is just part of "Dream California" - and that's even more messed up, geographically speaking). Even sticking with the topography that actually exists, well, there is not only no reason, for example, but no physical way
for there to be streets and houses almost
to the top of Mount Wilson. Meanwhile, Cahuenga Pass is not
heavily forested, nor does it have a rest-stop halfway through it.
There's no enormous square reservoir (several miles wide, completely surrounded by a fence) with a thin, two-lane causeway going across it just west of Pomona. Catalina island isn't a one-acre rectangle of concrete with a memorial on it...accessible by bridge from Long Beach. The Ventura Freeway isn't a quiet, two-lane road carved into the side of the hills.
And this is just the broad stuff. It doesn't even bring up the “creative” freeways/roads, secret underground areas (a whole series of bike path following alongside the storm drains. An abandoned underground prison formerly accessed by and elevator from the Mount Lowe Railway, right where it went through a tunnel...which I should point out doesn't exist either), or non-standard weather that will – as I also mentioned in 57 – put heavy snow near where Cal Tech is.
That said, it has influenced some of my AH geography before. Bits of it sorta show up in TrolleyWorld
here and there. And now I've used “Dream L.A.” – or more correctly, the “Dream Pasadena” portion of it – as the basis for Peter & Rose's adventures. Since every alternate world needs a name, we'll call it “Pasadena-D.”
Mind you, in order to get this “Dream Pasadena” into a format that at least flirts with reality – Pasadena-D – I had to change some things here and there. Okay, a lot
of things here and there. Mostly involving removing some of the wilder interchanges and putting the dimensions back up to those of the real-world – but in spite of this, it actually does
pretty closely follow what I “see” when I've got a dream set in Pasadena and the near environs because, fortunately, it most follows reality when I dream it.
Still, while it's not really my Dream-world's “Pasadena”, it is
version of it...thus the “the following is a work of fiction” at the beginning of this. Anywho...first, a map:
Lose a few annotations, and this would be a pretty standard "simplified" map of Pasadena on that ATL. Note that the streets and street names are almost
the same as in OTL's Pasadena (just different enough to possibly get you really lost if you try using this as a real map) in spite of how unlikely that would be in this alternate because – again – that's how they are when I "dream" them. Pasadena-D's a good bit larger than OTL's Pasadena, because it includes what would be Altadena and some chunks of San Marino.
Now let's simplify even more, giving us the "schematic" version of Pasadena-D. The kind of map you see where they just want to show what things are there and their rough relation to one-another...but don't care too much about actual geographic accuracy or the fact that reality is rarely all nice straight lines and crisp angles:
Transit companies love this kind of map and – in theory – this is what Peter sees when he looks at the back of a phonebook in Pasadena-D, because phone companies love it too. I have other maps as well
maps (I love making maps), but now comes the tricky bit: Trying to figure out some sort of at least mildly
reasonable divergence that gets us to this Pasadena. Yeah, there's going to be a lot of hand-waving...and glossing over...and just plain making stuff up...but here's what I came up with:
Now here's the “logic” – such as it is – behind this timeline. Remember, I'm trying to make a dream
follow some sort of sense here...
“Dream L.A.” has a lot fewer people in it than the real one. There's more empty space, there's still farms and orchards and such here and there. Heck, bits that are dense city on OTL are (unlikely) forests or flower farms (those are down in Long Beach)!
So the basic idea of all this is to get a Southern California with a lot fewer people in it.
Simplest way to do this – while still retaining a good resemblance to OTL – was to both eliminate WWII, thus greatly diminishing the number of post-war move-ins, and to make California poorer so that the California Aqueduct doesn't get built, which further reduces SoCal's attractiveness to immigrants.
Making California poorer dove-tailed in with making the U.S. poorer as well. With less money, the U.S. doesn't get involved in World War I and probably would have tried to stay out of WWII had there been one on that timeline. I basically did this by making for a slightly more destructive Civil War and by making a couple of recessions full blown depressions and then lengthening the Great Depression. “Dream L.A.” has a lot more older buildings, abandoned structures, and un-torn-out Pacific Electric remnants than the real one because a poorer U.S. means they can't afford to replace stuff as often and just because something's abandoned, doesn't mean there's money to tear it out. And it has a culture of building/buying things that last
...because they're never sure they'll be able to buy whatever that thing is again.
Mind you, all these changes are probably enough to make Pasadena even more unrecognizable from OTL (assuming there's a Pasadena at all) than “Pasadena-D” is, but, hey, I said there'd be a lot of hand-waving...
...suggestions, BTW, welcome...