Fresh and Easy, and a Driving Story

Fresh and Easy opened in Alhambra recently. It's at 2121 W Main, which is across the street from Target and about 1/2 mile east of Fremont and west of Atlantic.

Small store. It's probably only 1/3 to 1/4 the size of the Rosemead Supermarket on Valley (the former Ralph's). Nice wide aisles. Bright. Nicely packaged foods (which probably means it's not very environmentally friendly). Busy. But not many employees. I only saw two. One was ladeling samples near the back. Another was staffing the "help desk" up front.

Prices seemed reasonable, but several sale items were out of stock. And when you get to the front, you've got to check yourself out. They had about ten self-serve check stands.

On my way back, I filled my gas tank at the Union station on San Gabriel and Mission. When I left, I made a right on Mission, then wanted to make a left on Pine (then a left on Fairview, then a right on San Gabriel--I would rather have just made a left on Mission, but the cars were backed up and I would have been stuck there for an indefinite period of time). This was about 6:30pm, so it was pretty dark (incidentally, because it's only mostly dark and your eyes haven't had to fully adapt to dark, it's actually harder to see things at late twilight than it is in full darkness. That's important to this story).

Well, I'm heading west on Mission and I flipped on my blinkers. I looked ahead and saw no cars within a 1/2 mile of me. All clear in front of me. I looked to the left and saw no cars coming. All clear there, too. So I started my turn. Of course, as I'm heading west on Mission, my headlights are also point west on Mission. As I start turning towards the south, my headlights also trace a path towards the south. When I'm about halfway through my turn, the right (southbound) lane of Pine is finally (partially)illuminated. And that's when I see two kids running across the left (northbound) lane of Pine, heading east. Their mom, meanwhile, is still only about halfway across the street. So I stopped. With no on-coming cars, that was not a problem.

Then the mom stops and starts yelling at me.

On the one hand, I understand she's upset. If I was driving faster or if I hadn't seen them and if I hadn't stopped, I would have hit her. But I DID see them, and I DID stop! And it wasn't a "Car speeding, tires streaching, front-end bottoming out, skidded to a stop inches from turning your kids into roadkill" stop. It was, a "Never moving faster than five miles an hour, whoops, didn't see you there, stopped before I got within ten feet of you" stop.

And, as I said, it was dark. And they're all dressed in dark, non-reflective, clothes, and there aren't any streetlights at this intersection and they aren't carrying flashlights or anything. So, yeah, lady, you have a right to be concerned for your kids, and I totally agree that, dark or not, I need to be on the lookout for kids running across the street. But rather than yelling at me for NOT hitting your kids and stopping ten feet away from you, maybe you better consider how (in)visible you all are when you're crossing a dark intersection at night. MY car has headlights, and you can see me coming (and you can see my blinker). YOU don't have headlights or flashlights or reflectors, AND IT'S DARK!