It’s no secret to the people who know me that I don't really like L.A. very much. And I don't know that I have very good reasons for it either. I had never lived in a city before I moved to L.A. And even though I live in the most suburban, white bread part of the city, it still doesn’t feel like the suburbs. I know that my fantasy of living in the country is unrealistic (in my dreams there are fluffy little lambs with chains of daisies around their necks and cows that sing to me…no, really!) so I don’t know that I am actually the country girl that I may claim to be.
I also have an unrealistic view of the city where I can stumble out my front door in the morning, grab a cup of decent coffee without waiting in line at a Starbucks (because I would go to a hip indy coffee shop, of course), have some 1920’s newsboy toss a paper at me, read on a subway to work UNMOLESTED and go to my wonderful job as an artist who makes enough money to live in a wonderful toon town city like this.
All that said there are some things I do love about L.A.
1. I am always amazed and kind of comforted by the smell of chlorine that permeates the valley on a hot day. Yes, of course it is a deadly gas, but it is the deadly gas that smells like summer
2. Conversely, the smell of jasmine sneaks up on you in this city. At any moment on any street, you could suddenly be enveloped in the heady scent. I didn’t even know there was jasmine in California until I moved here.
3. Sometimes, in the dead of winter, when I have been on the phone with friends on the east coast who complain of the WIND CHILL FACTOR (we don’t have wind chill factors in L.A.) I drive along Sepulveda and marvel at the flowers still in bloom in January. Especially when they are poppies. More especially when there are orange and pink poppies.
4. The greatest view in Los Angeles (to me) is the view of the valley from the crest of the hill on the 405 at night. It’s like you suddenly see the promised land, which is certainly not to say that Sherman Oaks is the promised land, but when all you can see are the millions of twinkling lights, it’s kind of worth it.
5. I like Hollywood. I know I can’t be the only person. And I’m not talking about this new shiny disneyfied Hollywood. I am talking about the crumbling glory of the other end of Hollywood. I like the crazy people in costumes outside of the Chinese theatre. I love the old building on the corner of Hollywood and Highland (that is NOT the mall). I like the architecture of the old buildings. It’s a very cool place to visit.
6. I like the L.A. River. The poor, sad, L.A. River. Who doesn’t love a cement river with hardly any water? Not me, I love it.
So I guess I don’t HATE L.A. and if I could I would say to it, “It’s not you L.A., it’s me, I love some city that’s like you, but not you.”