Most of the time I love where I live. Everyone is curious about Los Angeles, especially if they’ve never been here, but the curiosity is usually tempered with a little bit of distaste. “Why do you live there?” is something I get asked quite often. “Isn’t L.A. crowded? Expensive? Dangerous? Don’t you get sick of the pace, the competitive energy, the plastic people? Isn’t the artifice and excess of the entertainment industry too much?”
Sometimes this city is completely exhausting. I get sick of driving everywhere. I wait in line almost everywhere I go. There is crime and violence here. The very rich live perilously close to the very poor and nobody blinks an eye. A numbing barrage of advertising and imagery and noise and smells dominate the everyday. Everyone is hustling for their little bit, and people can be pretty mean.
|I often need a reminder.|
It is overwhelming. The bigness, messiness, craziness of L.A. begins to take over, and suddenly I find myself thinking that anywhere is better than here. Why do I live here?
I used to think that I felt this way because I am an introvert or a misanthrope, but now I don’t think that’s why. I think that what really happens is that I stop seeing what’s all around me. It is exactly that – all around me -- and I begin to take this place for granted because I DO live here.
|Hope she finds a good home when the building is finished.|
Nearly a decade has gone by since I first began my life as an Angelino, and some days I forget that not everyone has almost endless sunshine. I forget that there are places where there are little or no opportunities to do and be whatever or whomever. I forget that the diversity here, the seemingly infinite combination of cultures, is a challenge (in the best way) and a comfort every day. I forget how beautiful this place is - the murals and architecture and palm trees and flowers that are endlessly stimulating. I forget that the Pacific ocean is a quick bike ride from where I live and work. I forget that there are people here who live and love and create the way that I do. I forget.
Then I take a walk around my neighborhood, and I am reminded. I am inspired.
|I ride my bicycle past this one several times a week. Its hard not to smile when I see it.|
|In the alley outside Glencrest Bar-B-Que. What artists manage to create with spray paint is astonishing.|
This is why I live here. This is why.