Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset?

Having grown up in LA, I formally pretend to hate it. Isn’t that what everyone feigns about their hometown? Maybe some really do, if they grew up in the middle of nowhere, USA.

But when I am asked that tired question, “Where are you from?” I am never embarrassed to admit that I hail from Los Angeles. In fact, there may be inklings of pride. Though I moved far away, and I have no plans of officially returning, when I am there, something feels like home. Maybe it’s driving everywhere. Maybe I can predict people’s attitudes. Maybe it’s the pretty sunsets.

Why I don’t like LA: the people can be fake, inside and out. The myths are true; a lot of people have had plastic surgery, and most people prefer spray tans to the sun, despite its abundance. People live in flip-flops and never feel the need to get dressed up. There is no cohesive sense of city life, and the traffic is a nightmare. And everyone wants to be famous. So many people will live and die in LA with the unrequited hopes of becoming a star.

But, overall, it wasn’t a bad place to grow up. When my friends and I would ditch high school, we would just walk to the beach. Sometimes I miss the laid back attitude of la-la land and the beautiful coastline. And the sunsets; a guaranteed nightly show of lights in an array of unnatural colors, free for viewing. I miss seeing the sky.

So the smog is probably killing everyone, if an earthquake doesn’t first, but I’d choose a childhood in California over New Jersey any day.

A poem by Emily Dickinson closes nicely:
An ignorance a Sunset
Confer upon the Eye --
Of Territory -- Color --
Circumference -- Decay --

Its Amber Revelation
Exhilirate -- Debase --
Omnipotence' inspection
Of Our inferior face --

And when the solemn features
Confirm -- in Victory --
We start -- as if detected
In Immortality --

Another man-made, beautiful arrangement of light at the LACMA.

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Born and raised under the Los Angeles sun and smog. At sixteen spent some time in LA County Juvenile Detention Center, although never really learned her lesson. Moved to Boston for the classic college experience. Spray painted graffiti in the Paris Metro during six month stay in the Marais. Survived an ultra fabulous and frightening internship at Vogue Magazine while living at a nunnery in Hell's Kitchen. Lived a year in Seoul, a city which can only be compared to a Disneyland theme park. Written four hundred sixty-four words of an undisclosed masterpiece novel. Currently pondering her next adventure and also the meaning of her memoirs from an artist's loft in dirty Brooklyn.