It’s been a while since I’ve been to LA. Much like revisiting New York, the scene changes every time I return.
As always, it’s total sensory overload, but more than that, it’s a collective mindset that the LA way is the only way.
Everyone looks great even though the styles today are kind of schleppy. Grungy haute courtier is the style. Lots of skin, tasteful tattoos, leggings and off the shoulder blouses for the ladies and untucked shirts and tight jeans for the men. Only the old people, a growing population who are rarely acknowledged, wear tailored slacks and skirts, blouses with sleeves or Ivy League shirts. Regardless of one’s ethnic or gender background or political persuasion, everyone is stylish. LGBT’s, hipsters, actors. It doesn’t matter. They’re all magazine ready.
Everyone likes to “pose.” In front of Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson at the Broad Museum. In front of Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall. At the beach. Wherever.
Dogs rule. You can take them anywhere. And the dogs are all good looking too. Protocol is to stop and talk each time you see a couple or three of them on a leash. It’s just not polite if you don’t comment on how cute they all are. Actually protocol is to talk to all humans too. It points out how all inclusive LA residents are.
Shopping is by Amazon. Packages in all sizes clump together in the downtown high rises and other condominium complexes.
Though food trucks are still important, the restaurants featuring all kinds of poke are even more in vogue. Accompanying poke and other lighter fare are cocktails with like Bloody Mary's with unusual ingredients like cucumber or bacon.
As usual, the highways are like a scene in “La la land.” And when you visit with anybody, it’s all about the highways you’re going to take to get to the next highway to get to the next highway to get to your destination. “Take the 405 to the 110 and then to the 470.” Or something like that.
Of course everyone is on their cell phones. You especially need the apps which can tell you how many minutes delay one has on each highway and then suggestions on alternate routes to go.
And one can expect other forms of delays like when they’re filming a commercial and you need to stop in your tracks until the scene is cut.
More and more the “Old Hollywood” shows up as a reminder of the days when Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart reigned. All those famous symbols look even more classic. The Hollywood Bowl. The Pantages Theater. The Roosevelt Hotel. The Beverly Hills mansions where all the movie stars used to live.
There are hundreds of venues for theater and nightclubs and other forms of entertainment like improv just for women or a film festival for Star Wars fanatics. The larger than life billboards are ubiquitous and taut every new movie and televisions series that are on the cable and streaming networks. Marvel characters, grizzly crime, dystopian topics. Pick your flavor.
The bougainvillea and hibiscus flourish everywhere. It’s what makes LA the most inviting. Walk down even a somewhat seedy street and rich greenery embraces you.
What I find most interesting is the total acceptance of political correctness. Everywhere you go the population is an amalgamation of black, brown and white and everyone seems happy and comfortable with each other, a belief that this state knows how to solve their problems and how to get along.
You have to be tough to live in a city of so many millions. Just being on a highway takes guts and determination beyond the norm. It’s like you’re playing a football game every day. You’re always in offense and defense mode.
Returning to my hometown of Denver seemed a bit of a letdown. The people aren’t as pretty and if they are, they don’t quite know how to show it off. It just seems a bit boring after all the intense stimulation. Our restaurant and entertainment ratio is much smaller. We do have a plethora of pot places and soccer fields.
Hey. It is a nice place to raise a family.