It's been a while since I have visited the City of Angels. What a contrast to my tiny quiet ski village where I have lived for the past three years and to the mid-sized city of Denver where I lived before that for thirty years.
What struck me more than anything else was the complete acceptance of diversity throughout the city. Though I did not go everywhere, my impression was that races, genders, elders, and youth all seem to want the same things: good hotels, nice restaurants, enjoyable pastimes. It was a replica of all the commercials we see on television where everyone gets along and has a good time together, no matter whether you're the worker or a family or a group of friends.
Of course the traffic is ridiculous and the means of getting around daunting. To one of our destinations we were on a two way busy street for at least ten miles! And the homeless tents line the avenues.
Still, I love all the references to the film industry and Hollywood. In my home town you would never see a blockade adorned with photos of Matt Damon and his new movie Stillwater imposed on it or vintage pictures of Charlie Chaplin in a historic women's club.
The bougainvillea and hydrangea bushes are in full bloom, so rich you can't even see the branches.
And the California cuisine? Inventive with abundant amounts of kale, arugula and lesser known greens, a farmers' market entirely devoted to fresh fruits and vegetables, and creative versions of produce like canned kiwis and marinated plums.
The beach summoned us although the boats in the harbor all needed paint jobs. (Blame it on the pandemic). We saw tons of volley ball games, kids playing in the sand, girls in summer dresses, fancy parties in individual stalls.
The bevy of activity is exhausting but invigorating. It renewed my appreciation for why people live in megacities like the City of Angels despite all the problems that go along with that choice.