My apologies to Lewis Carroll, “The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax of cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.”
What in the blue blazes is he talking about, you ask.
Shortly I'll be leaving LA and start my trek back home and nothing could be more appropriate that Lewis Carroll's nonsense rhyme to summarize my thoughts about La La Land.
Previously, I’ve alluded to how unlike other US cities, that I’ve visited, that LA stands heads above the others as a contradiction unto itself.
You have the beautiful self-absorbed people competing neck in neck with the homeless street self-absorbed people for space. While one group is vying for personal attention and fame the other is vying for street space and anonymity, OMG are there a lot of them, the street people that is. To most LA'ers they are just invisible.
|Moving to a better neighborhood|
LA really is the city of dreamers and broken dreams. A beautiful and yet sad place existing around a mythical shining city on a hill called Hollywood. This last sentence is Hyperbole by the way. The actual hill is a bump in the center of LA that’s a colourless dusty mound with a famous fading sign on it.
Having said this, the people of LA are some of the most friendly I’ve encountered. Even those who call the streets their home, when approached, for the most part turn out to be not only friendly but very interesting individuals. I should mention that discretion is sometimes the better part of valor when dealing with those who make the streets their homes. Most of my encounters have be fine, yet others have resulted in my breaking off contact quickly. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Many who photography life on the streets tend to do so from a distance with a long lens. Yes, there can be consequences from close encounters but, in my view, if the long lens is your preferred choice then you are entering into the realm of the voyeur and not really making contact with your subjects. Shooting from a distance gets you annoyed stares. Close up requires you to have personal contact, generally resulting in more personal and sincere work.
My daughter mentioned that perhaps it’s the weather that produces, for the most part, the cheery disposition that most LA’ers seem to possess. It’s either this or the fact that no one wants to appear negative to you on the off chance you might be a big wig producer who just might be able to deliver that ticket to the elusive butterfly called fame.
Either way there are many wonderful, yet at the same time, strange and sad aspects of this city.
Most great cities tend to have aspects about them, that are non-human, for which they have become known for. New York has it’s wide avenues and concrete canyons. Miami its beaches, New Orleans its food, Santa Fe it’s Pueblo-style architecture, Sedona its red-rock buttes, San Francisco its hill, prison and cable cars, San Diego its navy. But Los Angels has, in my view, more than anything else that defines it, it’s people. Oh yes, and that Hollywood sign.
For me LA is not unlike a mosquito bite. Though you scratch it, the itch keeps coming back. You feel the need to revisit and explore LA, a great deal more, before it will stop itching.
Soon I will be saying cherry-O to LA and heading for home. The only problem is, the itch is still there.