Rooted in Los Angeles
October 2nd, 2023
The Hollywood sign looks small from the top of Baldwin Hills scenic overlook. The earth rose up from the urban sprawl of LA to offer trails and, at the top, patches of flattened concrete for visitors to do pushups and other vigorous exercises. There exists a spirit of pushing the body to do something beyond what one thought possible. Paired with water bottles and pop music blaring from speakers, everything feels possible. A few million people lived in the city below. On the south side of this hill, the oil fields of Inglewood engage in an endless, nauseating nosedive. Looking Northeast, I still can't discern what counts as downtown and what doesn't. Tall towers rise up everywhere in sight, in multiple, menacing clumps.
How would you describe the collective spirit of LA? One of wreckless hustle and determination? Illusions and confusions in place of any fixed reality?
I heard that LA couldn't decide what it wanted to be, so it shed identity after identity, never content with one version of itself. Creating new Instagram pages for every new business venture as new cars joined the race and others fled. Looking out, it really was a wonder that any of us could breathe out here. Or, find a semblance of unity or a communal sense of what we all cared about:
Alignment with ourselves?
Nothing at all?