I am the biggest sucker for sunsets, and Los Angeles particularly seemed to know that. My first time there was enough to have me stumbling over, in love.
The term “takes my breath away” has always been a cheesy one. Walking into the sunset is clichéd. But that was exactly what LA was – sheer beauty – and no other way to describe it.
LA punched me, slapped me – enamoured, enthralled me. I gazed with glassy eyes over sunsets brighter, bloodier than any I had ever seen. I stumbled upwards, over Hollywood hills of success I one day hope to climb. The air tasted of potential, an aroma enticing me to just stay and never leave.
LA is for the hungry – aspiring creators who are starving with ambition before they even earn the title of “starving artist.” Just one week in LA was enough to have me in yelps of puppy love – already yearning for my return. I see my future reflected in the west coast’s glassy waters. I envision potential for an artistic career in the city’s boundlessness.
I don’t think I have ever met so many like-minded individuals like myself in one city – hungry, drowning, but full enough to stay afloat. The city was so eclectic, with an urban hustle-bustle that transitioned into a beach laxness, with a screaming tourism that shaded into smooth local culture. Art was everywhere, and it breached across borders of socio-economic status. Art was every street corner and building wall, but art was also the high Hollywood hills – the monsters of the film, television, media industry.
That was also the problem with LA. I was in love – but the city was so aloof. I stood at the heart of the city – but it still felt so distant, unattainable. LA sprawled to what seemed like an infinity, but its vastness was composed of an isolating individualism. It created individual whirlpools of absorption, where everyone remained enshrouded in only their personal business. It was everyone for themselves, pre-occupied with their careers, their spouses, their homes, their own climbs to success. LA didn’t care about those who couldn’t stay afloat.
The streets roamed with the homeless. It was nearly impossible to navigate without a car. It was cruel to those without roof over their heads. LA polarized the floating and the drowning more than any city I’ve ever been to.
LA is the buff, beautiful crush that I would naturally lust after – but one that would ultimately tear me to pieces. LA was a superficiality that cannot sustain me long-term. I know I would still die to live and work there in the future – but only for a short period of time. LA is great for building a career, but I could never imagine a permanency there.