I am fully aware of the differences between them all and of the complaints of other individuals about this particular one. I very much know there are those who say: “it’s not truly world class”; and, I know as well that it is in fact not London, it is not Paris, it is not New York City or Tokyo.
Some of them, who issue those criticisms, believe it is living off the ascribed glamour and the embellished ideas that are born from the scent of easy money and quick-found fame. But after twelve long years, after a life that took shape in great part thanks to it, I can only call it my home and my city: Los Angeles.
Standing so high above it and looking down at it, surrounding myself in the perpetual noise that is carried by its air, I feel as if I understand it for the first time: So mighty, so developed, yet so fragile and distant: It needs us, just as we need it.
It needs those who believe in it, not because of false ideals of glossy fame, unbridled advancement and frame-ready life—despite how much we all fall, in weakness and in moments, into these. It needs those who believe in the reality of it, a never ending experiment of “more better”, of time not standing still only on a given period or neighborhood; those who believe in the constant growth of life, humanity and society, all in shared asphalt and pavement extending from the mountains into the sea.
It needs those who dwell underneath it as much—if not more—as it needs those who dwell in crystal spires that sprout from historic grounds, disputed by blood and the passage of knowledge through time.
It needs those who have daily, short-term dreams of living life a little better with each sunrise, just as it needs those who come here to abuse the generosity of the All-Mother who took the shape of a city and embraced both evil and good, for all are her children.
And yes, I believe in it. If not for myself, for the truths that have been found and experiences that have been lived by others and witnessed by some, for the opportunities and new life given to those—whom I knew—worthy but left behind.
That very well may be why I believe in it, why I see past the cynicism and inherent selfishness. Though I do wish for myself and dream my own dreams; I do not lose myself in the ideals of selflessness and moral victories; yet, having seen the new life that is breathed by this city into the dreams that were once extinguished, I cannot deny then that there are others whose place is here and their time is now.
Nor can I deny how this city is and will be alive.
And how this city holds them, its children, and loves them, just as they hold, live and love the city of angels back.