I say this only out of affection. I love LA.
What do I love about it? Everything, as a visitor.
But I also remember this glowing feeling when I had only ever been a tourist in Manhattan, and when I actually moved there it was far, far different. It Did Not End So Well. But NYC and I made up over and over again in 2002 and 2003.
I do not think we have any imminent plans to move to LA. But, much like a crush at far remove, I am just going to enjoy this feeling of Crushing on LA.
|Dreamy SoCal sera|
When I was growing up, LA held the following sort of place in the imagination: Den of Sin. State of Crazy People. Loonies and Hippies. So Expensive! Those People Are Crazy.
|Look at the performer. No soul! She left it at the door, clearly.|
Note: these are my people.
The PR in my childhood about LA was horrendous. It extended to California in general, a cesspool of lost morality so deep and so murky that one might never hear again from loved one should they there venture. Who moves there? Just give them all your money at the door, and maybe your soul too, while you're at it. Just cut to the chase. It will happen eventually.
And yet. Since 2009 I have taken three trips to LA, twice for the same weeklong conference downtown, and once for our friend Jack's wedding. Maybe the common thread of Jack is what makes LA sparkle so? I would not be in the least surprised.
The NAFSA conference each year draws about 10,000 attendees. It is a madhouse of international education. My workweek was no walk in the park. Up at 7, at expo hall by 8, presenting and client-ing until 5, evenings full of receptions with more prospective clients and clients.
|Slipping into my professional Yank persona|
|Satu the Texas Finn|
|Regina, friends since 2006|
|The inimitable Bill, who heard my cry for MORE JAPANESE CULTURE |
and within hours rolled up in his green Tonka truck!
|Jack, who just makes LA more more|
|My colleague Travis|
|Ritually slaughtering Tim - good fun|
Back in America: wow, this is so easy in English! Wow, I am hearing like 100 languages. I love accents in English and everything else. I spoke Italian every day; they were all over the place.
|Italians. They see my frames, they talk to me.|
|with former colleagues and new friends|