Loving Los Angeles

I just got back from a fast and furious work trip to Dallas and while the smoked BBQ Pork was heavenly, as usual when I get home from somewhere else, Iím struck by how lucky I feel to live here in Los Angeles. Still, I find it eye opening to get out. In Dallas for instance, while on a film set, which gave me access to a lot of conversations, I ran into a lot of people who were very open about their religious viewpoints. And like many of my friends here….who just assume that everyone is pretty liberal and left-wing, the assumption there was that you were Republican and Christian. One woman I talked to just assumed I was a born again Christian (as was she). She went on to tell me about how difficult a time a friend of hers was having. He had been sued for his involvement in demonstrating and getting violent at an abortion clinc and had a judgement against him for something like 10 million dollars. Because he was an author, now that there was a judgement against him….he had to funnel all his earnings into a foundation or risk having it taken by the judgement. I tried hard not to react…because I know how myopic I can be about my beliefs. And I want to respect everyone’s viewpoint. My first instinct was to like this woman when I first met her…and then I felt shock at her beliefs….so I had to assimilate both her views, which are so radically different from mine, and the notion that I felt a bond with her over other experiences, and let go of judging. It was a change for me. And really isn’t that what it’s all about, accepting differences and still being able to get along. Wouldn’t that be the way of ultimate peace on this planet?

Iíve traveled all over the world, mostly for my jobÖ.but occasionally for fun, and while every place has itís charms and immense particular beauty, living in LA, we really have it made. I wonderÖis it just that LA is so familiar and ëhomeí to me that makes me love it so? Is it because I feel there is more acceptance here for a wider range of ideas? And is that really true? We all cling to our familiar routines and surroundings, it makes us feel safe, and Iím no different. But when I add up all the pros and cons of Hawaii, NYC, London, Paris and then compare them to my beloved LA, she still shines the brightest for me.

7 Replies to “Loving Los Angeles”

  1. Ahh…but there’s the beauty, you can have your opinion and I can have mine! I think it’s glorious….and just wondering….if it sucks so hard…why JT are you here?

  2. I’ve lived a lot of places. The upside is that there is pretty much nothing you might want to do, see, or buy, that you won’t find here. I love that there are so many opportunities, so much diversity, etc, etc..

    However, you give up: clean air, trees that aren’t fried, autumn (prettiest season of them all), clean streets, clean oceans, safety, and about a quarter of your life gets claimed by the freeways.

    I’m staying, so obviously I find these compromises acceptable, but I certainly won’t be here forever. Unless you’re in the entertainment industry (which I am), I honestly don’t see the draw of living here. It’s overcrowded, overpolluted, and dirty. The people here are great. But the city in and of itself…not so much.

  3. I came to your site looking for the troll you mentioned on hugh’s site, otherwise I might never have run across this post. I am so refreshed by it. Progressive thinkers honestly believe they are accepting of others–look how we embrace fill-in-the-blank, but our patience is sorely tested when we run across a right wing fundamentalist. I’ve been as guilty as anyone and have become more vigilant in my own brand of judgmentalism (is that a word?).

    I used to live in an inner-ring, very urban suburb of St. Louis, where the assumption was that anyone choosing U. City would have to be a progressive thinker. We can’t make those assumptions now in our new home, but I’ve met some wonderful people with whom I just don’t discuss politifcs.

    We liberals really ought to learn to be more tolerant of good people whose world view is different than ours.

    I was glad to hear someone else dealing with this issue with a loving attitude. Our tent should be wider.

  4. I think the LA haters are crazy, and I wish they would just leave the city to those of us who love it. The traffic is the one bad thing I see in LA, but it’s not like you wouldn’t be forced to drive in the vast majority of the rest of the country either (i.e. anywhere except SF, NY, and maybe the downtowns of some other cities, and certainly if THIS is too crowded for you, I don’t know what you’ll do in the former two). The traffic wouldn’t be as bad, but distances would be longer too. I’ve never understood the big deal over the smog. I don’t even notice the difference when I go to other places. I understand it used to be much worse as well. In the choice between having mountains or cleaner air, I’ll take the mountains.

    The weather is nearly perfect, yet you can still have winter at higher elevations, where there was still snow on July 4 on Mt San Antonio. In general I think northern cities are MUCH dirtier than LA especially in the winter, and to me anyway the scenery in LA is much more beautiful than in any other city with the possible exception of SF. You should be happy you HAVE an ocean to be dirty in the first place, but it’s still generally safe and of course if you go some miles north or south you can find quite clean water. People make all these complaints about LA, but there is no place that will get rid of all of them.

  5. I think your love of LA does come from simply being raised here. I’ve lived here a year and half, and while there are certainly nice points about the area, and fun things to do, I honestly do not like the city much at all.

    The idea of LA being more “open-minded” is a fallacy as well. It honestly appears to be something the populace here as duped itself into believing about itself. It’s “open-minded” as long as you agree with generally left-leaning point of views (which I generally do not).

    Now its simply the reverse in other places. Where I’m from, the general acceptance is for right-leaning point of views. However unlike the west coast, we make no false pretense that we are more “open-minded” either. ;-)

  6. Todd- I didn’t grow up here, I moved as an adult….my appreciation comes from the many varied experiences I’ve had living all over the world. My point about it being more “open-minded” here is really based on the experience of living here. There are so many fluid cultures that exist in LA, it’s hard to stay mired in your own POV. But I was also trying to point out how hard it is to stay in a non-judgemental place when it comes to appreciating other peoples views that are so different (and often times repugnant) to you. And Jill….yeah, I like the idea of having a wider tent.

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