Every morning on my way to work I round the corner from Burbank onto Balboa. There is a copse of Eucalyptus trees right on that corner, and when my windows are down, which is most of the time, the smell of Eucalyptus comes flooding into the car and totally crashes my I-hate-everyone-and-everything-crabby-morning-commute party. It never fails: I can be in the middle of cursing some ginormous road-hogging SUV or a cyclist who is riding past the “please walk bikes” sign at either end of the crosswalk, and that smell comes in the window and I just think “God damn, I love LA.” Wherever I have lived there are certain sensations that seem to belong to that city. When I left DC and moved to the wholesome midwest, sad to say, police sirens and that hot-day, humid garbage smell would make me homesick. To this day, the cicada noise on summer nights brings me right back to my growing-up years.
Wherever I may end up if I ever leave this crazy city, I know that the thick scent of jasmine on a summer night, or the sound of helicopters circling overhead, or the smell of Eucalyptus coming through a car window will always remind me of this place. What about you? What are your LA sensations?