30
Jul

Clear as day

Manhattan Beach, CA

Los Angeles is awesome. And by that, I mean the more time you spend here, the less you think you’re overwhelmed by the size of everything here, and you just go, ‘Los Angeles, you are awesome’.

It becomes clear as day one moment, when you least expect it, when you’re stuck in traffic, frazzled by six lanes in either direction, gummed up at an exit and wondering which way to turn at a junction.

L.A. is bigger than you think, greater as a city than you can imagine (especially if you’re from Singapore), smarter than you are, and more interesting than you have time to explore. And what about that off-leash dog-walking track in the Hollywood hills where you just begin to get an idea of how sprawling the city is (and how unfit you are as you’re being walked by your friend’s dogs)?

Sure, there’s Hollywood Blvd and the Sunset strip, and the amusements at Universal Studios, but when you’ve had the chance to acquaint yourself with this city long enough, you might have the chance of separating art from life, even if just briefly, before the town’s dichotomy between art and life fades and disappears.

Have something interesting happen to you, or do something noteworthy here, and chances are your life is art. And life imitates art here with a voracity you won’t find anywhere else. The contemporary consumes the classics and becomes classic in turn – think of one giant lava lamp, always moving always morphing.

You’re at the 101 Coffee Shop, named for the 101 freeway off the shoulder of the lane that turns into the motel that houses the diner, and you’re told, this is where they shot the film ‘Swingers‘, but you only nod as you’re checking out the impossibly good-looking diners and equally good looking servers. For example. Los Angeles is full of these places. That’s the Capitol Records tower – they blew it up in some movie. And John Belushi died at the Chateau Marmont which is a great place for a late breakfast, if you can get a reservation.

Some movie always did something to somewhere in Los Angeles.

Then there are your friend’s dogs and taking them out for a walk (more like a high-speed chase) in the hills, and you’re wondering how come the doggies are so lucky as to have water stops every now and then. People here put out water trays outside their houses so that dog-walkers get to water their dogs! And as you make your way out of the park, one of the dogs lies down flat on her belly, telling you she’s totally knackered from the run. And you look at her and say, “Yup, I’m just about done too”.

I’m coming home in a bit.

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