Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The (Greater) City I Live In

It's late and I should be asleep. Chalk it up to being one of the B-Society.

There's not much to write about. Well, actually, there are. Lots of things always on my mind, but not worth blabbing about here.

What is worth writing about is civic pride. The LA Times' Matt Welch wrote a column on Sunday decrying what he feels is the surge of "insecure boosterism" on the part of Angelenos who rush to attack those who criticize Los Angeles. I'm certainly guilty of that. After my entry about Michael Newman's op-ed about the ugly L.A. Marathon route, I sent a strongly worded letter to the Times about it that stopped short of asking Newman be deported back to where he came from. I am also guilty of mocking West L.A. inhabitants in the letter. I feel more guilty about my feelings towards Westsiders since I generalize about how they are than I do about Newman's narrow-minded view of L.A. Not all Westsiders are whiny LA-haters, but it just seems like there's more of them there. And a few of them can't seem to bring themselves to realize that there's life in L.A. beyond La Cienega. In any event, I'll try to stop disowning Westsiders as true SoCal denizens. I'll look at them as the embarrassing cousins you'd rather not acknowledge as part of your family.

I used to dislike a lot of things about L.A., and in some cases I still do, but I've learned to live with it. I love L.A. I love it even more after seeing tonight's episode of "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. Bourdain humanely captured the multitudes that is Los Angeles and avoided the stereotypes about the city. I suppose that's the whole point of his show, though. Still, as someone who has lived in southern California practically all my life, the episode made me fall in love with the city all over again. I felt like a tourist learning about some far-flung, exotic locale, and Bourdain did all this while focusing mostly on areas of the city that Newman would have deemed ugly. Bourdain is even wise enough to know that the "C" rating on the window of the Thai noodle restaurant he visited in a non-descript strip mall in Thai Town only means that there's some good grub to be had inside.

Los Angeles, I'm yours.

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