Monday, April 21, 2008

The city you lived in is ugly: L.A.ndscapes.

When I tell people that I lived in LA, they frequently show no hesitation in informng me how much they hate the city. Perhaps they expect that I'll feel the same because it isn't my place of origin or because I chose to leave, or maybe they don't care what I think about it, but it always seems a little tacky to me. I love LA, so I have to admit I do feel a little offended when I hear that. I certainly don't expect everyone to like Los Angeles: I know of course that tastes and preferences vary, and that people have legitimate reasons for disliking LA. But it often seems that people simply repeat the sentiment without good reason, as if to dislike 'Hollywood' is a rejection of the qualities associated with it. And those qualities attached to LA, that it's vacuous, unintellectual, and shallow, strike me as a hollow cliche.

I find LA to be a vibrant, exciting city; it's a centre for progressive art and design, and a cosmopolitan mingling of diverse cultures. Beyond that- and this is where many disagree with me- I think that it's simply a beautiful city to look at. Then again, I'm not much helping that cause. Exactly one year ago, I started this blog with my first photographic entry, a piece about photographing Hollywood, which was written in and about Los Angeles. However, in the year that's followed, I've only written six more entries devoted entirely to the city. I have hundreds of photographs of LA, but I've probably published less than thirty of them on Primitive Culture. So I'm starting a new series: L.A.ndscapes. I'll be combining urban photographs with stories, pieces of history, or tips for traveling in the city of angels. I don't expect to change anyones mind about Los Angles- but I hope to at least show why I love it.

6 comments:

jess gonacha said...

What a great idea. I agree with you that LA is a very vibrant, exciting city. I love it every time I visit. I'll look forward to seeing your photographs.

Prêt à Voyager said...

I'm a firm believer that I could be happy anywhere I lived. It's all about knowing where to look and going to the right places. You find your favorite haunts and hang outs. Every city has many layers.

Anne

Kim Wildman said...

Urban landscapes can be visually very appealing - it's just a matter of how you frame your gaze. I can't wait to see more of your photographs!

Bordeaux said...

Despite all the cynical reviews I got from friends about LA I loved everything about it and wish I could live there again. Admittedly, it certainly helped to have someone so totally passionate about the city to hang out with.

tangobaby said...

You are right, every city has something to recommend it if you know where to look. LA is such a sprawling place that it's really like a group of small cities with distinctive looks. Some of my favorite places are in the old downtown, with the most beautiful Art Deco architecture. The old homes in Hancock Park on treelined streets are wonderful, too.

Wendy said...

I'm in the Love LA camp. I consider it my home away from home and in fact am going for a few days at the end of next month. It is one of those cities that people either love or hate. I fell in love with it when family and close friends moved there (classic NY transplants) and got to know it. I'm currently craving the Asian chicken salad from Chin Chin on Sunset. Look forward to your series.