By Barbara Falconer Newhall
Do I love LA? No. Do I even like it?
Not really. LA is an awful place. It is 469 square miles of bumper to bumper traffic; sinus clogging air pollution; starless nights and unrelenting summer sun; alleys that go nowhere and
ten-lane freeways that if it’s rush hour also go nowhere. Miles and miles of homely two-story apartment buildings without enough parking, and slap-dash mini malls also without enough parking. Palm trees nobody’s pruned in years. And did I mention traffic?
Los Angeles is a place where the women are blond, the men are brunette, the swimming pools
are kidney-shaped and the lighting is neon. It’s a place where, if you miss enough freeway exits, you can end up in Death Valley, where at least you’ll find a parking space. Or Long Beach, where you won’t.
If I’m so down on Los Angeles, why do I bother to write about it, let alone go there?
Because it is that singular sweet spot on earth where my pushing-30 daughter has parked herself — and her future.
And mine too, if I don’t watch out.
When I’m 99 and my knees are creaky and I can’t find my car keys because my kids have confiscated them, and the two of them (Christina in LA, Peter in Minnesota) have decided to pry Jon and me loose from our house in the trees with its sliver of a view of the beautiful San Francisco Bay, and Christina wins (loses?) the coin toss, and with that the two kids proceed to pack up our stuff and move us to LA — that’s when I’d better be ready to look past the ugly and see the good in Los Angeles.
Last weekend, I gave it try. Jon and I were there to take our daughter out for the big three-oh birthday dinner. I snapped a lot of pictures. I tried hard to love LA.
This is what I saw. Some good. Some bad. Lotsa ugly. And here and there some actual beauty.
Read more about my grown-up kids at “When Your Twenty-Something Doesn’t Call — Or, How to Overmother a Grown-Up Kid” and “I’m the Mother of the Groom, Now What Do I Do?”
Share this post with friends by clicking on the Facebook or Twitter icon below.