Observations, inspirations and machinations of L.A.
City of Angels and Angles focuses on the good (the angels), the bad-the absurd-the perplexing (the angles), and a bunch of the in-betweens (the rest of it) that come with spending time in a city that’s part real, part make-believe, part sunshine, part darkness, part upbeat, part edgy, part forward-thinking, part wild west, part pot-holed and partly-governed. And even that doesn’t reveal half of it.
There really is no other place quite like polished meets untamed L.A.
Whatever scenario brings you here or keeps you here, know that L.A. is one thorny city to wrangle. It has angels and angles in spades. This blog will attempt to suss out one from the other.
I’ll write about as much of it as I can in City of Angels and Angles, but to capture L.A.’s restless spirit with words alone is like trying lasso a fruit fly. It’s impossible. So, I’ll bolster the text with photos, short video clips and numerous L.A.-centric links to maybe move a notch closer to capturing the zeitgeist of the city. COAA will venture far and wide to find the real L.A., not just the fictional city that film and television have led you to believe is real.
The truth is, L.A. is wonderful, as befits its angelic namesake. It’s often an intoxicating place to spend some time, but it always seems to be up to something too – a hook, a sale, a pitch, a gamble, a move, a part, a power play. It’s often working an angle. That’s no surprise, really, in a gilded metropolis that was built on the big break, there are schemes galore here, and if you spend enough time in L.A. you’ll encounter your share of them.
Every city has its own angles, of course, that’s part of what makes a city a city. You want sameness and a sense of safety, you stay in the burbs. You want adventure, you go to the big city. New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, you name it, they all have edge and angles aplenty. L.A.’s just come with a bit more of a smile attached. The angles in sunny L.A. are intrinsically linked to this being a company town, and that company is called showbiz.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in show business or not, if you’re here you’re always surrounded by it. It’s there in the city-wide neon signs announcing crew parking for network shows, it’s there via the film schools spread across town, it’s there in the headshots plastered across the walls of diners, it’s there with an increasing “season” of self-congratulatory awards shows that frustrate locals with street closures, it’s there in the form of producer conversations going on next to you at the kid’s school recital, and it’s there at the corner church, which hosts more commercial shoots than it does religious services.
But if you slow down just a bit to look past the crush of billboards, the hipsters, the production lights in the hills, the hype, the three-picture deals, the fancy cars, the BS and the hyperbole, the city’s angelic better side will reveal itself and wrap you in her wings all at the same time. Then, you’ll finally discover the real L.A.: a city of working-class people, with real families, and real jobs, and real cars and who live normal lives that oftentimes have absolutely nothing to do with Hollywood. Now, that doesn’t mean that at your next barbecue your pal the bricklayer, who drives the Prius, won’t remind you, with a sly grin, that he bought those ribs you’re cooking at the very same supermarket as Scarlett Johansson.
I mean it’s Hollywood, man. This shit happens!
L.A. is everything you’ve heard and so much that you haven’t. COAA will attempt to offer some perspective about America’s second largest city – the Pacific rim capital of the 21st century. With a thirst for knowledge, with twenty years in the city, with bemusement and an occasional dose of attitude I’ll show you the way I see L.A., – its angels and angles and more – and I hope you’ll share some of your L.A. with me too.