My yearning to visit L.A has been present ever since I set foot into this country. The desire to confirm the alleged magic of the city has always been on the back of my mind. After doing the rounds with some of the big cities; NewYork, and Chicago, I had to end last year (and also going into this year) with one final lap, L.A.
The magic of L.A is real, it has been confirmed, although definitely not as glamorous as it has been all hyped out to be. The glamour extends within the limits of Beverly hills, Hollywood, and a few other neighbourhoods, the rest of it looks like a quaint ghetto with palm trees and hints of Mexican architectural heritage. The general city of L.A, I believe, can’t exactly be called a city. Like a real city. The stretch of the entire city is enormous, with a small patch of skyscrapers in-between considered downtown L.A, the rest is spaced out and demands driving or copious über-ing to get around. Life is decelerated and slowed down into a spell of casualness, comfort, and chillin’. Now, that is to say for some, obviously, not everyone spends their days eating brunch and talking about yoga and hiking. The hustle is there somewhere.
While I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t actually seen the film La la land (it’s on my to-do list for the coming week), there is no title more befitting for this article. La la land, is a refuge for all creative souls and those that may not necessarily comply with the “status-quo”, it is a nest for the rebellious that dare to be themselves, in the most creative and unapologetic manner. While also being a home for film enthusiasts, beauty gurus, and an enclave for the American model and celebrity culture. It is all these things at once. Maybe that’s why I like L.A, despite the nauseating obsession with image and frivolity, there is substance, activism, and acceptance of difference.
My time of two and a half weeks in L.A was much needed, it served as the perfect escape to just be. Some of my highlights were Santa Monica Pier, La Brea, LACMA, Hammer, Peterson automotive Museum – (I did all of the museum hopping, typical) and the entirety of Beverly Hills, where we stayed and engaged in embarrassing amounts of picture taking and a little shopping. You know, typical tourist behavior, as you do.
Photography: Muhammad Umar and Aisha Umar