How do I love L.A.? Let me count the ways. Before moving here, I loved when songs came on the radio that mentioned L.A. or California. I had dreams of living here since childhood, but thinking about those lyrics made my dreams seem more like reality until the second I arrived in this sultry, dark, glittering and dreamy city.
Last night on our way home from work, Car Pool Buddy Rick and I drove past a slow-moving Volkswagen Beetle filled with two giddy girls from Michigan and what looked like all of their belongings. I saw them pointing at the signs they saw along the 101 freeway, and I just knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling.
I rolled into L.A. around 5 o'clock in the morning on a Friday in August, almost exactly five years ago to the day. I was exhausted from driving all the way here, even though my mom and I had driven through the night in shifts, I was coming close to six hours behind the wheel as I insisted to be the one to actually drive us into the city.
I could go on forever about that day, but I'll wrap it up by telling you three things I remember distinctly about that morning. One, the smell of Los Angeles as I rolled down the windows in the Uhaul pulling my car and belongings. It was sweet and thick, muddled with exhaust and something that reminded me of the state fair back home. And two, the light in the sky. It was truly "Magic Hour" at 5am that August morning, the light was glistening through the window-shield in such a way that I could have stared at it forever. It was the kind of light that makes your eyes shine when you look into it. So much hope, so much possibility. The world was at my fingertips and I was reaching out the window and grabbing it. Lastly, I remember the song playing on the radio. "Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band. Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man." Yes. You can't make this stuff up. I just arrived in L.A. to become a fashion designer, and Elton John knew it. Tiny Dancer became my theme song for the next year, along with some more of these songs I put on a mixed CD.
Last night, I wished I had a copy in the car to throw to the girls, but I'm sure by now they've already picked a theme song.
Living and Loving In L.A.'s "I Love L.A. Playlist"
American Girl Tom Petty
California Girls Beach Boys
Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers
All I Wanna Do Sheryl Crow
A Long December Counting Crows
April 29, 1992 Sublime
Beverly Hills Weezer
Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers
I Love L.A. Rilo Kiley
Tiny Dancer Elton John
Live and Die in L.A. 2Pac
California Phantom Planet
Under the Bridge Red Hot Chili Peppers
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