Glow 2010

The most amazing thing about Glow is that it actually happens. An uptight town turning their usually restrictive beach into a de facto free zone. Twice, so far. Art, performances, incredible community effort, yes yes. But in a city that bans all smoking of any kind, on a beach that forbids all human presence after 10pm, filled with huge midnight crowds of casual pot smokers, completely un-hassled by the omnipresent police… It’s no Carnival. But it’s as close as Santa Monica will ever get.

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A Matter of Perspective

In response to Pasta&Vinegar, two extremes of perspective: Los Angeles (or… how to drive a car in narrow hilly streets) versus the eight-lane highways of Montpellier.

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All cities have someone who dislikes them, even hates them. But Los Angeles may be unique as a target of reflexive worldwide disgust. It is disliked on a mythological level. It’s a metonym for everything that people hate about their own good cities. Pollution, disconnection, shallowness, disparity, violence, mediation, erasure… Los Angeles.

Romanticized places have to exist on some level as romantic fossils, and every flattering tourist asks the residents to measure their lives against a touristic ideal. One of the best things about LA is how it’s hidden behind a cloak of misunderstanding. It’s harder to suck the life out of something you can’t even see, much less understand.

Pity the romanticized places that have to measure themselves against the ideals of tourists. And pity the tourist who ends up lost in the narrow, winding streets of Los Angeles.