A more artistic blog post than is typical for me, but realizing that it is the 20th anniversary of the LA riots, I felt moved to write something for the city I love so dearly. This is inspired by a conversation that was had mostly in jest among friends a few years ago. Here’s to LA and her people and the resilience of both…
If LA had a voice, it would be a feminine one and she would speak many languages and everyone would understand her message. Her voice would carry the sound of waves crashing along the shore, of breezes blowing through the trees in the Angeles National Forest. It would be heard through the city streets, on buses down Vermont Avenue from Los Feliz to Manchester Boulevards. It would pass through the open windows and sunroofs of cars across Venice Boulevard from Abbot Kinney’s canals to Downtown Los Angeles. It would wind up the hill and back down along Mulholland Drive and make its way from the Watts Towers up to the Griffith Park Observatory across to Third Street Promenade and then across again, landing in Boyle Heights. It would steer clear of the 405. Her voice would overpower the sound of airplanes coming in over the Hollywood Race Track and the Faith Dome to welcome in those who come to pay their respects to our lady of the angels and welcome home those who already know and love her.
If LA had a voice, she would have a lot to say about growth and change, about violence and love for your neighbor, about differences and sameness. If LA had a voice, her wisdom would astound us, for she has suffered and she has been swallowed by flames and she has survived. If LA had a voice, I’m not sure exactly what she would say, but I know it would be something that is part of my story and a part of your story, about where we’ve been and where we’re going. It would be the truth– a universal, essential truth. After she spoke and we all listened, no one would ever have to speak again because we would all just know.
original photos, taken by me, 2008