I will miss most the light in Los Angeles. There isn’t another place in the world that slaps gold around corners and onto streets. It can be passed off quickly as just beautiful, or so LA, but the light in LA is a celebration of immolation and reconstruction, and it structures itself by way of diffusion—a recurring party. I read John Fante’s Dreams from Bunker Hill in my mid 20s and it changed my understanding and feelings about LA, untwining the fiber of this desert town as he captured the light and dust from the 1930s. The starving creative can ascend the universe with any character emblem in LA, even cowardice or arrogance, what Fante’s heroes typically overcome. Just look toward the dust and the flips of light through palm fronds at golden hour and Los Angeles will explain its 20th century to you.
I moved on from GOOD last week to join the Pinterest product design team in San Francisco. I couldn’t be more excited and more ready to hustle hard with the incredible team starting mid-July. It’s a beautiful product, and I am fortunate to join something so influential, useful, and unprecedented.
Having been in LA for almost a decade, I am sorting through what I leave behind and what I take with me up to the bay, figuratively. Part of me wants to leave behind the current east side and take the east side from 2005 or 2006, when it truly was glowing with grit. Coffee wasn’t a fetish yet. Kids could manage cocktails out of ice and water, and you could feel the desert in the streets after midnight, swaying silence, boozy nights and rambling strolls homeward. The look of the farmhand and artisan hadn’t yet been co-opted by all culturally progressive subcultures, and any tension around personal image was more around how dandified you could get and not how proletarian you could get. It was more Band of Outsiders. Fashion hadn’t yet been liquified by the internet, technology was still held suspect in many circles, and coexistence happened with the city at all levels. The most superficial thing held potential to be the most abysmal.
And Beverly Hills had, as always, its dreamy youth and dreamier wealth, and its spirit of questioning the seasons. It’s the near lack of seasons in LA that gives this barren, sparkly town its pause between yes and no. And that pause exists everywhere here. It is strongest for me in 2006.