Monday, April 13, 2009

Full of Empty

What is the municipal equivalent of empty calories? Los Angeles.

Famous street signs.....Sunset, Melrose, Beverly... I certainly recognized them but nothing about them there resonated with me. Storied places....Rodeo Drive, Bar Marmont, the Ivy...I was indeed there but felt like they weren' least not in the way I expected them. And traffic! Cars, cars everywhere and nary a place to park....and hordes of people, wandering about in the most soulless of cities. Such is Los Angeles.

I've been there before but it's been a while. And this is the first time I've really been hit with the vast emptiness of it. It's the most crowded empty place I've ever been. It is so full of everything and nothing simultaneously. Have you ever been thirsty and nothing you drank satiated your thirst? That's the feeling I get from L.A. -- plenty to drink in, but nothing to satiate.

I've almost never been in a place that I couldn't make some sort of emotional connection with, but Los Angeles proved to be one of them. It stirred nothing. I didn't like it; I didn't hate it; I almost had a feeling of indifference about was so empty and valueless, I couldn't register emotion of any type for it. Empty calories indeed. I took it all in and got absolutely nothing out of it. It was utterly charmless.

I wasn't there very long but it was long enough to establish a feeling for it, if I were going to have one. And I just didn't. The connection button was stuck on 'off' for me.

We arrived Saturday noonish by car from San Diego (now THERE's a city with some charm), and we drove forever through endless cheesy neighborhoods full of strip shopping centers and fast food on our way to see the storied million dollar places. Ick! This is the dream? This is the glamourous life? To live on the right side of the Beverly Hills city limit sign in the middle of an ocean of junked up areas that surround it? No thanks. I'll take my zip code over 90210 any day.

No culture, no flavor, no charm whatsoever. Sort of like a real life movie set -- all veneer, no substance. And I really have no need to go back for a good while now. I got my fill of empty.

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