Los Angeles has long been known for its beauty over substance, and to outsiders we are all Hollywood glitz and sun-kissed glam. But anyone who really lives in this city knows this is not the whole narrative of this place we call home (think of your pale friends!).
The fact is, it’s not so much a cohesive city as it is a fragmented whole made up of many disjointed parts that harbor every type of lifestyle. While it’s taken by visitors as a single, bright entity, it really garners its cracked-out energy from all its conflicting ideals of itself.
Although the video for Goldroom’s summer meltdown “Fifteen” that we posted a little while back is not exactly cinéma vérité, it gets certain parts of its east side right — the Hispanic influence, taco trucks, a cameo by its namesake bar, and the way so much is seen along Sunset from the passenger seat of your friend’s car, its beauty and its grunge. At the very least it presents a side of the city to suggest there are other things more interesting going on in this glass box.
And yes, everyone here rides on the roofs of their cars as they’re moving, a form of vehicular yoga.
Los Angeles needs its writers to create a more complex and accurate picture of itself. It’s crucial to get the real place on paper, not only to help Angelenos understand the place they negotiate every day, but also to create a more accurate picture of it in the imagination of the world. We’re never going to be able to explode that [Hollywood] image completely — the glossy, mythical Wonderland is too valuable a commercial product — but we must at least put the real thing on the shelf beside it.