Unwrapping L.A.

Color in Chinatown

Before moving to L.A., I had very few expectations of what it was like.  I knew the traffic was abominable and that the weather was generally better than San Antonio.  I really didn’t try to anticipate what it was like here because it was irrelevant to the decision-making process and I wanted to enjoy the reveal as it occurred.

The traffic, so far, hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.  And I haven’t been commuting across the city at peak times.  I thought the freeways would be bigger.   My biggest complaint are the motorcycles that startle me when they drive between the lanes of slow-moving cars.

Feeling right at home!

The weather has been pretty nice since we have gotten here.  Of course, this time of year, it is pretty nice in San Antonio, too.  My ankle does take note of the cool days.  It is really interesting.  I am even seriously considering carpet for my permanent apartment for it’s warmth and cush.  I’m glad that I didn’t end up back in Denver, which was choice no. 2.

Some street art. (Detail on the right.)

Upon unwrapping the gift of Los Angeles, I am really appreciating the cultural diversity, all of the neighborhood shops, and most of all the evidence of creativity that is everywhere.

I have always enjoyed the colorful culture of San Antonio blending Mexican heritage with a sprinkle of German.  And when I lived in Orlando, I met a lot of people from other places, but mostly Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.  But none of those places holds a candle to L.A.  There are SO many cultures blended here!  It is like Epcot, but real.  It is truly the most international city, in the U.S., that I have ever been in.

An amazing muralist!

There are so many neighborhoods in L.A., which the city labels nicely, so you can tell when you leave one and enter another.  I think that is how people here thrive is such a huge and densely populated city.  A big surprise was to see so few big box stores and so many independent shops.  There are so many neighborhood shopping areas with really cool shops.  Someday, I’ll be visiting them.  The all look so interesting.   And the big box stores are often in shopping malls.  I have seen a three-story Walmart and Lowe’s.

Creative solution to an interesting space.

My favorite thing of all though, is the creativity that abounds here.  The neighborhoods are made up of houses that all look alike.  They are all different each other, colorful, and often built in different decades.

There are artful window displays, street art, public art, businesses, and ideas.  I am grateful that I have found my medium for creative expression because I think my head might explode if I felt the need to try on everything that I have seen here.  Instead, I just get to enjoy what other people have created.

Grain is a furniture/art gallery in an old bakery. Create: is an art place for children.

I have even found a creative expression within the accounting world here.  I met the owner of Brilliant Numbers, which offers bookkeeping services to small businesses.  That isn’t the creative part.

The creative part is the engineering behind the business model that has been crafted over the last 20 years.  It has been so standardized that employees are essentially interchangeable.  The systems!  The procedures!  My accounting/ organizing geek side did a few somersaults when I discovered the technology behind Brilliant Numbers.

Real paintings hung on the side of a building.



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