Los Angeles: Friends and Sunsets

Los Angeles: Friends and Sunsets

Los Angeles; LA; City of Angels; the home of Hollywood. Though I rarely have expectations of places when I travel, Los Angeles is a ubiquitous sight on films and TV shows, so it’s hard not to think you know something about the feel and look of the place. As with most things, it’s not how you imagine it. One of the most striking things about LA is the sunsets. LA is plagued with smog, but with easterly winds pushing it out to the sea, the sunsets you can see from the beaches are a haze of rainbow colours. Beautiful. LA is also massive. Although a small part of it (Downtown LA) is very busy and reasonably well-served by public transport, that’s only a fraction of the greater Los Angeles area. It’s reminiscent of Istanbul in that there are many “centres” with their own communities and appeal – the buzzing hive of perfect bodies in Venice Beach and Huntington Beach, the family-friendly Laguna Beach, the younger, more relaxed vibe of Long Beach…and that’s without mentioning the many distinct suburbs in the outskirts, which nevertheless have huge shopping centres (“strip malls”) with everything from grocery stores to martial arts gyms. The distances are huge, the whole area is sprawling, and getting around without a car is essentially impossible, although the Uber phenomenon has greatly liberated Angelenos. It is on this note that I count my blessings of having some local friends. Travelling for me is always about the people, and LA has not disappointed. In my 2014 summer travels in Europe, I was lucky enough to befriend two guys from LA...