#TBT – First Time in LA

Since it’s my last week in Los Angeles (again) before heading down to South America, I’m throwing things back to my first visit to the city in 2006.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to extract myself properly from this place… whether it’s my friends, the food, or just the sunshine that pull me back, there will be many more weeks here in the future.

hollywood walk of fame, mickey mouse

The summer between my junior and senior year in high school I took my first big trip away from home.  I paid the entire trip to Los Angeles to attend a filmmaking workshop/camp at Layola Marymount University from money I had earned from delivering newspapers in the early morning.  Part of the workshop experience was, of course, going to visit the touristic spots of the city including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, and several tours.  Coming from a tiny town in Minnesota, I was very excited and I dreamt of moving to LA again to make movies.  We made some shorts at the camp; I won the ‘Best Director’ award.  A thrilling experience, naturally.

Having lived in LA for some time now, none of these touristic spots hold the least bit of interest. For many months now, I have dreaded biking everyday through the area on my way to work.  Many people find the spots very disappointing; that Hollywood sign isn’t as big as you think — even if you can see it through the smog.  I admit that Los Angeles is a very dynamic city, rich with culture, music, art, food, a variety of people and languages.  It’s difficult for visitors to engage with that when the most famous parts about it are superficial.  Sometimes I hate it and sometimes I love it, but it’s played a huge part in my early adulthood.


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