People who don’t live in Los Angeles enjoy criticizing it for the stressful traffic, thick smog, and the crazy way people obsess over the way they look. All of that may be true to some extent, but if you live in LA, you also know that it can be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Right now, as we’re suffering in our 75-degree winter, the night-blooming jasmine is starting to wake up, filling the air with the sweet, subtle scent of Spring. In the mornings, we feel the sunlight tingling our skin as the cool air starts to heat up, and when the sun goes down we see that supposedly-filthy air creating some of the most magnificent sunsets you’ve ever seen.
And then there are the lights — the twinkling stars and bright flashing bursts of energy that emerge from the many buildings and vehicles throughout the city. You can see them all from high vantage points throughout the city, whether it be by the airport where countless dreamers arrive in hopes of making their mark, or the Hollywood Hills where so many movies and TV shows are dreamed up. This is the Los Angeles that locals know and love, and why they put up with that traffic, smog, and body-obsessed people.
All of that spirit is reflected in the above video, entitled “City Lights” from Colin Rich. Here is how he describes his short film:
It was an nightly adventure that took me to almost every angle of Los Angeles. It was an exercise in patience. A lesson in light. An understanding of what it is to live amongst each other and to understand the system and order of a city, the seemingly complex organics that make it up and the life form that the city truly is. A visualization of sonder. It was a daily jaunt to watch the arterial freeway systems pump car cells through its body and channel them to the capillaric avenues that are our neighborhoods and homes. It was a chance to break away from the 70mph freeway perspective and to observe the sun slip from view and watch the electric dance of nightfall begin. It was challenging. It was frustrating. Definitely dangerous at times. Sometimes it hurt. I was chased. Yelled at. Warned. But the overall context of things learned, people met, things seen, and places discovered over the past three years shaped who I am today. I didn’t always love Los Angeles but I learned to and discovered that this city is much more than temperate weather, palm trees, pretty girls, and beaches; to me the true beauty behind the city lies hidden on the other end of a rusted fire escape to a view no one else has seen.
Check it out, and see why some of us truly love the City of Angels.