Say what you will, bikers, but Beverly Hills is the place for bikers. It can be a challenge to ride through but it is this challenge that can and will help bikers: it provides an education in riding in Los Angeles and forces us to think quickly. If you have been a rider for a while or are hoping to dabble in the activity, head to Beverly Hills. This part of town will turn you from a biker child into a Biker Adult.
Living in Los Angeles, it is easy to forget that we do indeed live in a city. Cities are loud and sometimes unsafe places where cars and subways and buses rush around as effective means of transportation. There are lots of people and dense living situations and many, many tourists from not cities coming to visit. In my old apartment complex, if my dogs barked at 2PM on a Tuesday, I got a call from my apartment manager that we were being “too loud.” The same thing would happen on Saturday nights at 9PM when we were hosting a dinner party. A few years ago when I lived in Franklin Village, a man was shot in the leg and screamed all night and the entire neighborhood didn’t know what to do. As morbid as the last item sounds, these are all examples of forgetting that we live in a city.
This can get in the way of Los Angeles living up to its full potential. It’s adorable to think that we forget we live in an urban environment but that creates blinders to change and true urbanization. The latest example of this is the truly absurd Save Los Feliz movement. They are sooooooo scared of an oncoming “boozy” hotel coming to the area that they are actively campaigning against local development (which is coming from the Westside—not New York City: that kind of development should be welcome). The argument is so quaint and flawed and generally ridiculous that it needed to be pointed out: Los Angeles is a city. Don’t let a neighborhood’s quietness stand in the way of growth.
Today marks the opening of the Los Angeles Dance Project‘s debut at Downtown’s “buzzed” about United Artists Theatre within the Ace Hotel. The news came in mid-January when it was announced that LADP founder Benjamin Millepied was taking the group to a new location. (They had previously performed at Disney Concert Hall before.)
How exciting is this?! Or is it actually exciting? You know what would be exciting? If the effort was actually based in Los Angeles: it is unfortunately yet another effort for New Yorkers and non-LA people to shoehorn in happenings under the guise of being “local.” Like just about all of Downtown in the Broadway and 9th area, the project smells of interloping.
Are you going to move to Los Angeles? Do you know anyone who recently relocated and, despite the weather, are still like, “WTF: this isn’t as cool as I thought it was supposed to be.”? Well, the reason why that is the case is because Los Angeles is not that cool. It is a city that is so overhyped and overworked and—overall—over-saturated. You moved here hoping for an entire city that was The Mission or Williamsburg and—What?—you got Autopia with decent tacos. For crying out loud: New York City has better tacos! The New York Times said so!!!
We often forget that Los Angeles is home to Hollywood. Actors flock in and out of the city, chasing dreams and hoping to be able to land somewhere within the Hollywood star system. Some pine in insulation, oblivious to anything else in Los Angeles, while others envelop themselves in the city, to not only become a part of Hollywood but to sew themselves into their environment. As Thom Andersen’s Los Angeles Plays Itself proved, this city always finds itself in popular media, for better or worse. Rarely do these moments feel like they are doing something for the city—nor are they really doing anything for the little guy, that actor who wishes to find him or herself making a living performing.
Then something like Pharrell‘s 24 Hours Of Happy hits and you realize that there can be opportunities and “big Hollywood efforts” where you get to not only see the city but see the many creatives along the spectrum of performance that compose the city. Isn’t it refreshing to think that anyone who tries and tries and tries to be a success in Hollywood can be? Whether they rise to the amount that they want may never be possible but at least somewhere within the twenty four hours of fun they got a glimpse into a special happiness that comes with making it in Los Angeles.