I am constantly surprised, provoked, and moved by this city. One of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, says that every city has a specific and unique essence that can be summed up in a single word. We’ve been here for almost a month now and despite that, I am still no closer to discovering what Los Angeles’s “word” might be. I like to see myself as a young Elizabeth Gilbert, traveling to a foreign land on a continued quest of self-discovery, meeting new people and, of course, enjoying the finest foods that the city has to offer. Not only have I had some of the best meals of my life here, I’ve had some of the healthiest. In ordinary circumstances I would gladly have followed Elizabeth Gilbert on her no-carb left behind Tour de Force, however they don’t call Los Angeles, “The Land of the Beautiful” for nothing, so in an effort to continue to wear my skinny jeans, I’ve respectfully declined for the time being.
Two Saturdays ago, I discovered Runyon Canyon with some friends. Runyon is covered with low bushes and few trees, and from atop its many peaks you are able to look out across the entire city. I had been enjoying my time in LA, but it wasn’t until I returned alone the next day to Runyon that I was able to completely take in the view and allow myself to fall in love with the city in its entirety. Seeing the city from so far away charms the eye. The distance washes an illusion of calm across it, and knowing this, I still fell for its trick.
I look forward to returning to Runyon this week, finding new, hopefully affordable, places to eat, celebrating Independence Day, and continuing to explore and bond with this enchanting city.