Living in a city like Los Angeles is like loving a woman who is much better than yourself. She’s more beautiful than you, sexier, more popular, more intoxicating. She’s more tolerant, wiser and more worldly. She has so much heart that you can’t look into her eyes without feeling both exalted and ashamed of your own shortcomings.

Though she’s far from perfect, she’s forgiving. In her pain is beauty, in her suffering is strength and along with all of her flaws comes an invitation to do better and to learn from mistakes made because, after all, her failures are your failures too. They belong to all of us.

On good days you’ll catch a glimpse of her in various states of undress; sand and shadow, granite and sage, stucco, cement, citrus, fresh-cut lawn. Sky and sea so blue they can only be accurately described by a splash of notes played on a vibraphone. Cal Tjader Blue.

The great city is everything you are, and everything you are not.
In the darkest hours of the night, she’s the promise of a sunrise.
Sit quietly in the arroyo or the vacant lot, put your ear to the taco grease sidewalk and you can hear her asking,

“Baby, ain’t I good to you?”