A BRIEF GUIDE TO LOS ANGELES IN SEVEN FACES
There is a large transient population of tourists, job-hunters, climate-seekers, elderly retired persons, and Hollywood hopefuls.
With these comparative newcomers, who form the majority of the population, ties with the home state remain strong. Angelenos dearly love to reminisce about “back East” and “back East” may be anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains.
This attachment for the old home furnishes a clue to the character of the City of the Angels and its people. It suggests that the transplanted settler has never quite grown used to living here, has never quite been able to regard Los Angeles as his true home. Coming largely from the prairie regions, of rigorous climate and even more rigorous conventions, he suddenly finds himself in an exotic land of lofty purple mountains, azure ocean, and mild, seductive climate, where the romance of old Spain is nurtured and blends with the gaudiness of Hollywood, where rigid conventions are relaxed and comparative tolerance is the rule. To many a newcomer, Los Angeles is a modern Promised Land. It amazes and delights him, and thaws him out physically and spiritually. There is a heady fragrance in the air, and a spaciousness of sky and land and sea that give him a new sense of freedom and tempt him to taste new pleasures, new habits of living, new religions. Finding himself in the amusement capital of the West and at the hub of a vast natural playground offering every variety of sport from surf boarding to skijoring, he proceeds to have more fun than he ever dreamed was possible. He is fascinated by strange new industries and new agricultural products: movie studios, oil fields, almond orchards, vineyards, olive and orange groves. He encounters new and exotic types of people: movie actors and sombreroed Mexicans, kimonoed Japanese and turbaned Hindus. He develops an urge to try things that are novel and exciting, from Chinese herb doctors to Indian medicine men, from social credit to nudism, from a wine-colored stucco dwelling to a restaurant shaped like a hat. And because the array of things to do and see is so dazzlingly different from everything he has known, his curiosity is always whetted, his appetite never sated. He feels a certain strangeness in this place he now calls his home, a strangeness that is at once exhilarating and disturbing, and that he had not known in his native place “back East.”
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Julie Grace Immink is a social documentary photographer living in Los Angeles. She was born in the wagon of a traveling show. Exploring the streets with her camera is how she connects to the surrounding world. Her photographs are saturated with thoughts on life, death, faith and community. She gains inspiration from anything old and broken but believes in healing and restoration. Follow on tumblr at juliegracephotography.tumblr.com.
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