Jacked Up

Millennium Park
Millennium Park, Chicago

Watching Los Angeles Now, I was struck by the descriptions of LA comparing it with traditional cities. Several writers claimed that LA was a city without a center. It seems to me that LA (from my decade-old memories now) is not a city at all, but rather an aggregate of small towns. There are “centers” but nothing that one can think of as being typical or iconic of the whole city. One writer hinted that the sprawling pancake-flat space was “natural” compared to older skylines. Natural isn’t a term I’d apply to LA.

Another suggestion went something like this: tall skylines are phallic, but their phallocentrism is completely artificial as if they were jacked up on Viagra.

I don’t think I buy that either.

2 thoughts on “Jacked Up”

  1. It’s a misconception that Los Angeles is “pancake-flat”. In reality, Los Angeles is quite hilly, especially when contrasted with New York (though perhaps not so much with San Francisco). A mountain range bisects the city; most of the city Northeast near Pasadena is entirely hills and valleys; even areas as far out as Whittier are filled with rolling hills.

  2. Apologies for missing this comment for so long. I was sentenced to thirty-something years in Bakersfield, CA, and spent many a furlow in the little town south of there (Los Angeles).
    “Pancake flat” refers to the skyline, not the terrain. Though there are clusters of tall buildings in some spots, for the most part there is no discernable “skyline” to LA. That’s all I meant.
    Its identity, center, vibe, etc. is something that can’t be easily translated into buildings— nor can it be translated into terrain such as the Hollywood hills, the beaches, or the arroyos. It’s neither natural nor strikingly artificial.

Comments are closed.