We have all grown up experiencing the excitement conveyed by certain TV serials filmed in the backdrop of Los Angeles, with the legend of the “West Coast” and of the particular spirit referred to with this term, a combination of open-mindedness and an “easy-going” attitude, a philosophy that stands apart in an American rationale.
The innocent, guilt-free, playful, hedonistic spirit of the locals is quite evident. The ingenuous but openly flippant attitude, and the number of pretty girls longing for a nice time, led a person like Jim Ladd, best loved DJ of the most famous rock radio of the city, the only one who is still allowed to play the records he wants, to describe LA as “A prostitute who has never been rejected.”
Los Angeles is the most western part of the world. It is situated so far to the West that moving further westward we find the East. LA is a unique place that merges western life and Eastern spirituality.
Besides the aspects of “toy town,” some of its inhabitants have created a culture of spirituality that is particularly intense in certain areas, such as Santa Monica and Venice. In the early ‘90s, Los Angeles was the centre of the so-called “New Age” movement.
Los Angeles has a melancholy charm because its changes are extreme. Fashion, places and trends metamorphose from one decade to another. During weekends in the ’90s, on Friday and Saturday evening, Westwood Village was populated by youth roaming the town seated at the back of pick-up trucks, listening to AC/DC at full volume. Evenings were spent on the beach with friends or with the girlfriend.
Los Angeles also features a decadent “dark” charm created by the many thrillers, hard boiled novels and detective TV serials that have been filmed here. A new book by J.M. Moore entitled “Barclay Hotel: A Collection of Short Stories” relates mysterious events that occurred at the Barclay Hotel, in the heart of Los Angeles. The main characters of these tales are serial killers, prostitutes and starlets who seek success, judges and senators.
The stories are crammed with tormented cops, gangsters, ambiguous dark ladies and scrupulous private detectives who are rooted in the surreal underground world of this dream city. But when all is said and done, images are what remains impressed in the mind for each city.
Los Angeles is the city of illusions, just as Milan is the city of fashion or San Francisco is the city of technology. It is a place that knows the art of playing the protagonist of written stories, movies and photographic images. It is not merely the backdrop or context of a story, its presence is always powerful and decisive. Passionate love stories and amazing friendships draw to a sudden close in this city. One day people are great friends or enviable lovers, and the next day they are perfect strangers who conceal their tracks in the immensity of the city.
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