Artisan by Dan Joyce
Life In L.A.
I’m writing from Los Angeles in a donut shop today. The theme of the big city seems to be anonymity. It’s easy to get lost in a crowd here, but maybe that’s better. Having been raised in the suburbs of Orange County, I’m used to knowing people everywhere I go, but the city is much different. For example, if I were living in L.A. and I spend the day going to the grocery store, the laundromat and the coffeehouse, chances are I wouldn’t see any of the same people. However, if I spent the day going to these places in Fullerton, I would not only run into a lot of the same people, but everyone would know my business from gossip and other intrusive talk. That can be bothersome.
Celebrities like the city because they can walk these streets casually and unrecognized. Whereas, in the suburbs, they are constantly bothered. But there is a darker aspect to these two worlds. The streets of L.A. are smothered with impoverished minorities, while only miles away, the higher income Orange County is predominantly white. White picket fences keep minorities out. I can recall running away as an adolescent for a few days shocked and surprised to see that. This is due to long history of discrimination in housing and employment. We aren’t all racist, but sometimes the rules and practices of our communities are. I lived here in the city four years of my life and saw first hand how sheltered I really was. While Los Angeles is a wonderful place to live, work and have fun, it is a sad demographic of how discriminating our country really is. But at least here I can find solace in solitude and donuts are still only a dollar.