The First Time in a Long Time

October 15th, 2010 § 0 comments

pacific coast highway

Place, where we live, how we live, and why, is an old and favorite topic of interest. Not long after leaving California for Chicago, I realized that while I might never move back to the west coast, it was inescapably the place I am from. These undesired or unavoidable connections, between the place we come from and the places we move to, affect us as much as family ties, even if we talk less about them. For better or worse it is the place we are from, more than the places we move to, that shapes our initial perspective like early parental teachings or our varied experiences of grade school education. Living elsewhere forces (rather than allows) you to recognize that there are people you understand, a landscape with which you feel familiar, and a culture you might not like but are never baffled by, existing with or without you in that place you left. Living in different cities for two or three years at a time reminds me of the first two years you spend in college, fulfilling the “general education” requirements of any degree. Who really knows what classes or subjects they like or dislike until a little bit of everything has been tried? I never moved planning to love or hate anyplace, because I didn’t have much in the way of expectations—that it would be “different” from the place I was leaving was the only given, and the only real constant of travel. I knew each place would be interesting, however, and certain a kind of indifference, such as blatant curiosity, is sometimes a good way to get a neutral perspective. Honestly, what do we know about where we might want to live in our early, mid, or late twenties?

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Assorted Thoughts About A Trip West

May 20th, 2010 § 1 comment

Sierra Madre

It was a busy weekend in California, spent driving back and forth between Pasadena and Palm Springs. Five days should be enough time to see everyone and do everything planned, but the visit felt rushed and incomplete as visits always do. It’s hard to land in a place and pick up where you left off, so much has changed and happened since I was last there. It’s the seemingly small task of “catching up” that takes too much time and is so important, and the bigger tasks of seeing and doing that get put off. Arriving, a childhood friend retrieved me at LAX. Last time I saw her I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, this time she brought her two-year-old and the baby girl on the way. As much as I wish I lived near my oldest and best friends, I can’t imagine going home and having them be elsewhere. It is odd enough that my brother is no longer there. I think of certain people as belonging to certain places as strongly as I know those places themselves. It always surprises me that while I have lived most of my adult life away from the people I know best, they still understand me the most. Sharing a past seems to a lay the groundwork of trust that carries us through the unexpected twists and turns of our more adult lives.

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The Broad: An Aesthetic Display of Wealth

July 4th, 2008 § 0 comments

“In the state ranking for per capita arts spending, California currently stands last. The local budget for arts spending in Los Angeles is abysmally low. Exhibitions in the city’s public spaces all vie for funding from the same pool of five or six private benefactors (A in A).”

LACMA_Broad

Well, they could have fooled me. Not knowing the funding behind to our county museums (LACMA) new expansion plans, I heard a great deal about the now open new wing—the new museum is fittingly named Broad Contemporary Art Museum after Eli Broad who’s collection it was (stressing was) supposed to house. My initial thoughts on the new addition and pending changes after my recent visit was, impressive; meaning not that I myself was impressed, but that I was meant to feel how impressive the changes really are.

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