Los Angeles: No Zoom, No Photoshop-Just The Way It Really Is
Portrait of a truly extraordinary place :)

Some people have a hard time loving LA. Transplants complain. Tourists are disappointed. People from "sophisticated" cities like New York and San Francisco snobbishly sneer. Even locals have a small grasp of things and stay ignorant of places beyond their personal spheres of activity. It's rare to find someone who truly "gets" LA. To limit yourself is to not know the real LA. LA is not other places. It is every place mixed together in a spectacular location. This is true of the great land of California as a whole, but LA is perhaps the greatest example of diverse landscapes and diverse cityscapes. Pretentiousness runs rampant but so does the humble neighborhood Argentine cafes, bio-diverse flora & fauna, carretas of elote and raspados, and the comforting glow of the taco truck. Palm-lined boulevards with convertibles full of tanned & toned aspiring actors/models are just as LA as smog-hued sunsets viewed from chaparral-covered mountains and hanging out on the sands of Venice as part of the drum circle. Paisa clubs, salsa clubs, Latino Morrissey fans, Korean sports bars, and backyard ska shows are available to those who don't have the disposable income to be be part of the pilates sessions, power lunches, and overpriced drinks at an overpriced club. Fashion, popular music, movies, fads/trends are exported to the US and world from here but you wouldn't know it by being in a wrecking pit at a psychobilly show or eating a falafel gyro and watching the wind shake the Jacaranda trees or eating Thai leftovers with your Guatemalan girlfriend under the Malibu pier. Hipsters and aspiring "bohemians" seek out edgy neighborhoods while being unaware of public schools in the Valley where most kids are Korean or Armenian or Thai or Filipino or Vietnamese or Mexican or Japanese or Argentine or speak Hindi or Farsi or any assortment of the 90 different languages spoken in LA public schools. Mexican thrash-metal fans drinking Tecate on the 4th Street bridge are equally unaware of the privileged lives of people in multi-million dollar mansions in Pacific Palisades. The desert is glimpsed from among the snow in Angeles Forest. The bright blue eyes of the aspiring actor from Ohio have yet to lose their sparkle as they might when the kid is chewed up and spit out like sunflower seeds. Or not. Maybe they are lucky and aspirations are fulfilled. There is no wrong way to experience LA but there are too many right ways to experience LA. That's the mark of an extraordinary place. LA is the crossroads of Latin America and Asia, making it one of the most important cities in the world just for that simple fact. I present it to you the way I see it, with no photo-shopping, and no staged photos. I think my photos show a good sampling of Los Angeles places. Enjoy! :)
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