Letter from the Editor

Destination: Los Angeles

From Pacific Palisades travel south along the coast to San Pedro, then north through Watts and South L.A., passing Central-Alameda to the right and then Crenshaw to the left before veering east to Boyle Heights.

Next, turn north again heading up past Chinatown and Lincoln Heights to Highland Park and Eagle Rock before turning slightly southwest to touch on Atwater Village, Silver Lake, Los Feliz and then Tinseltown itself.

Now swing north over the eastern Santa Monica Mountains into “The Valley” and make the circuit: NoHo, Van Nuys, Pacoima, Sylmar, Northridge, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Reseda, Encino, Sherman Oaks, before dropping south again through Bel Air and Westwood to West L.A.

Now cut straight east through Mid-Wilshire and Koreatown and — BANG! — you’re in it: downtown L.A.

Los Angeles is much too big for this column. It’s too big for this page. For this magazine. A tangle of freeways surrounding storied neighborhoods, planned communities and cluttered high-rises, food trucks and five-star restaurants, abject poverty and decadent opulence.

A sprawling city that’s easy to hate and impossible not to love, L.A. is a destination. It always has been.

Ask the rag-tag group of settlers that founded it. Ask the tourists. Ask the countless millions swarming here year after year from Earth’s four corners, searching for their dreams, their lives, perhaps their angels of mercy. Who could blame them? It’s magnificent and awful all at once. It’s a city steeped in diversity, a home to anyone brave enough to be who they want to be, and accept others for who they are.

Los Angeles is the future. It’s where you want to be.

Darrin S. Joy
USC Dornsife Magazine