I often tell people that I'm from a small town, my high school graduating class was >maybe< a hundred people, and that my legal address growing up was five miles west of the lone post office.
Now, I tell people I live downtown-downtown Los Angeles. (Mostly because I used to think I worked "downtown" but found out two years later that I actually worked in Koreatown...who knew?) And, I tell them I live in a loft. When I say it, it sounds like it is the most amazing thing in the whole wide world, and that they should take notice.
I can't tell if I tell it that way because living in Los Angeles still feels like something I shouldn't be doing, or if it's an accomplishment that should be recognized by others. I'm a leo...it's both. :-)
And, the horrible thing is that I go through every day having to leave my city. (I work in Pasadena) Every day. Wait...My City?
Since when to I publicly acknowledge that Los Angeles is My City? Probably since the time in 1999 I stepped off the plane in Sea-Tac and said "Jez-US! it is effing cold" and, ten minutes later when my brother scooped me up and we headed out of the airport, the mist turned to drizzle to light showers to heavy showers to downpour in a few deep sighs. And, it stayed that way for my entire winter break.
Belfair is my hometown. It's like that relationship you had in college that creeps into your mind from time to time, wondering what ever happened to so and so.
But, Los Angeles is home. I say that while I'm sitting at some airport in Texas, oh my way to some airport in North Carolina, to meet with clients, watch the All-Star came in solitary at some hotel bar, all the time frantically trying to keep up on email. And, all the while, loving every moment of it. (except for watching the All-Star game without Alex.)(I know he probably won't watch it unless I was there)
Los Angeles is home. I have a purse store, a morning train, a favorite morning bus driver, a favorite evening bus driver, and favorite intersection (Main and Temple). I have a weekday routine, an established relationship with my doctor, and my dentist has erased my fear of regular cleanings.
I have neighbors who I enjoy. I can walk through along Los Angeles Street, head down to Santee Alley and pick up an almost-looks-like-Summer-Marc-Jacobs handbag, a new blouse, and the new trousers Vogue highlighted...all without spending more than $20.
Who ever said that in Los Angeles you are anonymous, must have lived in the Valley. Nine out of ten times, my shopping/coffee adventures include running into someone I know along the sidewalk.
The neighborly-social aspects of downtown are not very different from Belfair. Controversy and conspiracy run the streets like children swarm the ice cream vendor. In Belfair, there's a run-away Theler Board. In Los Angeles, police officers from other cities dump their released offenders, too crippled to defend themselves patients, and downtrodden.
In Belfair, the water way that is the primary tourist destination, provides a multi-million dollar industry is poo-ed and pissed away. In Los Angeles, we have a river that runs right through the middle of the City - but it looks like an oversize sewage channel.
A big difference between Belfair and Los Angeles is this: In Belfair many people own the land their homes sit on. In Los Angeles, few people own the land and homes that many people live in.
Belfair and Los Angeles share social and economic classes. There are the political junkies, wannabees, and failures in both towns. There's politics, but there's also the petty crap that threatens the delicate balance of the three political classes. (man, I might catch some crap for that paragraph...may need to pull that out)