Things I love about Los Angeles...
...other than the diversity of the inhabitants, which is what everyone else says when asked what they like about L.A.
1. The delightful variety of architectural styles. In one block of a residential neighborhood, you will find ranch, mission, Tudor, cottage, and colonial, all in a row. None of these styles are native to Los Angeles, and all are meant to evoke some other location, but the combination of these styles is very Los Angeles.
2. The unspoken traffic laws (expect two people to turn left just as the light changes, but feel free to honk and curse if three cars go) give me a strange sort of pleasure, a feeling of being an insider.
3. The stories everyone has about the time they saw a celebrity. My story: I gawked at Clint Eastwood from a distance of twenty feet, when he attended an awards show at the same hotel where I was attending a conference. He is just as handsome in person, even if he is about 168 years old by now.
4. The night-time noises in my apartment complex. The birds sing at night when the weather is warm, because that's when the sprinklers are on, and the birds come to bathe in the running water. Bird-song, combined with the hum of my neighbors' air conditioners (I never use mine), provides a veritable symphony to lull me to sleep at night--or to stay up and listen to, as I'm obviously doing now.
5. The fact that I can walk to my choice of four grocery stores, a farmer's market, two Catholic churches, a mall, a movie theater, two parks, several museums, and any number of restaurants--and that the weather rarely interferes with my walk.
6. The many opportunities for prayer. Besides the obvious dangers of driving in city traffic, I have long followed a tradition imparted to me by my school teachers of saying a Hail Mary every time I hear a siren. I hear a siren about three times a day here, much more often than in the smaller towns I've lived in. I've added to that saying a Glory Be every time I see a homeless person, so there are many more incidences of prayer throughout my day than I made for myself before.