There’s something about Los Angeles

I’m not sure what it is about Los Angeles, but I love the city.

That doesn’t mean I don’t also love to criticize it, of course not. I hate sprawl, which Los Angeles is one of the best examples of, and how they prioritize cars over public transit, though this seems to slowly be shifting. It’s also a capital of Western income inequality, which becomes incredibly obvious soon after arriving.

But with that said, I can’t help but feel a special connection to the city. As much as I like to bash music labels and movie studios, they’ve helped make Los Angeles a centre of the arts. It’s where many of the most successful artists live, but also where so many aspiring artists go to try to make it, risking everything in the process.

There’s such a huge number of amateurs trying to make it in music, film, writing, and other artistic fields, it gives a special life to the city that few others have. It breeds an atmosphere of camaraderie between those struggling to hit it big, and sends the message that others looking to get anywhere need to be there, too, all in the trenches together.

In a recent interview with Bullett, Toronto native Allie X said the following in comparing the two cities:

There’s a culture around music and writing in Los Angeles that doesn’t exist in Toronto. In Toronto there’s a lot of interesting music being done, but it doesn’t necessarily go anywhere. In the scene I was in, there wasn’t a priority on writing and creation—it was sort of like, ‘Let’s do it when we have time and money.’ In Los Angeles, everyone is going for broke and as a songwriter, you’re going to write a song a day or two songs a day. That was more the pace I was looking for, so I found it to be very refreshing when I got here. I felt I didn’t have to be timid about my vision anymore. All of the sudden, there were people who understood what I was doing.

She describes a feel any struggling artist would understand. One of the most important factors in sustaining motivation and inspiration is to have a supportive community, to have friends who understand your goals and are working toward something similar.

Such a community can be hard to find, but that isn’t the case in Los Angeles. That community lives there.