Here is something I never thought I’d say: I miss LA.

And this is not even in a wanderlust kind of way, where I would just want to be somewhere, anywhere as long as it is somewhere “else”. No, I actually, specifically, miss Los Angeles.

From the streets of Santa Monica or the canals of Venice to the galleries of Beverly Hills, the toppling towers of piñatas laid out between food stands and running kids, warehouses after warehouses fronted by addicts only a couple of streets away from the cool cafes and museums of Downtown, I miss it all.

Before setting foot in Los Angeles, I always thought I’d hate it, cloaking myself in the certainty of those who do not know. We all have heard about the superficiality, the traffic and lack of public transport, the glitter and rot mixing together into a vomit-inducing coating that covers the city of angels.

Once I got there, without a car, any idea of how long I was going to be there for or what I was going to do, I loved it. Every Single Minute Of It.

I thought the city just could not be “me”, so sure was I that you had to love New York or Los Angeles, but that the two were such opposites you could never love both. Call me schizophrenic, I do.

To those who would need specifics, who will ask “what” exactly it is I like about LA, I won’t really be able to reply. The truth is that it just felt right.

Even when I got lost, when I was squashed in a bus, stuck in traffic or during those eerie moments when LA seems to only be populated by homeless people, the city got out of its way to transcend the ugly, weird and downright annoying. A cycling police officer escorting you through a slightly unnerving street, a homeless man blessing you for giving him a slice of pizza, taking pictures of kids skateboarding Venice at sunset, with singing clowns, costumed rollerbladders and high hippies for background… This is the city of beauty shining through grit, of extremes and surprises, where all dreams come to die, but new ones are made.

I came without any good expectation; I left with a promise I would be back.

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