Au Revoir, Los Angeles

In the morning I'll be gazing at this skyline:

I'm very, very excited about heading back to the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana part of the world. And my kids have been BOUNCING nonstop all day long. They are ready to go!

Me? I'm all packed and ready to sleep on my redeye flight. I'm exhausted. I don't talk about it in this space (or most spaces), but this has been an extremely difficult month for me and my family. Sometimes it feels like everybody I know is going through a tough time right now, in one way or another. I've even wondered, is it this city? Is it LA? But then I talk to folks in other cities, and they are also feeling the weight of this world.

I went to see Michael Jackson's star on the Walk of Fame tonight. It was a crazy scene... people of all colors and ages crying and placing handwritten letters alongside his star. But in the background, folks were yelling, "Get your Michael Jackson shirts right here! $100!"

I chatted with another woman who was selling her t-shirts for $5 a pop. She told me she'd made $1300 in 7 hours. I was floored! Entreprenuership is a good thing but good grief, these folks were capitalizing off of death!

The whole scene seemed like it was a representation of everything that's wrong with this world. Greed juxtaposed against genuine emotion... and I couldn't help but think that it was SUCH an LA story.

But as I drove home along Hollywood Blvd, I let the windows all the way down so I could feel the cool sunset air blow against my face. As gritty as Hollywood Blvd is, with it's "lingerie" shops, tattoo parlors and homeless folks slumped across the golden stars that line it, there is something undeniably special about this city. I've lived here for 11 years this August, and this is perhaps the first time I've gone back to Chicago feeling like LA is more my home.

Maybe it's the dreamer in me that loves this place, the way people can come here and be themselves or reinvent themselves. Whatever it is, I do love this city and I will miss it while I'm away.

In the meantime, I am happy to head back east to see my family and all the friends I grew up with. And I can't wait to see how big the humidity makes my hair! Whoo hoo! I'm ready to scare all those Midwesterners with my ginormous afro!

Oh, and in case something happens, which I hope DOES NOT, but you never know, it's been good knowing you, blog fam. Whatever comes to pass, keep being that light in the darkness.


a/k/a Your Girl, Los Angelista
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nick said…
Have a great time in Chicago. A fabulous city. What do you mean, in case something happens? That's a bit scary....
Anonymous said…
Bon voyage!
Bon Voyage!! (she yells, trying to shake off the chill of the "in case something happens" bit)
Daniel said…
Los Angelista,
Do you realize you are breaking ALL the rules here, in ‘Blog Land’?
I read this, setting at my desk, in my office, and felt like you’d just sent me a personal note; or had just called and said “Goodbye, for now. Talk ta ya later friend”.
How you DO that? I wanted to call you up and say “Same back at you girl”
(Though, THAT would get me an FBI ‘stalking’ investigation, lol)

Blogs are to be self-focused items, were people talk ALL about themselves, Into Thin Air (ever read the John Krakauer book? Please do!). You though …
As I’ve commented once before, you Communicate! You’re using the ‘net for what it could be … but most definitely isn’t.

So … have a great trip. The planes WILL stay up (girl, don’t fret so much, nothin’ gonna happen, lol). Let the boys ‘loose’ a little, it’s what kid’s vacations are for. Enjoy your family.

Now, about LA. Ah, you … captured MY SOUL with that bit. I’ve never been able to adequately explain the feelings (nor why) I get every time I feel the plane begin it’s decent, look out the window and start to recognize the features. Since I always use LAX and the landing almost always comes from the east, I LOVE it when we get low enough I’m seeing the very neighborhoods I’ll be in, in the hours/days to come. To recognize Imperial Ave and Century, as we parallel them. To see the 110. To see the Forum and know I’m oh so close. My heart just gets all excited! I can SO self-associate with your feelings, and don’t even know why. Maybe Los Angelista, it’s all the wonderful memories; of all the runs north through Compton, always talking to the residents. The hilly runs up from Crenshaw to Western turning turn north. To even see the girls on Figueroa (and know “I Don’t Go There”). The time those teenage girls came out of Jordan Downs, running with me, because they just HAD to talk to me, lol! Or standing in the setting sunlight at my Fav Louisiana Chicken place on 93rd and Central, striking up a conversation with the (slightly confused) locals waiting with me (I never do the drive-through – get out and Talk to people!). Los Angelista, is it because it is SO opposite of my “normal” life, the one people you work with see, that the neighbors expect, that only close family recognizes in you? Why the desire? How does that city draw on me so?

Eeeerrrr … I’m talking too much again, lol. Stop.
Have a great vacation!
Anonymous said…
travel safely
kelly said…

Have a safe and fun trip with your boys! I really enjoy reading your blog everyday.
Unknown said…
I agree with Daniel. You do communicate with us, make us laugh, cry, think. We appreciate you and wish you a wonderful trip with your boys :)
Michele said…
Have a great time in Chi-town! Reminds me that I must take my kids there to visit my sister and niece soon.
Buon viaggio Liz. I hope this month is better for you and your family.
Liz Dwyer said…
Thank you!

I have a LOT of paranoia about planes, and actually when we landed, it was a definite bounce that was rather scary!

Merci bien!

I am doing my best! It gets hard sometimes though, doesn't it?

Secret Agent Woman,
I can't help but think of the worst case scenario! But, it didn't happen, thank goodness!

Hush! You're embarrassing me! I believe some of Blog Land "rules" should definitely be broken, but you know I'm good at writing about myself, too! :) Yes, the plane did stay up, even though I wanted to KILL Northwest airlines. -- I like how the planes come in, too. I like spotting the 605, then the 710, the 110, downtown, looking at all the houses down below and of course, when you fly over the 405, you know it's time to start getting your stuff together to get off the plane! Oh I would love to see you running around through that. That's so cool. :)

I did...I've been just sleeping a LOT today. Ugh, am I getting too old for red eye flights?

Thank you! I've been having fun so far. It might be hard to keep up the blogging but I'll do my best!

Thanks for saying so. I am having a great time so far.

So far so good. It's always better to come in the summer than in the winter, that's for sure.

Thanks, I hope it's better for us, too.
Jen said…
My reader is wonky, so I'm not sure why I'm only pulling this up now, but I already know your trip was a bit hairy. I hope that the time there is lovely and rejuvenating, and I hope that things get easier for your family.

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