Thursday, March 1, 2012

Let's Get Lost - Corner of 2nd & Wilshire

Fig Tree at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel
photo credit: Google Images

AMIDST THE chaos that is the city of Los Angeles, there is a place that radiates warmth to me - the corner of 2nd and Wilshire. Standing on the busy sidewalk you will encounter people bustling to work, sauntering back from the beach, strolling with an armful of shopping bags, or, of course, begging for change. This corner is a place I have spent quite a bit of time at over the past two and a half years I have lived in Los Angeles, but I am referring back to it for the idea of getting lost in L.A. because it was the first place I wound up in when I moved to L.A. and I was lost; albeit a sixty foot radius from the sun-spotted beach.

As I sit here today and take in the beach covered in mid afternoon mist, I can't help but smile. My brother once deemed Santa Monica a magical place in that "people are fun enough to party all night but active enough to be up for their morning jog," which is a description that rings true in this moment. There is always activity in Santa Monica, and from my perch on 2nd and Wilshire I can observe that activity and relish it for what it is - the type of area people dream about when they envision Los Angeles.

The corner has a neon brightness from the white light of the sun compared to the dimmer streets perpendicular to it, and maintains a peaceful air while it's 3rd street counterpart is packed with shops and popular eateries. This corner is quiet, boasting a hair salon and a dog groomer as well as smaller cafes and doctors' offices.

The aspect of this corner that makes it feel like a slice of home to me is the Fairmont Miramar hotel that spans the area between the corner and the beach. It is the hotel I stayed at with my parents the night before I started college, and it is the place that they stay each time they come and visit - which is twice as often as most of my classmates' parents! Any time I have taken a friend to the hotel to hang out with my parents, they comment on the gargantuan fig tree that sits in the middle of the sprawling entrance. Someone once told me that they purposely built around it to garner a homey feel.

And, at the end of the day, of course there is the beach. If you walk less than a mile into the bright sun you will reach Santa Monica Pier, with its gorgeous view and infamous rides.

Santa Monica is one of my favorite places to explore in Los Angeles, and the corner of 2nd and Wilshire is just one of the many spots I hope to find during my time living here.

-- Jordan Younger

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