THERE IS a popular trend among Angelenos, myself included, to stick to the familiar and refrain from venturing out from their neighborhood. There is so much of Los Angeles that I have never seen, that I have missed out on because I rarely leave the South Bay. Why sit in traffic to go to a restaurant, store, or a park when all these things can be found in my neighborhood. Knowing that what should be a fifteen-minute drive can easily be a thirty-minute or longer drive makes it very hard to find the motivation to go explore Los Angeles. I think if Los Angeles had better public transportation more Angelenos would venture out and explore their city.
The only time I find myself on the other side of LAX is when I am going to school. There have been countless times when I have been driving an LMU student home, or out to lunch, and they have to direct me and tell me which streets are which once I get to them. Saying, “Turn on Washington,” means nothing to me and I would probably go right past Washington. My friends have joked around by saying, “Do you even go to LMU?” because I am like someone who is in L.A. for the first time when I am on that side of airport even though I have been living in Los Angeles for twenty one years. I’m not the only one who sticks to the familiar. I have had friends from LMU come to my neighborhood and they become just as lost. It is common for them to say, “I’ve never really been in this area,” like I say about every other part of L.A.
Mike the Poet touched on this Angeleno trend. Most Angelenos don’t know their own city, but only their neighborhood. Sticking to the familiar and ignoring the unknown is not a new trend in Los Angeles either. I remember in high school I was shocked when I heard a girl ask, “What’s Watts,” as she sat in a classroom twenty minutes away from Watts. I think it is so interesting how little most Angelenos have experienced Los Angeles. There are so many different and iconic places to be experienced, and they should be since L.A. is a city of metamorphosis, always changing, and the old is replaced with the new, but we will never know unless we break the trend and venture out and explore the city we call home.
-Photo Credit: Natasha Bishop via Flickr