Last week in Whittier, CA my coworker Kathryn and I climbed to the top of Sycamore Canyon for a mostly uninterrupted panorama of LA and its surroundings. Mount Baldy arose in the distance, in a face-off with the skyscrapers at the city’s center. The view was vast in a less disconcerting way than the bird’s eye of flying into Los Angeles, which always trips me out with its spill of residences and commerce, stretching to infinity. Zillions of little squares and cubes and the blue amoebas of swimming pools. And of course the infamous haze hovering over everything like an overbearing parent.
Sunday night, Stephanie and I rode the elevator up to the 30th floor of “Big Pink” in downtown Portland for happy hour. From our booth by the southeast-facing window, we witnessed the light stretch and expand out over remote neighborhoods as the sun made its descent. By our second glasses of wine, the city was a drag queen’s dream, with sparkles in every direction. More sparkles than the last time I looked over the city fifteen years ago from the same vantage point. A lot has changed in the past decade and a half.
Sometimes it seems like I’m on a mission to absorb every perspective I can find. It’s a little like trying to be a sponge made out of Silly Putty. It may or may not be useful, but that’s the deal.