“Where We Are” is about the place we call L.A. and the often avoided conversation Angeleños have about its past and its conflicted present. I believe places matter, but their intersection with our lives is often obscured or ignored. And if we reach out in longing, we grasp mostly clichés of a city that’s always painted in the colors of smog, that’s always seen from a height, from a seat in a descending jetliner, from a freeway overpass. From there, the city looks like a collection of absences: the absence of hierarchies, of a center, of any authenticity. Finally, we’re absent, too, displaced and wrapped in reveries of substitute cities more adequate to the demands of our desire. “Where We Are” questions, argues, reflects, and in other ways challenges these Los Angeles clichés. I’m not a historian. I don’t live in the City of Los Angeles. I don’t drive. My qualifications for writing about a place I love. ~ D.J. Waldie
What constitutes home has become more complicated. The genius of Southern California once resided exclusively in its single-family houses. Increasingly, when we think of our place, we think denser and taller.
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. ... Anything can happen." - Raymond Chandler
I grew up in a sort of company town where men and women with a mediocre education could get a job at Boeing and make a fit life for themselves and their families. How a fit life might be made in the future is harder to discern.
Sal is a detective in the homicide division of South Los Angeles, one of the most infamous urban areas in the United States, where about 40% of the homicide activity in the city takes place -- despite the numbers being at a record low.
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