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What Glitters is Not Gold

Image by Ophelia Chong
Image by Ophelia Chong

A tongue-in-cheek reaction to a piece on Curbed LA called "Beverly Hills Merchants Launch Class War Over Westside Subway."

July 12, 2020.

The sun rises over the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills, flecks of bright yellow gold bounce off the large Ross Dress for Less store on the corner of N. Beverly and Santa Monica Blvd. A few cars drive up to the Wendy's, kitty korner from the Payless Shoe store; you can hear the squawking of the order box from across the street, all the way down to the StarPeetBean's coffee stand on Roxbury.

A man on the corner holding a sustainable paper coffee cup, leans against the empty LA Times newspaper box as the train below him, rumbles into the Beverly Hills metro stop. The train disgorges a plethora of rushing bodies into the sunlight, they all scatter in multiple directions, some finishing their breakfasts, others tossing empty cups into the trash bins.

Even though the day has just started, merchants are pulling out racks of marked down clothing and souvenirs onto the sidewalks. Boxes of tchotchkes and produce crowd into the small spaces between the stores and the curb. The Bijan store is now "jan's", the new owner decided that adding one letter was cheaper than redoing the whole sign. "Jan's" sells discount perfume and LA Dodger snow globes.

Since the opening of the Metro, what the Beverly Hills Merchants predicted did happen. Beverly Hills became Los Angeles. The quality merchants fled to the Upper Class lounge at Tom Bradley terminal at LAX, where you have to have to pass through full body cavity check and be able to afford a ticket higher than economy.

Back at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica, life moves on; now instead of the affluence it once espoused, it is the effluence of life that the MTA brings to Beverly Hills.

And all is not golden that glitters, And not all that glitters is gold
- Aloysius Charles Swinburne

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