The Los Angeles Paradox

April 2, 2016

Without further ado, let me reveal the paradox of LA. For those of you who are familiar with the city, let me reinforce it.

LA is a city where grime is next to glitter. The realities of daily life are juxtaposed with the possibilities of fame and recognition.

The picture above captures the paradox perfectly. The yellow sign advertises upscale student living at Lorenzo, a sprawling apartment complex next to USC with fountains, a gym, and a beach volleyball court. Next to it, the blue sign advertises bargain prices at a nearby thrift shop for everyday items. The lifestyles that each advertises for are different yet they’re next to each other spatially.

Awhile back, a friend showed me a street a few blocks away from downtown LA where you can see the alluring skyscrapers in the distance but the buildings around you are run-down. We laughed because it’s symbolic of the city, and I can’t help but think how true this symbolism is.

This is urban life in a large metropolis. The differences can be jarring at times, but it can also keep you grounded. There’s so much in LA that you can never see or do it all. It’s never boring, and that’s what I like about the city. Yet, there’s still so much that you can try to improve. It’s never perfect, and I like that too.

Published on April 2nd, 2016

Last updated on January 20th, 2021