The week of Thanksgiving is always a good time for reflection, to consider all the people and things you are grateful for and all of the wonderful things that have happened to you this year. Our home—Los Angeles—is on our list.
Many of the reasons we love Los Angeles are obvious. We’re in a sunny climate near the beach within an hour’s drive to snow, forests, deserts, and more and we have the glossy, glitzy world of Hollywood in our backyard.
But those are constants. Why should we be so thankful for Los Angeles right now, at the end of 2013? There are a lot of reasons, many of which you know but may have forgotten. Here is our current top five:
1. Trains and bike lanes are coming—fast.
If you are one of those Angelenos who has never taken the train or ridden on a bus, you are about to become a minority, and fast. Trains are having a boom; the Expo Line is being extended to Santa Monica, the Purple Line will slink all the way down Wilshire to Westwood, and the Gold Line is going all the way to Azusa. What’s more, neighborhoods like downtown are rapidly being converted to bike centers, and the L.A.-originated Give Me Three bike rule is being turned into a state law.
2. Going to the movies has been perfected in Los Angeles.
While you are visiting New York or Atlanta or Portland or Dallas or Miami or wherever you are this week, you will realize the experience of seeing a movie there is far inferior to one we enjoy here at home. We can reserve seats, sit in theatres that look like Egyptian temples, and sometimes a director or actor shows up. People even clap during the credits! How entertaining is that? L.A. made the movies what they are today.
3. An even bigger artistic and architectural boom is headed this way.
Thought we’ve reached max capacity on how artsy Los Angeles can be? Sorry: the city’s creativity is only on the rise. The spacey looking Broad will open in 2014, the Maurice & Paul Marciano Art Foundation will eventually rehab an old masonic temple in the name of art, and 2017 will see a Latino Pacific Standard Time survey. Still not impressed? The Tom Bradley Terminal recently got a wow-inducing makeover, the Peter Automotive Museum is getting a sleek new look, the highly buzzed about Emerson College L.A. satellite campus will open soon, and Frank Gehry may be building a boxy complex across from his concert hall.
4. We have a cool, hot mayor.
Eric Garcetti is on track to fulfill our dreams of his making Los Angeles the city we all imagine it to be. From keeping Hollywood in Hollywood to restoring the L.A. River, Garcetti is proving that he can get things done—and in an understated way. Also, he’s very easy on the eyes; he’s a TV-ready mayor in a TV town.
5. We’re a foodie city. No debate about it.
Best restaurant in America for 2013? Check. A best new chef? Check. Best designed restaurant in the Americas? Check. An abundance of food festivals? Check, check, check, check, check, etc. We’d go on, but we’ve got reservations.
Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.