In case you didn’t see it—or read one of the thousands of Tweets about it—last night the city experienced one of those legendary sunsets that send Instagram users into “Follow me!” rapture. Just after 8 it looked as if Los Angeles had been invaded by a cadre of alien ships spewing rainbow sherbet and blueberry smoothies across the skyline. Sunset haters get jaded about these matters. Another pretty sunset? Who cares, they say. They’re a dime a dozen around here. “I’ve got as much interest in a shot of that,” they say, “as I do in a picture of your mid-morning snack.”
The truth is, sunsets bring us together. Live here for a month and you realize that this is a city of microclimates; you could be wearing a tank and cut-offs in Topanga and 15 minutes away need a turtleneck and cargo pants in Santa Monica. But sunsets are universal: They can be equally appreciated from a law firm in a downtown high-rise as they can from a smog check shop in Reseda or a landing jet at LAX. For four or five fleeting minutes on more blessed evenings a year than we can count, sunsets are our prayer call, our afternoon tea, our midday siesta. We collectively pause to appreciate the beauty of this place we call home. We forget the traffic and the banalities of the day as we lose ourselves in an artist’s palette so unbelievable, if it manifested itself in any other city the Today Show would report about it the next morning.
If we want to capture those moments every now and then and Tweet about them, so be it. I want to see the city from all angles and perspectives, sunsets included, and thanks to social media I almost can. Sunsets make me happy, hopeful, glad to have made it through another day and looking forward to the next. “Los Angeles was popping OFF this evening,” tweeted @jaredjdionne, a Goldenvoice intern and Ithaca student. “It usually does. But this was another level.” A level we can stand on together.