Every year at precisely this time, I am reminded once again why I love living in Los Angeles. First of all, let me just say that the weather this morning is perfect: bright blue skies that are clear as a bell after yesterday’s clouds. Crisp cool autumn that smells wonderful. So what’s not to love?
People who are not natives, especially those from back east (you know who you are!), are always saying that there are no seasons in Los Angeles. Natives like me always disagree.
While you may not see snow, or crocuses and daffodils in spring, Los Angeles has definite seasons. Right now, late November and early December, is one of the most recognizable. There is finally a moment in the fall when the last of the Santanas stop blowing, and we know it’s time to put away the flip flops and shorts for a bit. And the smell! Ahh, cool crisp clean air. In such a large metropolitan area, it’s a treasure.
But there are more subtle examples and harbingers of our seasons as well. The jacaranda blooms in the spring, dressing Los Angeles in a riot of purple for 3 short weeks. The late spring with its sweet heady smell of citrus trees in bloom. The scent of night blooming jasmine hanging heavy on the warm summer nights. Waking to “June Gloom” and the quiet of the damp ocean air. Magnolias in blossom on the parkways in August.
But my favorite is to watch the change of the sun. Right now it is low on the horizon, and way to the south. The morning drive along Sunset Boulevard is a touch easier, with the sun at my right as I head toward Hollywood. And the winter sunsets are spectacular, cool, bright, and straight on from the palisades bluffs in Santa Monica. It’s the best time to photograph the Pier.
In the summer, the days are really long, and the sun beats down on the sand and bronzed bodies alike. Sunsets then are firey orange and blinding. The smell of blacktop and concrete lingers on the nostrils til after dark. But the flowers are radiant: bouganvillia in hot pinks and ranges against the cool Pacific blues.
Our seasons are probably not at all like your seasons. They are defined by the qulity of the light, the change in sounds and colors, and are underwritten by the ever present blue of the Pacific Ocean. This New Year’s day, when you are around the TV with your families, take a moment to think of me. I’ll be at the Rose Parade, or on the sand in Santa Monica, and thanking my lucky stars that I was born and raised here in LA.