Technically, I live in Los Angeles. But my dad used to tell me that when asked, I should always say I live in Hollywood. Hollywood was famous, after all. People know of Hollywood. And while most days, I can see the Hollywood sign fairly easily, Hollywood isn’t my community.
With the emergence of The Grove, a major shopping center, I can tell people I live near The Grove and that immediately narrows down the large umbrella of “Los Angeles.” And The Grove is my neighborhood. Across the street, is a small Italian restaurant where I have eaten since I was a young girl. A few blocks from The Grove is my son’s elementary school. For me, this neighborhood is home.
And for others, my neighborhood is their vacation destination. For each day, I see tour buses taking visitors to The Grove and The Original Farmers Market.
And while it’s an international tourist destination, Los Angeles is not an incredibly beautiful city. At least, not beautiful the way Paris is. Granted, I’ve only traveled to Paris once and that was in 2005. But still, there’s no denying Paris was then (and I believe is now) a city of beauty. Historic buildings that have stories to tell. An abundance of parks. Open grace spaces and gardens. Bookstores on every block.
Paris is a city that has fascinated me since elementary school. And even now, at the age of thirty-eight, I have multiple items in my home that are adorned with a representation of the Eiffel Tower. A keychain, notepads, a shower curtain.
And I wonder. Is there a woman somewhere on another continent who writes in a journal with a picture of the Hollywood sign on the front cover? In a country whose currency isn’t dollar bills, is there a woman who sits at a desk with a mini-statue of the Farmers Market’s clock tower?