Because it is a vibrant, controversial, sprawling and all-absorbing laboratory. Many of the ideas that are born there make their way around the world before coming home again.
600You might as well forget the urban development conditions that you have taken for granted until now. Los Angeles is the first great metropolitan area built after the advent of the automobile.
It is a place with a unique light: it is no coincidence that Hollywood was born there and the Killerbees are cinema-addicted.
Because Los Angeles is a unique city, but you need to be shown around by someone who knows it, because it is so spread out.
Because, as Sheryl Crow sings, “This ain’t no country club, this is L.A.” L.A. Barracuda.
A torrid August afternoon in 1971. Venue: the sacred court of the Holcombe Rucker Park, New York's most famous playground still today. The match schedule pitted Westsiders against Milbank for the final of the basketball tournament (nowadays known as the Entertainers Basketball Classic). Westsiders some of his teammates from the Nets of the NBA, while their opponents fielded street basketball legends Richard 'Pee Wee' Kirkland and Joe 'The Destroyer' Hammond. In actual fact though, Hammond didn't even start the game, as he was busy playing dice in a bar not far away. He only showed up for the second half, when he entered the court amid two rows of fans who seemed 'to part like the Red Sea when Moses crossed it' to start his show against Dr J. True? Legend? Either way it doesn't matter, the tales from New York's playgrounds are simply too juicy to resist being handed down orally, decade after decade.
Mario Savio and the birth of the Free Speech Movement, Joan Baez singing “We Shall Overcome”, the protests on campus as a precursor to the events of May 1968 in France, Ronald Reagan - unexpectedly elected governor of the State - resolving to restore order by any means necessary. The youths' protest seamlessly snowballed into battles for civil rights and sexual freedom, against racial discrimination and against the USA's intervention in Vietnam. This was a unique period in American history, and the beautiful campus of the University of California provided the ideal backdrop.