I’m sitting in a hotel room in rainy downtown Los Angeles, about to embark upon the first full day of my USC/Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to start anything in my life, and last night, when we were handed the full schedule of what to expect, I flipped to two random days then immediately snapped the binder shut. The two itineraries I spied were my dream LA days—pretty much exactly how and where I’d want to spend 12 hours in my city. I almost don’t want to know too much about where we’re going and who we’re going to meet. I want every day to be a surprise.
To prepare for today, I re-watched one of the best films about LA, Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles. It’s a 1972 BBC documentary about Los Angeles hosted by a British architectural critic, probably one of my favorite design writers, and a huge advocate of LA. If you’ve never seen this video, take some time to watch it.
Watching this video again last night (when I was too excited to sleep), I realized that Banham’s enthusiasm is emblematic of how I want to spend my time here in LA: I want to look upon it with new eyes, like an outsider, ready to be charmed by what I already thought to be true, and dumbfounded by what I never knew before. And I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
So, in a few minutes, I’ll be beginning the adventure of a lifetime with my fellow fellows, Joerg Haentzschel, Jennifer Hsu, Ryan Pearson, Gillian Rennie, Wei Wei Wong, and Douglas Wolk (who I met last night over shabu shabu, and who are all wonderful). We’re placing ourselves in the hands of our trusty advisors, Sasha Anawalt, Jeff Weinstein, and Arianna Sikorski, who I’m already convinced are skilled in the ways of magic. Just look at the sunset over downtown they managed to orchestrate for our welcome event last night.
More photos here.