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Only those of us who were born and raised in Los Angeles have a right to criticize Los Angeles. There are millions of people in LA but I would venture to say most of them aren’t from LA. People who are actually from LA are a bizarre mixture of pretentious and laid back to the point of being comatose. A person who is from LA will wear a pair of Chuck Taylors with Dussault Apparel jeans and a Gap T-Shirt – all name brand by the way but not to the point of being ridiculous. We wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Gucci from head to toe like people from Atlanta – yes Lenox mall  shoppers I’m talking to you. That is just embarrassing. People from South LA go to the Lobster in Santa Monica or the Ivy in Beverly Hills just like people from Brentwood go to Roscoe’s on Pico not Gower (because that’s where the tourists go). We are all very civilized and cordial. When you grow up here you know how things work. When you move here it takes a little longer to figure it out and yeah yall transports are the ones that mess up the status quo.

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Last month my BFF, who for some reason I still don’t understand moved from LA and now lives in KCMO, came to LA with her pre-teen daughter Veronica. Veronica was born and raised in Missouri and hasn’t been to LA since she was a baby. Deenie wanted her to see all the LA “spots” so we played tourists for a few days. I was really curious to see what a kid from KCMO would think was “cool” in LA so I gave Veronica my camera and an empty SD card and let her hit the town. The pictures that she took were a mixture of all that is quintessential Los Angeles.

The funniest part was she was obsessed with the people. We had to keep reminding her that she couldn’t just walk up to perfect strangers and stick a camera in their faces. So then she would walk up to them and ask to take their pictures. So then we said “you can’t just walk up and talk to strangers!” I was so excited by her excitement that I gave her an old digital camera I had in the closet. I know how important it is to foster creativity in children. You just never know when that spark will ignite the flame.

After she left I sat and went through the pictures. They were enlightening and refreshing. Seeing LA through the eyes of  kid – the wonder, the excitement, the beauty of people. It made me fall in love with the city all over again. The only time we Angelinos get to be “tourists” is when we have visitors from out of town. The rest of the time we complain about them and bark about how much they are adding to our already insane traffic. Yes, tourism is a large part of our city’s economy blah blah blah. Go home. We aren’t as blatantly rude as people from New York but people from LA aren’t exactly friendly. Well at least I didn’t used to think so. But there were plenty of people who happily posed for pictures when asked by a kid from KCMO and who let her come into their store and take as many pictures as she wanted. Maybe my little tourist experiment proves that we can actually be nice to each other when we want to.