Los Angeles exists: Who knew?

Oh, yes… this is still here, isn’t it? Well then.

The Atlantic glances a little farther west of the Hudson(*) and asks a transplant intriguingly named Rosecrans Baldwin to take stock of his new city.  He obliges with an excerpt from a forthcoming book assessing Los Angeles as a city-state for this age.

Los Angeles fits the city-state frame well, certainly better than it does a lot of other possibilities—if we update the model a bit. In 2010, Forbes suggested that if the criteria for a place to be considered a city-state were modernized for the 21st century, certain global capitals might qualify thanks to a few key features: a big port to sustain trade; investors from overseas; money laundering; international museums worth visiting; multiple languages spoken in good restaurants serving alcohol; and an ambition to host the World Cup.

If it is from Forbes, it must be true so we get some evidences, quotes from a politician, a novelist, and a final paragraph that ends in the air, leaving one just short of hungry for the book-to-come.  The article does link to a 2010 piece in the same journal, Defending Los Angeles, broaching similar concerns but more engagingly.  That further links to The Tyranny of New York which gets at the gizzards of the problem – how relentless public relations has defined American life, especially its art and culture, to the discharge from the Brooklyn sewers.

(*) Yes, it is a New Yorker cover but an iconic one that sums up the mentality.

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