in most cities the good/interesting/odd buildings are pretty easy to find.
if you want to find iconic architecture in nyc you look at the seagram’s building or the lever house or the chrysler
building or the guggenheim. nyc has tons of amazing architecture, and it’s all big and pretty easy to find, whether intentionally or not.
this is true for most cities. the iconic architecture is, generally, pretty easy to stumble upon, whether you’re in new york
or london or barcelona or sydney or any other normal-ish city.
but l.a is only barely a city.
it’s a city in that it’s got a lot of inhabitants.
and it’s a city in that somewhere in it’s charter it’s probably labeled ‘the city of los angeles’.
but l.a is either:
-not a city
or
-unlike any other normal city on the planet

for starters, l.a has no center. it really doesn’t. i mean, geographically it possibly does, but figuratively and practically it has no center.
this drives tourists crazy. they come to l.a hoping to find the center, and the center just can’t be found, as it doesn’t exist.
i mean, maybe the center is hollywood and vine? or downtown? or?
and a lot of what makes l.a interesting are the peripheries and the hidden stuff.
and whereas most iconic architecture in most cities is pretty easy to find, almost none of the iconic
architecture in l.a is easy to find (an example: have you just accidentally stumbled upon the chemosphere recently?).
a case in point: i was driving down hollywood blvd, and i somehow ended up on the west side of laurel (sorry if these
street references mean nothing to non angelenos, they kind of meant nothing to me before i moved here).
up until this point i didn’t actually know that hollywood blvd went west
of laurel. but it does. as i just learned. forgive my newcomer ignorance.
and as i’m driving on hollywood blvd west of laurel i see a frank lloyd wright house that i hitherto had never heard of or seen.
there it is, just sitting on a quiet suburban street, waiting for the mail-man or the garbage pick up.
iconic architecture from the 20th centuries pre-eminent architect, and it’s being lived in and it’s on a small, tree lined street, hidden
away in plain sight.
oh, and i’m also including a picture of a falcon. at least i think it’s a falcon. it was perched in a tree near where i go hiking every day.
so: a few pictures of an iconic and hidden frank lloyd wright house, and a picture of a falcon in a tree.
i mean this in the nicest possible way: l.a is the weirdest city in the world.

-moby