Magazine article Sunset

Los Angeles

Magazine article Sunset

Los Angeles

Article excerpt

A city enters the heart slowly and without warning. I didn't like Los Angeles at first: too big, too phony, too much. When I moved to Southern California from Washington, D.C., during the winter of 1984 my purpose was clear. While on vacation in L.A. that previous summer I'd met a man every bit as brilliant and wonderful as the bougainvillea that cascaded over fences and walls in that sun-bathed town. Regardless of its external charms I was moving to LaLa Land to get married for the second time. My 7-year-old daughter had other ideas. Maia always knew that the only reason we were coming to Los Angeles was so that she could begin her career in show business.

"I'm going to be an actress," the child said, weeks after we arrived. "You need to get me an agent," she insisted, months later. I chuckled. I'm an East Coast woman. I was barely tolerating our new town. But while I was lamenting the lack of a subway and culture (as I defined it), Maia was loving her proximity to Disneyland, the beach, and the studios. Within a year, all remnants of her D.C. sensibilities had disappeared. Oh, she still felt comfortable when we went back for a visit, but the truth was her new home had claimed her soul, just as it had marked her aspirations. While I was attempting to infiltrate the literary coterie and thus reestablish my East Coast interests, Maia was shucking off the past, embracing L. …

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