I can feel summer coming. As much as I kid about Los Angeles having just two seasons: warm and warmer, there is a real shift that happens this time of year. I begin to feel it as I walk outside with the dogs in the early evening, looking at the Bird of paradise that stand with perfect posture, basking in the setting sun. In the morning, the chill is all but gone (a chill by LA standards, at least), and I resign myself to the fact that heat is on its way. I can’t negotiate with Mother Nature. The heat is coming. And with it come one of the the most fabulous thing about Los Angeles – summer nights.
I don’t care for summer or the heat. I’m happiest when it’s in the low 60s, with a chance of rain. I find it centers me, calms me, helps me to focus. It’s some sort of oppositional seasonal effective disorder. And after a hundred-plus years of roots in this City of Angels, with a mother who grew up with the Pacific as her backyard, I’d think that some sort of genetic predisposition towards basking in the sun would be a given. A birthright. And yet.
Summer nights, those are fine, gorgeous even, but I don’t need three whole months of them. A few weeks would suffice. But I can’t negotiate with Mother Nature.
A few years ago, Sofia Coppola’s film SOMEWHERE came out. I loved way she captured LA. And the Chateau Marmont, a place with great memories for me. She bottled up the sunshine and shot it in such a way that it made me almost homesick for the very city I call home.
I’ve traveled and spent time in cities coast to coast, north and south, but there’s something particular to our sunshine, to the light of LA, that can’t be manufactured. It’s the shadows of the canyons and the air filled with orange blossoms, the mingling of smog and sea air and celluloid. I don’t quite know what it is but just about 5 o’clock this time of year, it’s glorious.
So, I push the coats and boots to the back of the closet and prepare to follow the sun. But I’ll relish these days of spring just a bit longer.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
My favorite smell is the first smell of spring in New York. – Andy Warhol
Spring is the time of plans and projects. – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Florals? For spring? Ground breaking. – The Devil Wears Prada
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. – Steve Martin