September 12, 2005
I’m right here in Beverly Hills. I saw Rodeo Drive. Nothing much impressed me.
The streets of Beverly Hills look like better versions of the streets of West Triangle in Quezon City. Forbes Park in Makati impressed me more with its acacia trees. Well, maybe it’s cleaner here, the streets wider, the lawns better maintained and things just work.
Or maybe I’m just tired.
After New York, it’s hard to be impressed with other big, crowded cities. After the Grand Canyon, it’s hard to find beauty.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall tickled my imagination. The garden on top of the building was special. The Museum of Contemporary Art gave my spirit a lift with the works of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Then the lights went out.
People scampered out of the buildings. Streetlights stopped working. Fire trucks rushed into somewhere. Sirens blared.
A blackout hit the city.
An al-Qaeda statement read in last night’s news identified Los Angeles as the terrorist group’s next target after the London bombings.
We canceled one meeting and went back to the hotel. The elevators were not working and people were out of their offices.
We had a leisurely cruise on Wilshire Boulevard from downtown to Beverly Hills. More buildings passed us by. Or we passed them by. Some have history written all over the facades.
I saw the hotel where Robert Kennedy was shot. It’s dilapidated. Like history. Workers were removing tiles from the roof. It was supposed to be turned into a school building. There were oppositions. Nothing happened. The building is rotting.
There’s a lot of road construction in the city, actually all over America. They just have to spend their money. Good for them. In the Philippines, a lot of construction work is also going on. Politicians and government contractors just have to pocket the people’s money.
Los Angeles is a place where commerce and entertainment meet. It’s also where some people who still have their souls intact hold fort as the world rushes by.
The Los Angeles Studios is a big compound and it’s boring as a hospital. Good that there are people like Sandra Ruch, executive director of the International Documentary Association, and Stephon Litwinczuk, membership coordinator of the organization who insisted for us to have green tea.
We talked about possible projects. And projects and work and more work.