The Long Goodbye

Not Chandler’s Long Goodbye but MINE to the city of Angels. I can’t believe it, I’ll be leaving L.A. soon. A short trip through the American Southwest – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico – before crossing America and the Atlantic and be back to old Europe. “Leaving New York never easy” sing the REM….well, I bet it is much more difficult leaving L.A.

(Colin Ritch made this picture)

L.A. is a beautiful woman who offers herself unconditionally but at the same time since day one, you realize you’ll never be able to grasp her soul, her inner essence…if there is one. Nostalgia is there from the beginning, from the first moment you get to know her. How on earth can a place like this exist, where nature and humans are so open, rich and gentle and at the same time can become devastatingly violent, heart and groundbreaking?

I think Rio de Janeiro and Habana are the most beautiful cities on earth, in Europe I adore Berlin, Barcelona, Marseille and Porto. I am obsessed by the contradictory beauty of the place where I was born, Genova between steep hills and sea. I am so happy I can call home Brussels with its hidden charm. But no place has ever intoxicated me like L.A. did.

Los Angeles hooks you from the beginning when you realize that you are a stranger just as all the others, everybody comes from somewhere else just like you, they are as provisional as you are. The city has the uneasiness of those places you come and go. But there is nowhere else to go after you have been in L.A.. You just got to the end.

I have been wondering what kind of strong, warm, yet unclear and somehow threatening feelings this place has given me. I have no precise answer, I really can’t say. But I remember this was pretty much the same way I was feeling when – 14 year old – I was listening to the warm and mysterious voice of Stevie Nicks singing Gypsy…facing freedom with a little fear.

One thought on “The Long Goodbye

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your LA experience with us, Matteo. Your accounts of your stay there have always been very interesting and enriching, where my knowledge of both the American way of life and all the facets of this fascinating country are concerned. I travelled – a long time ago now, in 1997, through the north of California up to a place called San Luis Obispo, visiting Sacramento and San Francisco, but never got a chance to go down to the City of the Angels as our purpose was to visit the wonderful national parks. Enjoy the last part of your stay there with your family. Cheers.

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