Sat. May 28th, 2022

Having lived in Los Angeles in the 1980s, I share Janan Ganesh’s appreciation for it as a walkable city (Life & ArtsJanuary 22).

I worked from home, did most daily errands on foot, and enjoyed the quirkiness of the canyons, taking in Sunset or Santa Monica boulevards. My walks even included Beverly Hills.

While it’s true that a drier climate encourages walking, a particularly fond memory of mine followed a walk in West Hollywood during a rainstorm.

The city, where a common architectural feature is the single storey, 1930s bungalow-style apartment complex built around an interior courtyard open to the street, often with a pool, does not accommodate occasional heavy rains well. And as I passed one such complex, the pool had overflowed, sending patio chairs and goofy pool toys flooding down the steps on to the pavement and across the front lawn.

Apt, it seemed, for a desert city rooted precariously in fantasy.

Niels Erich
San Francisco, CA, US

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