Lynell George, arts and culture journalist, explains what it means to be a native Angeleno in DINOSAUR Volume 2, Issue 1. 

“The other day, I was shooting through Union Station, saying goodbye to one friend and pivoting to meet another, when a man walked up out of nowhere and asked: Where you from?p1351164631-3

I told him “Los Angeles.” But instead of absorbing my answer, he tossed back: “OK, but where’s your mama from?”

That exchange contained volumes. Claiming L.A. – as a native, rooted in this place – seems to fly over the head of those passing through from elsewhere. It’s not enough information – or too much information or… “It’s never the right answer,” a friend counseled afterward.

There is something about L.A.’s fluidity; that it isn’t what it seems or that it can’t be summed up entirely in a sentence irks and confounds people. Makes them want to jump back a generation. But it’s precisely what I love most about Los Angeles. Growing up, my L.A. felt wide and wild and slapdash. It was a place to be so many things. I didn’t intersect with Hollywood much, so that “being many things” was about the mix of language and traditions and faces and scents and ways of being. I was always interested in the spots here where people intersected, the unlikely juxtapositions and the serendipity – music, stories, self-presentation – that grew out of it. We made it up on the spot. If I couldn’t travel the world, I could travel the city and know a little something about what was out beyond the city limits.

Even though from a young age, I wanted to be a writer, I know that living in Los Angeles nudged me toward telling true stories – about vividness and possibility and ruin and reception. There was too much to tell that hadn’t been told, much to still pull into focus.”

– Lynell George – Arts/ Culture Journalist

Los Angeles was our destination city of choice for our Bowie-Tribute issue for a number of reasons. As much as we love them both, Berlin seemed too obvious, and London too costly to shoot. We chose LA because, in our humble opinion, Bowie’s masterwork, Station To Station, was created here. 

For this issue, we asked several Angelenos to tell us what brought them here, and to share why they stayed. 

All photos by Jamie Betts / Jamie Betts Photography.

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