photographed a courtyard not long ago. (Go! Peruse his noir!) It reminded me of my reaction to Los Angeles upon moving to the area: nostalgia. Yet I hadn't been here before.
Why did roaming the streets of a new city make me long for -- what? home? youth? Yes, but not my home, not my youth.
I'd been watching Los Angeles on television all my life. I thought I knew the place and I did, but I didn't know it as itself. I knew it as the place where cowboys rode herd, where Samantha cast spells on Darin, where ET landed and made his phone call home. Seeing it in person was like seeing a movie star and feeling like you know them personally. You don't. You only know the role they play.
Most interiors are shot on a soundstage where lighting and sound can be controlled, but exteriors are usually shot in real places. When an actor steps out of a doorway and kisses his wife the doorway's often real, even if the wife isn't. When the heroine drives down the street it's a real street. The kids play softball on a real ball field and the lovers stroll in a real park, whether it's a movie, a TV show or a commercial.
Show business is still a major industry in Los Angeles County. You can see production trailers in Pasadena, South Pasadena and Altadena every day, especially in areas where no palm trees give southern California away. But it's soCal all the same. Always was, even before I came to know it personally.