Great Cities Are Like Great Relationships
There’s always something new and exciting to discover in a place or with a person you know so well
I walk around Los Angeles — at least a little bit — most days. I explore Silverlake more than any other neighborhood. Right when I think I know the area well, I stumble on something that blows my mind.
Like the picture fronting this article.
It’s an alleyway-like street that circles into another circle in the hills of Silverlake, a five-minute walk south of busy Sunset Boulevard. It’s the type of thing people who don’t know, aren’t curious about, and don’t take the time to explore Los Angeles might not believe exists.
aren’t curious about
don’t take the time to explore
You feel like you know a city, but you don’t take the city for granted. You remain curious about it. You take the time to explore it. You’re intellectually, psychologically, and physically curious. Exploring a city affects us in all three ways. If you don’t feel these distinct curiosities coalesce around a sense of attachment to the place, you’re probably not long for the city.
As I walked Los Angeles this past week and discovered this series of circular alleyway streets in Silverlake, I likened the process to always finding something new and exciting in a city to being in a relationship. I also came to the opposite conclusion. The things I have always loved about Los Angeles still excite me.
Case in point —
There’s this part of Rosewood Avenue in the Fairfax District that narrows a few blocks west of Fairfax Avenue.
Every time I walk or drive by, it catches my attention. If I’m on foot, I almost always stop and take a picture of it. No matter how many times I see it, it intrigues me. More often than not, I discover something new about this section of Rosewood. I assume most people (?) traverse Rosewood and don’t think twice.
As I consider my most successful and fulfilling romantic relationships, the same points apply. I feel like I know, yet continue to be curious about and take the time to explore my partner intellectually, psychologically, and physically. When this beautiful cycle becomes anything but comfortably and productively second nature, there’s trouble.