There is no place like LA. It is a sprawling mass of land, people and freeways. Traffic is everywhere, at nearly all times of day, and it turns people off because it can be such an impersonal place, but I love it.
Los Angeles is a fascinating place, especially when you look into its back-story. It truly is a man-made place: without the California Aqueduct, life in the Golden State would be entirely different. I read about the aqueduct in a book called Water and Power a few years ago, and this week I revisited the subject in the PBS documentary, Inventing LA: the Chandlers and Their Times.
While I found Water and Power to be a bit dry (too many numerical facts for me), I thoroughly enjoyed watching the documentary. From Harrison Gray Otis' union blocking tactics to Harry Chandler's real estate dealings to Dorothy Chandler's philanthropy, the story amazed me. As the documentary wove through LA's history I learned just how large of a role the Chandlers played in making Los Angeles into the city it is today. Plus, I finally see how the Valley became a part of Los Angeles County (water).