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Mackenna Lee


Disembark, Grow, Illuminate.

City of Angels, Inspired by Devils

Los Angeles is a village of contradictions. The second largest “city” in the States is a collection of small towns, villages emboldened by their own unique characters and norms.


I feel empowered to do anything here, but pressured as well to orient myself to prioritize certain values.

I feel small and closed off, but the city is buzzing.

There is so much to do, but I struggle to pick anything.

I love it, for its optimistic sunlight, but feel frustrated for the sunken people whose dreams are broken here.

When you least expect it, around a banal street corner, will be a tremendous vista bathed in afternoon light, showing off Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign. At times like that, you wonder, do I really live here? But as you wonder this, you stand next to an overturned trash can, litter exploded from the can and empty McDonald’s cups and napkins sprawled all over the sidewalk.


People are so beautiful. Women without an ounce of fat on them, and dads that could double as college students in the next coming-of-age Hollywood flick. It’s antagonizing for the regular folk, who go to the 9 to 5s and gawk at it all.

It’s this untamed expanse, hills that rise so severely that even the most enterprising home builders do not dare touch it. But there are cliffs that people are desperate to claim, a view that is too good to pass up the inconvenience of having your house hanging off a hill, in view of everyone below.


It’s energizing and soul-crushing. The rainbow of culture only to have it segmented. The glitz of upper class echelons and the depths of overturned lives, living in tent cities.

I don’t know how I see it, and I am unsure if it’s good for me. It says, look at me, but also I don’t care. I am mesmerized.


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