Hello To All That

Today, I reread this essay by Didion called “Goodbye To All That.” I read it first in High School, with the guys I would eventually live with in New York, at around the time when I first knew I would eventually live in New York.

“Part of what I want to tell you is what it is like to be young in New York, how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots—the Seagram Building fountains dissolve into snowflakes, I enter a revolving door at twenty and come out a good deal older, and on a different street. But most particularly I want to explain to you, and in the process perhaps to myself, why I no longer live in New York. It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city only for the very young.”

It’s a beautiful essay. Her wistful images are stirring. And I know now, after following Didion to Los Angeles, that some memories will be hard to shake. I imagine especially when autumn rolls around, and the subsequent holiday decorations. But right now, I’m in love with L.A.’s sunlight. It really is something to see.

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