I came to Los Angeles prepared to hate it. It was my first time in the city, but, as often happens with the great cities around the world, I felt like I had already been there. I’d seen a thousand films, a thousand news report, and none of it had impressed me that much – it was the city of wannabe actors and desperate producers, and, drifting amongst them like turds in a bowl, the ones who had actually made it, and bought the big houses in the hills.
And instead, I loved it. I know, hypocrisy abounds. What can I say? There’s a fan in all of us. But that’s not the real reason that I loved it. Sure, it was great to walk along the streets and look at the stars, to see the Hollywood sign, to visit Beverly Hills and Santa Monica and Venice Beach and all those famous locations. Apparently, we even saw some minor celebrities – an ex-Home and Away star, and Tom Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson. I say apparently, because I didn’t even notice – I was too much the tourist, distracted by the bright lights and flash cars.
So, what about LA captured my interest? Well, it’s a city that is forever on the make – and making itself. There are so few old areas left, because everything is being torn down. It’s a city of dreamers and hopers, but also those who are making it happen – turning dreams into reality and hopes into concrete and film reels. Everyone, everywhere, is intensely busy about their careers – I felt swept up in the hustle and bustle of the place.
And I was stunned by how impressive GTA games are – how closely they match parts of the city. From the long thoroughfares to the tight corners in the hills, it’s impressive how well the game designers managed to create a living breathing city. And then bring to life the stories within that city.