A few years back, three moves ago, I used to work in a New York highrise. Well, actually, It wasn’t even that tall. It was 12 floors. My whole wall was made up of windows. I had a head on view of the Empire State Building. It was fabulous. It was intoxicating. The best part about being on the 10th floor, was that when the elevators gave out (which they always do in New York as these are old elevators and buildings) I didn’t mind walking down. Walking up, of course, was another matter but even then I didn’t mind so much. It was free exercise. When something is free in New York you take it. Seriously.
I miss those days. I miss being up high and looking down on the streets. Right now my office is at street level and I have to keep my blinds drawn because otherwise people will make faces at me in the window. I kid you not. I suppose that is not so shocking to believe considering that I too am tempted to stand in front of a Soul Cycle while I eat a donut and a burger. But I have digressed into my bad behavior. This is not the time to go into that. I miss being high up. I love feeling secure while many, many feet up. There is something invigorating about it. Breathtaking.
Everything out here in Los Angeles, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of vertical. Things expand horizontally and there is not much variety in that skyline. Downtown Los Angeles is starting to go upwards. Let’s hope those buildings are really up to code (to withstand an earthquake, that is).
But do you know one things that does stand out in terms of its verticalness? (I think I made that word up). The palm trees! Yes, the palm trees are unusually tall here. Very tall. People who have come out to visit me in Los Angeles are surprised by how tall they are. They are taller than the palm trees in the Caribbean and Miami. I believe taller than Hawaii as well. Hmm. I think I need a trip out to Hawaii to be sure of that last statement I made.
Here is thing, the palm trees took on a new footing in California culture back in the 1930s. They came to symbolize Los Angeles although, honestly, I think palm trees would be healthier elsewhere. But palm trees were for the most part imported to give an extra sense of glamour to the city and bring in new tourists. And the palm trees are super tall here. I mean really tall.
They almost help cure my need to be vertical. But I can only look up at them. I don’t really get to climb them. Thus, I still miss being vertical and I still miss the thrill of securely looking down at it all.