Today, as I spend much of my time in Los Angeles, those memories of Hollywood movies watched in Poland as a kid are not just comforts of things past, they are coming to life all around me. Los Angeles to me is the familiar place I've always known about, a home long ago envisioned and felt.
My first memory of actually coming close to LA was when I first moved to California: I had flown from Toronto, Canada to San Diego in the late evening of February 14, 2000, in order to start my new life with my soon to be husband. Getting off the snowy plane in tropical San Diego, in the middle of February, was magical in itself. But the magic really started when we got on the freeway on-ramp from the airport. As we were turning the bend and gaining speed, I saw, for the first time, the "I-5 North: Los Angeles" sign and I squealed in happiness! Didn't really know why. Fast forward 16 years, and I not only still squeal, but my heart sometimes actually pounds as I drive up the 405 freeway and see the "City of Angels" unfolding before me in all its angelic and complex beauty.