Does the sun here really shine more brightly than anywhere else? California can’t seem to pass a budget, unemployment in Los Angeles hovers above 12 percent, home prices are still falling, and yet people keep getting off the bus. Some are destined for success (word that Batali is bringing Eataly to West Hollywood was delivered with subject lines that read “booyah!”), while others walk rockier paths (the Museum of Contemporary Art may outlive New York “savior” Jeffrey Deitch). Despite the beleaguered state of this one-industry town, the county population grew last year. A fertile crescent of gentrification has steadily marched down from the hills, from Beachwood and Los Feliz through Silver Lake and now Echo Park, to meet the new downtown. Maybe it’s the lowest crime rate in 50 years that’s invigorating Los Angeles’s classic sense of optimism, or genuine opportunity. After all, you really can hike in the morning, ski in the afternoon, and stop in the Pan-Pacific culinary Valhalla of the San Gabriel Valley for some pork soup dumplings on the way home. When recent torrential rains unleashed vicious mudslides, Angelenos looked at the flowing debris and saw an end to the drought. Finally, people can water desert plots back to their natural emerald green.
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