Good Los Angeles stories start in the high desert.

Airplane Nose

The Mojave desert is a mess. I love it, not in an ironic-slumming decay-hugger way, just love it. Chaparral crackles when there’s no other sound. Weird stuff grows out of nowhere and sits there daring you to find context. Ancient Mexican cowboys sell fruit to displaced urban black teenagers. The light is fierce and perfect and constant. Things break down and people just board them up and move on with their lives. All my life I’ve seen the desert as more functional, better adjusted, more of an organic whole than the city and the suburbs.

I want to say “don’t change,” Mojave, but I know you will, and I know you’ll always surprise me.


The Cocky Bull

Desert Landscape

Fast Food Delivery

9 thoughts on “Good Los Angeles stories start in the high desert.

      1. Not much is there, but it’s the third-largest city in California by area. One of those places where all the streets were laid out in accordance with a grandiose vision, but no one ever really showed up — kind of like Salton City, just on a massive scale. It’s an enormous, eerie grid of Joshua trees and scrub and miscellaneous junk wrapped around a fairly standard little desert town. The LA Times had a good article about it a few months back.
        (I took a few pictures there in the fall of 2009, but now that I look, I still haven’t posted any of them. I should probably get on that.)

      2. Wow! How cool. The endless grid is a feature of Lancaster/Palmdale, where the streets go out to 205th or something. BIG PLANS FOR THE FUTURE oops.

  1. WH DIDNT YOU TELL ME YOU WERE GOING?!?!
    i will drive down and meet you. its only 6hr from here. NO ONE WILL GO WITH ME EVER BEAUSE THEY ARE ALL FKN LAZY BASTARDS.

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