As we sort out our at-home New Year’s plans and brace ourselves for an evening of sky-filling, not-so-legal pyro, we thought the time was right to share some brief thoughts about the year that must not be named.
First, a parade of “thank yous” is in order: to the frontline workers and the social justice demonstrators. To the distilleries who started making hand sanitizer and the restaurants that flipped into corner pantries. Thank you to every independent venue that makes us Love Local. And thank you to the People’s Bodega and L.A. Community Fridges for keeping Angelenos hydrated and fed, the Broad for bringing a bit of infinity to our homes, the Getty for classing up our Animal Crossing islands, Disneyland for blessing us with Dole Whip and churro recipes and the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve for streaming its bloom.
And actually, that last one reminds us that we want to extend an extra thank you to nature, basically the only living thing outside of our own house that we could touch without fear in 2020. In a year that made most indoor activities an impossibility, we’ve never been more grateful to live in a city whose best assets are outdoors anyway. The brief closure of beaches and trails in the spring aside, being able to hike up a hillside, walk through a street lined with jacarandas, escape into the mountains, relax at a botanical garden or dip our feet into the ocean (especially when it was turning a shade of Lisa Frank blue) provided instant mood-lifting pick-me-ups all year long. That also made the always-devastating fire season that much tougher this year, like being told we suddenly couldn’t play with our best friend anymore.
Like those fires, L.A. leaves this year behind with some indelible scars but also the promise that a rebound inevitably awaits down the line. So let’s bring on 2021—because we think there’s a whole bunch to look forward to.