Angels? They're in our very name. So it is a tad surprising to us that we only really see them come around every December, via plays and other Christmas-happenings, in the City of Angels. There was once a year-round push in "The Community of Angels" art project back in 2001, which boasted some 250 angel sculptures placed around town (we always liked the tacky tourist angel, and the mysteriously strange one located at FIDM). And while we still come across those sculptures from time to time -- teens love to clown around with 'em for pictures -- that's about it for the angel iconography.
Of course, L.A. Live just opened with "The Light of the Angels," its nightly holiday laser/light/music extravaganza. And we boast a baseball team with the ethereal moniker. And creative takes on business names? Makes us laugh. (We'd open one called "Halo There," although we're not sure what we'd sell.)
Perhaps it is that angels mean many things to people -- from strictly religious figures to bumbly Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life" -- and that is a bit hard to work on a large scale. In short, it is tough for the city to land upon its symbol, as lightly as an angel might alight upon the head of a pin, that special something that means all things to all who live here.
But we've always adored New York's apple and the Golden Gate of San Francisco, so perhaps LA needs to revisit its namesake, consider it, ponder how it fits into the framework of the image we sell the world. We also adore the Hollywood sign and the tall, tall palms, too. So hard to choose in a place of brimming with visual wonder. What means LA?