Independence day

(2015)

Saw literally thousands of fireworks last night, 100% illegal. It was like an artillery bombardment that went on for hours for as far as you could see. Enormous roman candles kept exploding right over our heads. You had to yell to be heard. Even the car alarms seemed to give up. LA’s eastside is magic and anarchy on the 4th of July, and from a height it is hellishly, crazily beautiful, a vision, and you can sit and watch it for hours. It one of this town’s most extraordinary spectacles, and one almost completely unknown to the rest of the world, and even to the rest of the city. First time viewers are always flabbergasted. The whole sky is blown to smithereens. I don’t think there is an official fireworks extravaganza anywhere that matches the backyard pyrotechnics of Los Angeles. This is a remarkably well behaved city, with a crime rate about fiftieth among American cities, yet once a year it goes utterly mad, turning the skyline into art and children into scofflaws and police into mute observers. Independence day means independence day.

"Silhouettes on Lincoln Heights" by Sonia Castro

“Silhouettes on Lincoln Heights” by Sonia Castro. This gorgeous shot from 2014 was taken from a vantage point that offers a 360 degree panorama of a city gone complete off its rocker on the Fourth of July.

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