LAST WEEK, I met up for dinner with my friend Victoria who wanted to make sure we checked out Las Posadas at Olvera Street. It was my first full day back in Los Angeles after a very immersive trip to New Orleans. We had a leisurely dinner and talk about all manner of things Los Angeles. And then the procession passed by — the air fragrant with frankincense laced with accordion and brass and voices. Later we happened upon the remains of a piñata and the scent of spicy hot chocolate.
It felt good to be home. It’s become a state of mind that is more difficult for me to locate lately. But there was something about the weather and the ritual and the conversation that conjured a feeling that felt familiar and calming.
What capped off our night was a lovely moment of serendipity. Here we were, two L.A. daughters making our way across the plaza, talking about holidays past and present and sort of struggling to find the words to talk about absence. When we look up, just across Alameda, we see something out of the ordinary — the facade of Union Station in a wash of ruby and emerald lights. Elegant and transporting in its own way.
As it turned out, they’d just flipped the switch the moment we’d emerged from El Pueblo. When I had disembarked the Metro earlier that evening, the station was lit as usual, crisp ,clear white light. I had wanted to come back and photograph the tree. But this? I couldn’t have wished for a better way to re-enter the city. Thank you Metro.
And Happy Holidays to you all from the Coast.