Monday, October 20, 2008

Los Angeles: then and now

“This river flows on down nearly at ground level through a very green, lush, wide-reaching valley of level soil some leagues in extent from north to south;…which runs continually onward with a great amount of trees, lie very large, very green bottomlands, looking from afar like nothing so much as large cornfields…to my mind this spot can be given the preference in everything, in soil, water, and trees, for the purpose of becoming in time a very large plenteous mission…and so we have proclaimed it The River and Valley of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula.”
-Captain Gaspar de Portolo, August 2, 1769

As a debater traveling through Los Angeles multiple times each season, I found this 18th century description of the area comically sad. I wonder what Captain de Portolo would say about modern day LA:

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