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Dear Los Angeles: I'm Thankful For...

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Springtime means Cherry Blossoms in Balboa Park, for which I'm thankful (Lindsay William-Ross/LAist)

Well, this is probably going to be my last Thanksgiving as a non-US Citizen, if Homeland Security is kind enough to grant this "alien" naturalization after almost 20 years as an Angeleno. Writing for LAist and teaching English at Cal State LA gives me many occasions on which I stop to think about what I'm thankful for about living here, and today I offer you my list (in surplus of the expected basic needs, friends/boyfriend/family requisite entries). I'm thankful...

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  • ...that I don't have to shop at Walmart or eat at big mega chain restaurants like Applebee's because I have an abundance of locally owned and operated stores and eateries to support as a customer. We have so many choices here, and it's easy to forget that not everyone in America can say the same for where they live.
  • ...for LA's vast and intertwined media and internet communities, who prove daily that you can create near-tangible connections in a theoretical space. These members of the social or traditional media, blogosphere, and Twitterati help, inform, and comfort me, and (without naming names for fear of missing a single link) I'm proud to call many my friends.
  • ...for our geographic communities, and the history and diversity they reflect. I'm so happy to live in a city where I feel I've never fully finished exploring or learning about it.
  • ...for KCRW, because I love NPR news, non-commercial music programming done by savvy and influential DJs, their specialty talk programs, and the fact that I've met many a KCRW personality/employee and they are just about the nicest people you could ever know.
  • ...for our amazing farmers' markets, and all manner of gardens: school, community, public, park, historic, backyard, balcony, or guerrilla.
  • ...for groups like LA Conservancy and others for making preservation a priority in a city that is mistakenly thought to have no history. (Belive me, I'm thankful for our history!)
  • ...for the nouveau food truck trend. Call me bougie, but it's refreshing to see affordable, inventive, enterprising, and engaging foodstuffs bring people together and send people all over the city. It's been fun getting to know and taste them this year, on top of relishing what a phenom culinary city we live in!