Unknown Cities

Everyone knows Los Angeles. Or at least everyone thinks that they know Los Angeles. Everyone knows about Downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the San Fernando Valley. Everyone knows other places around the region – Santa Monica, Anaheim and Irvine, Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena, Ontario, Long Beach and Compton. But, if you spend enough time in L.A., you will realize that it is impossible to know every city in the region. I became aware of this when I finished my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and I commenced searching for jobs in the region. I applied for one job in the city of Hawaiian Gardens. When I first heard the name, I figured that I would be relocating to an island in the middle of the Pacific. But, for one of the first times in my life, I was dead wrong about something. Hawaiian Gardens is a little town off the 605 just south of Cerritos, and not too far north of the 405. Never before had I been exposed to this part of the region. I didn’t even know it existed. In fact, I just passed this area for the first time only a short time ago only then did I completely believe that Hawaiian Gardens was a real city!