Los Angeles is a city that prefers to be pictured than encountered face to face. Its streets are a ceaseless Babel of disagreeing voices and signs, but, seen from any of the hills that overlook the expansive valley basin, its disparate neighbourhoods knit together into an intricate blanket, still and quiet. Particularly at night, this panorama confirms diverse L.A. archetypes: the technological Sublime, the suburban sprawl, or the majestic, multi-ethnic metropolis. Even the ocean, which laps the city’s southwest edge, is itself a picture – a dry backdrop that, with the aid of a setting sun and some silhouetted palm trees, instantly flattens into a postcard or a t-shirt. Few ever venture onto the water in order to look back at the land.