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Looking for love in Los Angeles? Here’s some inspiration

A road from the Westside through the hills before the Valley lead to a couple hugging.
(Illustration by Julia Yellow / For The Times)
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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, June 9. I’m Kevinisha Walker, a newsletter editor for The Times.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to meet the perfect guy in L.A., but discover that he lives in the Valley? How about being too happy and in love to notice red flags? What about traveling 7,620 miles for a first date?

Despite what the weather currently looks and feels like in Los Angeles — thanks, June gloom — summer is here. And with the season’s arrival, I’ve been thinking a lot about the pursuit of romantic love in L.A.

The Times has been chronicling love stories from Angelenos for years, with some people making big moves for love and others striking out after one too many dates with L.A. losers.

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(If you don’t see a love story that you relate to or that helps you understand your own in our archive, we’re always taking submissions.)

The stories caught my eye pretty quickly after I joined The Times this spring because of their attention-grabbing headlines — “My ex tried to play matchmaker for me. What could possibly go wrong?” (Um, everything!) But it wasn’t just the headlines, it was the variety of romantic tales.

There are people facing romantic conundrums, like Michael, a 56-year-old gay man who said he had never been in love nor had ever been loved by someone else, and wondered if he should be concerned with red flags at his age. And Leah, who is in a loving marriage with a man, but also loves dating women, and wonders if she’s “bi” enough.

Then there are sweet tales of romantic love enduring in the face of obstacles. Brenda taught her blind husband how to swim in the ocean. As a result of the swimming, they learned to communicate better and fell deeper in love. And for Barbara and Russ, who had both been divorced, getting married for a second time at 48 and 56 felt miraculous.

Although I’m not a 56-year-old gay man or a divorcee looking for a second chance at love, I felt a connection to these stories because of a common theme that anyone can relate to: love.

August will mark my fourth year living in Los Angeles, and for three years I have been in love. Before meeting my beloved Nate, I was single more often than not. After moving to L.A. I was inundated with horror stories about what it’s like navigating the dating scene here. L.A. guys are really flaky, some said. If you join dating apps, good luck getting past the first date, others said.

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But it’s not all doom and gloom. Nate and I made it past the first date. Then we made it past the first year. No matter what happens, I will never regret putting myself out there for love.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.

L.A. STORIES

The Los Angeles Police Department seized about 38,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from a warehouse in South Los Angeles — and this time it didn’t blow up a neighborhood. Los Angeles Times

Welcome to the L.A. Troll Apartment. You can live under a bridge for only $250,000. Housing does not come cheap in Los Angeles. But if you are willing to live somewhat like a troll, there might be something available for you in Alhambra. Los Angeles Times

How L.A. helped detonate the explosion of the Austin comedy scene. While most comics found themselves in a purgatory of Zoom shows during the pandemic, L.A. stand-ups began dipping their toes into Austin, Texas. Los Angeles Times

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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a U.S. constitutional amendment on gun control that would ban assault weapons and mandate background checks and waiting periods for purchasing firearms, a long-shot proposal with little chance of passing in a nation deeply divided on the issue. Los Angeles Times

The federal government is suing the city of San Diego over skydiving plane that hit Marine Osprey at Brown Field. The U.S. is seeking $5.7 million from the city of San Diego, two private companies and others for the damage to the military aircraft. Los Angeles Times

CRIME, COURTS AND POLICING

A former USC football player was arrested and accused of raping three women. Joshua Jackson Jr. has been arrested and charged with raping three women, with Los Angeles police investigators saying he may have been involved in additional unreported sexual assaults. Los Angeles Times

‘Bob’s Burgers’ actor Jay Johnston was arrested on Capitol riot charges. The 54-year-old actor, known for voicing Jimmy Pesto on the animated comedy series “Bob’s Burgers,” stands accused of causing civil disorder, unlawfully entering a restricted area and impeding passage through Capitol grounds. Los Angeles Times

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HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Here comes El Niño: It’s early, likely to be big, sloppy and add even more heat to a warming world. El Niños do not automatically guarantee wet weather for California. But historically, the stronger they are — and the warmer Pacific Ocean waters at the equator are — the more likely it is that the state will have a rainy winter season. Mercury News

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West Coasters who have long lived with the danger of wildfires offered some words of wisdom to their East Coast counterparts Wednesday, as residents along the Eastern seaboard faced another dizzying day of hazy skies amid smoke and air pollution from wildfires burning in Canada. Los Angeles Times

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AND FINALLY

Today’s California landmark is from Howard Stones of Sydney, Australia: Pasadena’s City Hall at dusk.

What are California’s essential landmarks? Fill out this form to send us your photos of a special spot in California — natural or human-made. Tell us why it’s interesting and what makes it a symbol of life in the Golden State. Please be sure to include only photos taken directly by you. Your submission could be featured in a future edition of the newsletter.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.

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