Los Angeles is two cities: one of the rarefied film world whose players live secluded in the Hollywood hills; the other the working city, populated by panhandlers, grifters and grafters, the wide boulevards down which course the cabs, limos and fender-bent Fords in a twilight that could be early morning or the dim mauve of after sunset.
The obvious waste of an ice-bucket dunking is in poor taste given that São Paulo is suffering a severe drought at present. In parts of the state, the reservoirs are dry and cracked and all non-essential water use is banned. Where I live things are not quite so bad, but the local papers warn week after week that we are also on the cusp of extreme rationing.
In certain London bars I reckon the bare monastic cell look is considered quite cutting edge. By contrast, ADX Florence is beyond cutting edge (unless it's prisoners cutting their wrists in despair). ADX Florence's ambience is an altogether bleaker affair, one which seems designed to crush people and push them right over the edge.
Humans love extremes. Extreme sports, extreme weather and extreme places. Higher, harder, longer. Hotter, wetter, deeper. No one recalls the second-lowest point on earth, but everyone knows the lowest - the Dead Sea. Go extreme or go home. There's no place for also-rans in this blog post: only the extremest of the extreme.
It's far warmer than usual, I'm told, but even at the height of summer there's the cooling presence of a sheer caressing breeze. The sun beams brilliantly in the pure blue sky, illuminating the rich and vibrant colours of my surroundings; the olive green palm trees, the emerald lawns, the citrus hued flora and the dusky coral casitas.