Walking up through Koreatown the other day, I came across this on the corner of Beverly and Vermont -
|Looking east back toward Downtown along Beverly Blvd|
a replica of George Washington's Virginia home, Mt Vernon.
No views of the Potomac River from Beverly and Vermont, though.
You could call this whimsy (I've made it part of my series), but perhaps it's serious. It is remarkable how much extolling of Washington goes on here in the US - streets, cities, mountains, states named after him. A kneejerk quip might be "Thank God he won!" Because he lost just about every battle he commanded. And military buffs will tell you that he wasn't such a great general; he just waited till the British made a mistake - the fatal one - when they got their backs to the sea at Jamestown.
Which, of course, is his greatness - the ability to wait, to stand firm, the extraordinary, almost superhuman endurance. Bruce Wolpe, in the Sydney Morning Herald, once said that in this day and age, when we are cynical about political leaders, George Washington truly was extraordinary. And I'd agree. He was a monument before he was ever marmorealized. And it's not just to do with military leadership. It's also to do with the sober presiding over the creation of a new republic. I sometimes wonder what Washington would make of present-day American attitudes to taxation. In his 1787 Circular to the States, he asked for the 'mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity'...
At any rate, I wonder if my latest example of Los Angeles whimsy is actually kitsch. Or is it genuine hommage?
If you'd like to read my thoughts on Mt Vernon itself, please see Let's Not Forget They Were Farmers at:
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