Los Angeles County Fair - 2009

What could be more perfectly L.A. County than this sprawling, concrete crush of giddy congestion and confusion, with fabulous visuals and temptations fighting for our attention and money?

Amid the cacophony of every kind of music playing at once, the beeping of the fair ambulance cart is inaudible until it's upon you. But on seeing it you're reminded to wonder: How many Angelenos are up to a full day of walking in this heat? Among the lumbering multi-generational families, the pregnant, the florid, the clusters of girls tossing their hair, the excruciatingly hip boys in shades, the elderly couples still holding hands, the folks pushing wheelchairs or strollers -- how many of us can take it? Our fair reflects who Los Angeles are: broke, hopeful, overfed, motion-sickened, sunburned, smog-choked, wasteful, slightly hysterical and exhausted, but wildly diverse and united in peace. It is L.A. County at its best -- plus cows and chickens.

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