This past Thursday night, I met a friend for a drink at the Intercontinental hotel in DTLA. I arrived a few minutes early so I sat in the downstairs lobby to wait for her before we made our way up to the popular 70th floor Vodka Bar. I noticed a gigantic wall covered in a multi-colored ombre pattern full of purples, oranges, and blues. It was beautiful and reminded me of a Malibu sunset. I thought about LA and compared it to the other cities I'v lived in (such as NYC and Milan) and before I knew it, the most elegant Korean Airlines stewardess rushed past me and so began my unintentional quick trip around the world.
First stop - Seoul, South Korea. The white, cream, and celadon blue colors of the perfect sky high skirt-suit was breathtaking. Designed by Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre in 2005, the refinement and at the same time open nature of South Korea is intoxicating. As I watched her disappear behind the doors, a couple wearing their puffy jackets walked in leisurely from the street, yes in 70 degree LA weather - they must be Italian. I imagined them walking around the Navigli in Milan at night, eating gelato in the same leisurely way. Then three beautiful Spanish girls in their twenties nearly skipped from the elevator through the lobby ready to take on the LA night. I was now in Barcelona, with floral dresses and denim jackets reminiscent of the colors of the Almodovar film, Volver with Penelope Cruz.
People coming in and out , my head moving from left to right and right to left as I watched and observed the UN of the streets. Tokyo was next as I saw a group of young teen streetwear aficionados sporting their Off White with ease. This was a group of friends laughing and joking, I imagine talking about what teen boys talk about all over the world. That was beautiful to me - we are the same. There it was (my aha moment) we are the same. Something changed in me during this short time at the IHOF aka Intercontinental Hotel lobby.
I realized I had been focusing on the differences all my life with complete fascination. In Barcelona they do this, in Moscow they do that, etc. I didn't realize fascination without true empathy was just scratching the surface of understanding who people are. Just in those mere moments, it became so clear to me that we all really want the same things in life; a career that keeps us excited, a deep love that slows down time when we are together, and true connection and worthiness: the stewardess, the couple, the friends, respectively. Understanding differences is great, but standing for the similarities and building bridges between them is where the real impact occurs.
The last and final stop on my quick trip around the world was Athens, my friend Lavinia from Greece arrived to join me and as we journeyed up the escalator, I saw that the ‘Malibu Sunset’ I noticed before was an installation of tiny little 3D figures of different colors holding each other up. There must be around a couple hundred thousand of these little figurines to fill this giant wall. What a perfect representation of all of the people in the world - all different colors like the figurines, but human through and through always yearning for love, connection, understanding, and excitement in life.