Last night, my Airbnb host took me for a walk up to the top of Turó de la Rovira. It's one of the tallest hills in Barcelona, and offers three-hundred-sixty-degree views of the city. And damn, what a beautiful city. Looking south, I could see all of the main part of Barcelona spread out before me (La Sagrada Familia being the most obvious landmark) and then, beyond that, the sea.
Being atop a tall hill and then looking south over a city toward the sea put me in mind of being at the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles--and perhaps in part because the similarity ended right there. Los Angeles' endless automobile-oriented grid looks exactly nothing like the myriad angles of Barcelona's intersecting streets and the organic topography of Mediterranean architecture that rises above them.
I tried, but I could never love Los Angeles. But I bet I could love Barcelona.