I've been seeing some movies with Brooklyn/Astoria backdrops, the kind where graffiti sits idly on walls and subway cars and the soundtrack is a siren or engine revving. And most of these movies are some sort of childhood story, recounting what it meant to grow up "urban," growing up faster than the rest of us who lived in rural towns or preplanned suburbs.
I've often wondered what it would be like to write a similar story, but placed in Irvine, my hometown. Irvine, one of the safest cities in America, where everything shuts down at 10 pm, even though the high school kids are studying till 1 am. But I imagine the stories of SAT classes, poster painting for clubs and student government, and hanging out at the UCI marketplace wouldn't exactly keep eyelids from slipping down their covers.
What a bubble. But I imagine in a few years there will be some crime wave or scandal, because Irvine's one of those cities where it'd be easy to hide something that big. It's always the cities with carefully manicured grass and unassuming residents - they get sleepy, like that fat, wrinkly dog which moves like a sloth. And BAM! Hell comes crashing through that association-approved roof and ruins those lawn figurines just purchased from Home Depot.
I suppose that's why it's easier to write or make movies about the City. At least there, the bad shit is always in front of you, like that damn graffiti or ever-present scent of fresh urine.