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Intersections: Finding the good and strange in Glendale

May 29, 2013|By Liana Aghajanian
  • Liana Aghajanian
Liana Aghajanian

Last week, I watched with delight and surprise a one-minute video that hit the Internet this month under the title, "Hello Glendale."

Complete with filters that gave a dreamy green tint to L.A.'s iconic palm trees, the ceremonious pouring of alcohol and scenes of bowling, roller skating and cycling in the city, it made me see Glendale in a completely new light — dare I say, a really cool light.

The video and website of the same name — which carries the tagline "Let's Get Acquainted" — was so hip, so smooth, that I started to wonder who could have been behind this production. Maybe this was the answer to the year-long survey some time ago that deemed Glendale as boring and called for a rebranding campaign for the city with the slogan, "Your Life. Animated."

But as I watched it again, and then one more time to let it soak in, I couldn't help but wonder if it was the correct type of light I wanted to be viewing Glendale in, whether the video represented all sides of the fourth-largest city in L.A. County.

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The video featured businesses such as Brand Bookshop, Eden Burger, JAX Bar & Grill, Mario's Italian Deli & Catering, The Famous, Rudy's of Glendale barbershop, Jewel City Bowl and The Americana at Brand.

That last one wasn't selected at random, as some domain sleuthing revealed the campaign and shiny new website belonged to Caruso Affiliated, developer of the shopping community and several other properties in Southern California.

The buzz around my social networks indicated that there were some who felt it wasn't an accurate representation of the Jewel City.

"There was a certain demographic that was totally underrepresented here," wrote one Facebook user under the "Hello Glendale" video.

Another on Twitter cautioned the makers of the video to "check the cutting room floor and try again."

Yes, the one-minute video, as many noticed, made no mention of Glendale's Armenian and Middle Eastern influence, nor did it highlight other diverse ethnic characteristics in the city, including the Korean, Thai and Mexican businesses found throughout the landscape.

A few argued that some of the businesses featured were owned by an ethnically diverse group of people and that their appearance in the promotional video had a greater chance of attracting more people to Glendale, which seemed to be the purpose anyway, than other businesses would have.

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