my cousin is visiting me from mexico with his wife and kids. they're basically here for two things; disneyland and shopping. so i've been taking them shopping all over town and it's just dawned on me like never before that everywhere i take them, we see the same stores. every mall has gap, victoria's secret, banana republic, a disney store, an urban outfitters, abercrombie, american eagle, etc... i know i'm bringing up something that everyone already knows, but it doesn't really hit you until you're driving tourists around, that the city you're so proud of, the city you want to show off, has the same things you can buy in any other city in any other industrialized country. it's a bit embarrasing. we went to rodeo drive and there was an anthropologie, banana (remodeling), victoria's secret, and such intermixed with gucci and prada and carroll and co. not all these stores are on rodeo per se, but in the neighborhood. side note: showing tourisits around can really change your perceptions of your city. i've been deliberately avoiding a lot of streets and entire areas because i want them to see the 'real l.a.' but that's for another thread.