Dear Los Angeles,
WHATUP?! It's the Militant Angeleno. He just wanted to take time out from his busy schedule to wish you a very happy 228th birthday today.
The Militant was gonna bake you a nice cake and decorate it with 228 candles -- but he doesn't think you'd exactly appreciate anything to do with fire right now, or even for quite a while.
Yeah, it most definitely sucks having those normally-majestic San Gabriel Mountains near you all burned and charred, and even though there's no fire on you, it's close enough to ruin your look on your birthday. And yeah, he would normally celebrate your birthday with a 9-mile walk, but alas, the exceptionally bad air quality from that Station-You-Know-What is keeping the Militant from being there this Saturday.
The Militant wants to apologize for not being heard from for much of this year. He's normally your biggest and most vocal supporter, and he regrets not being around when you've needed him the most this past year. He can't reveal what's been going on, but he's been struggling with some things lately. But don't you worry, unlike others you may or may not know, the Militant doesn't blame you for his hardships. In fact, sometimes you pull through for him, like how you were able to let him bear witness to the big Laker celebration at the Coliseum, and the Michael Jackson memorial up the street a few weeks later. He's really appreciative of that (He knew you just wanted to get some MA blog posts out of that...).
The Militant knows times are tough economically, many people want to go to you because they want that prosperity you're known for giving - and blame you when they don't get it. The Militant knows it's never really your fault, you're just a scapegoat for their bigger issues, which they've brought with them before they even arrived here, and are never willing to accept.
But the Militant has known you long enough to know that no matter how dark it gets, there's always a dawn coming up next, one just has to be patient. The Militant was there in '92, saw everyone abandon you not long after (the shaker two years later didn't help either), but you nevertheless came back strong.
So don't worry, Los Angeles, everything's gonna be alright. You've faced even bleaker economic times, long before the Militant was born. But you still made do. Heck, you even hosted your first Olympics back then.
So again, Happy 228th Birthday, Los Angeles. Being a bicentenarian isn't bad at all, especially if you're a city. You're actually really young in city years! Extremely young! So don't forget that. (What? You want tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert for your birthday? Okay kiddo, the Militant didn't say you were that young...) But hey, think of it this way -- your best years are yet to come, he knows it. And The Militant hopes to be there when it happens.