Daina Beth Solomon + Lotusland

Dai-LittleTokyo-EditDaina Beth Solomon is a reporter at Reuters in Mexico City covering business, politics, migration and breaking news. Send story tips to daina.solomon@tr.com, and follow her recent stories here or on Twitter.

Daina previously covered commercial real estate at the Los Angeles Business Journal, chased breaking news for Reuters in L.A., covered California’s tech business for the Los Angeles Times and wrote about arts, culture and food for the Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Weekly. She has also written for the Jewish Daily ForwardPacific Standard, Global Post and Sierra Magazine.

Daina graduated from USC’s Annenberg School in May 2015 with a Journalism Master’s Degree. As an Annenberg Graduate Fellow, Daina was Editor-in-Chief of Intersections South L.A., a community news-website dedicated to South Los Angeles, also known as South Central.

Daina grew up in Santa Monica and studied literature, writing and Spanish at Occidental College in Eagle Rock.

When not reporting… Daina dances ballet and salsa and tries to catch every rock en español concert between L.A. and Mexico City. Loves to read the L.A. Times from cover to cover and drink Japanese plum wine fortified with actual plums.

Lotuses at the newly renovated Echo Park Lake | Daina Beth Solomon

Lotuses at the newly renovated Echo Park Lake, summer 2014 | Daina Beth Solomon

The name “Lotusland” derives from the lotus-eaters of Greek mythology and Homer’s epic, The Odyssey. These gourmands live in a state of languid contentment, dreamy forgetfulness and self-indulgence. It was a short step for “Lotusland” to become a nickname for Los Angeles. But some writers adjusted the concept to fit today’s Angelenos. In his 2008 anthology of L.A. literature called Latinos in LotuslandDaniel Olivas suggests that the characters in his book may have feasted on lotus but “do not live in blissful oblivion and certainly have not forgotten who they are.”

“Lotusland” also refers to the magnificent lotus plant, one of earth’s most sacred flowers and a symbol of enlightenment.

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Echo Park’s lake, seen in 2014 against the backdrop of downtown L.A., is famous for its islands of lotus blossoms. | Daina Beth Solomon