There’s a trick to waking up in Los Angeles before the sun rises.

Take a moment to look out over the city. Center yourself on the downtown skyline shimmering in the distance, and focus on the low hum that radiates upward from the palm trees. The resonant frequency of the urban sprawl is the closest thing to silence you’ll hear for the rest of the day, and for some reason, it’s peaceful.

Los Angeles is benevolent at this hour. You feel totally alone and hyperaware of your insignificance, but it’s soothing, and in that moment before the horizon fades from black ink to blue, it’s just you and the city.

At almost any other time of day, Los Angeles stares back at you with total fucking indifference, but if you take a deep breath during one of these quiet pre-dawn moments, you can make eye contact with something out there, and it will make you feel like you belong.