Dear Everyone: Shut Up About How Much LA Sucks*
*I’m talking to myself, too.
Aloha, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a while, I know, omg whatever, but I’m still in LA and it’s almost been a whole year – a thought that has this kind of effect on me where I’m like “Trippy, man” but also “Not-so-trippy, man” because everything here and everyone here seems to take and last for forever. Which sounds like a negative thing to say, I know. So the title of this post is probably confusing.
Princesses live here. Like, helllloooo.
But what I’m trying to say with this post, is that I wish people would stop shitting on LA all the time. Sure, there’s traffic, it’s polluted, there are lots of people here that still wear Ughs, and you can’t swing a cat without hitting a b-list (or c or d-list) celebrity. But there is cool stuff, too. And I’m feeling a little blue lately (not TOO blue, but a little) and I’m trying to enter this phase in life where I DON’T talk shit about everything and everyone and try to focus on positive stuff. And, totally honestly, the positives about LA make it equal to any other city I’ve lived in.** So here are some rebuttals to the five most common “I HATE LA BECAUSE __” rants I hear from bloggers, tweets, drunk people, and all those in-between.
TRAFFIC – Yeah, ok. There aren’t too many positive spins to put on being stuck behind a Masserati on the 101 for seven hours while you’re inching towards the place you have to go, which in any other city feels like it would take five minutes to get to. So get Waze! It’s a life-changer and saves me a good 10 minutes a day. Also, books on tape have helped me to be a lot more zen. They work in traffic. Personally, I’m an NPR junky so I tend to stay in the car even a bit longer once I’m parked so I can hear the end of the story I’m listening to. Be like me! Just learn to make your car a favorable, serene environment. Also, head to wherever you have to be like an hour ahead of time just in case.
Calmer than you are, dude.
AIR QUALITY – I’m a runner, so this sucks lots. I realize I can’t run outside, unless I’m running right next to the beach or something. I had to join a gym, which wasn’t a big deal, cuz I find treadmills meditative anyway. Pollution from highway traffic is supposed to be the worst for you, so if you live near a freeway (who doesn’t, here?) invest in an air filter. Shit works! I don’t know. I moved to the west side recently, which feels a bit better due to being so close to the ocean. But get plants. Lots of plants.
HORRIBLE PEOPLE – Oh COME ON. Horrible people live everywhere! And what I’ve seen here, is that at least the horrible people that are here came here to DO something. They aspire to further their careers – they have goals, no matter how shallow, lame, or unrealistic those goals may appear to be. Hell of a lot better than the junkies I knew in SF who would get high and talk about “Someday I’m gonna…” for hours on end (though I’m sure the techies have brushed them out, by now.) Much more motivating than the part-time juggler unicyclist Peter Pans dotting every street in Portland (which is otherwise, a mind-blowingly perfect city, BTW). People wear Ugh boots and have bafflingly-high opinions of themselves everywhere, and I’ve simultaneously met some of the coolest, most brilliant, creative people ever here. Sure, the below person lives in LA, but they could potentially be from any of the places I’ve lived, ever.
Sure this person lives here, but they could totally be from (probably are from) Portland.
CULTURE – Seriously? Every night there is an awesome band playing for like six dollars at some weird obscure café. Every weekend there is a mind-blowing exhibit at the LACMA or some such museum. Heard of The Museum of Jurassic Technology? As you can maybe guess from the name, it fucking rules. There is SO much to see and do here, you don’t ever have to be bored. Unless you’re stuck in traffic on the way to an amazing place, but please refer again to #1 on this list.
This is me taking a selfie at The Huntington Library which is probably one of the top five best places I have ever been.
IT’S TOO SPREAD OUT – I understand it’s nice to run into people you know, but I’ve found myself a lot more productive being here. I can head into a cute café and work, undisturbed, for as many hours of internet-with-coffee purchase as they allow. I like how much personal space this place gives you. The city being so spread out has probably helped maintain low-rent (low-rent for one of the biggest/most popular cities in the world, I mean)…and we wouldn’t want to lose the ability to find an $800/month room in a relevant area, would we, San Francisco?
I could easily make a list based purely on what I love here – it’s a pretty magical place, and no matter how jaded or how hard you project that “I don’t fucking care, man” attitude, it’s hard not to smile a little bit when Leonardo DiCaprio or some other famous cool person walks by you in a bar. K. SO I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT ANYMORE.
“Love and light,” or whatever those yoga people say who are probably doing this whole serenity thing a squajillion times better than me.
(**Cities I have lived in include, but are not limited to: San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR, Easthampton, MA, Florence, Italy, Berlin, Germany)