I was born and raised in NYC. I am a native New Yorker, but I have lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years. As a little boy I loved going to the circus. Going to Madison Square Garden to see Ringling Brothers Circus was one of the highlights of the year. To live in Los Angeles you must love the circus. You must love the Three Ring Circus. You should have a good case of ADHD so you have the ability to watch all three rings at the same time. Different cities require different skill sets. It takes some time to figure out LA’s.
A lot of people have mixed feelings about the city. Some don’t like it at all, others love it conditionally (like most of the relationships in this city) and all love it when there are those perfect LA days, like nowhere else…a slight breeze, absolute perfect temperature, crystal clear after a rain. This is when LA conjures up that magical elixir, that drug where everything seems possible.
Los Angeles is usually regaled for its resources: The mountains, the ocean, and the desert. Physical beauty is all around both geographically and in humankind. A friend of mine once remarked that they feel comely but stupid in NYC but brilliant and homely in LA. All these resources are fantastic and enhance the living experience, but for me it’s what you cannot see.
It’s a city of contradictions. It’s a transitional city where people come to take and get, to talk about moving somewhere else but somehow never do. It’s a strange place to call home. I don’t think anyone consciously says” You know, I would really like to move to LA to raise a family”
It’s the most authentic city in the world and it’s the most inauthentic city in the world reflected by many things but certainly the language. The word “wannabe” was coined here. That is not a word that’s used in Kansas. It’s a word that distinguishes the real from the faux, the haves from the have-nots and the city knows who is something and who isn’t. It demands genuineness and at the same time cultivates a spurious zeitgeist.
The word “LIKE” was exalted here and has become an essential marker for all things LA. Of course the word “like” flourished here because the entire city is a movie set. It’s “like” something. LA turned simile in to an art form. The word “like” also reflects the commitment of the city. If I say it’s “like” something I don’t actually have to be held accountable because I am not actually declaring anything, I am describing something. This is where Dedicated and Uncommitted have found a perfect union.
It’s a city of entrepreneurs. You can make anything happen here. You don’t have to have any degrees or credentials. You don’t have to have a history or you can have a criminal history. You can start as one thing but predictably you will end up as something else and usually quite successfully. You are rewarded for very bad behavior and then you are indicted for the same behavior. Your life-long friends depend on what fad you are following.
This is not the City of Angels but the City of Ageless, the old date the young, and the young marry the old. It preys on victims. If there is the smell of blood or a hint of weakness, that person will be turned out…and yet there are more charitable events going on for multiple causes than anywhere else.
It’s a city that looks like it’s chill and casual and yet the amount of anxiety could fill a stadium. It’s a city of unconditional acceptance and “shadenfreud” to an extreme. If you are looking for consistency, look for consistently contradictory.