Battle Royale: NYC vs. LA
2006-06-14/8:40 p.m.

Now that I have spent about 9 days in LA I think I am qualified to make a list of differences between here and NYC. It will be very poignant. Much like when people list why women are different from men, and how black people talk like this, but white people talk like that. Very cutting edge stuff.

1. Men wear sandals. EVERYWHERE. And all kinds of guys. It seems like hipsters opt for vans slip-ons, or soccer sandals. Everyone else is in some kind of hippy shoe or flip flop. It’s like living a nightmare.

2. No one works. Or, no one works traditional jobs. At 3pm the grocery store is packed. At noon you have to move your car for street cleaning, and there are a lot of people in sweats and pajamas rolling out to sleepily move their cars. Everyone at the coffee shop has a script they’re working on. Or song they are playing at the open mic.

3. When humidity is at about 10%, people freak out like they have never had to endure such horribleness. I think it’s beautiful. It means cool breezes at night and never needing an a/c. Amazing! I wonder if I will be totally spoiled within a year and complaining at the slightest bit of humidity, or holing up inside when the daytime temperature has the nerve to drop below 60 degrees. Probably.

4. The air here stinks. Plain and simple. I have had breathing problems with every trip and now it’s just as bad. I may have to bring the inhaler back into my life again. My dad claims that he can smell exhaust everywhere. I can’t. I think that means that I have already had that part of my sense of smell burned out by fumes. Why did my sense of smell that always picked up on BO and homeless people urine, never burn out?! Injustice!

5. You can’t drink the water here. It tastes like nickels. Literally, like nickels. It’s gross. And a brita doesn’t fix it. We are getting by with large packs of bottled water from trader joe’s . That seems to be the standard. Everyone just uses the bottles and bypasses the faucet altogether.

6. The homeless people here are kind of happy (or seem that way). Tons of them live on beaches here, and honestly, I would too if I were homeless. The weather is great, it barely ever rains. However, in NYC you pretty much know who the homeless people are. Here, they basically look like everyone else. It’s jarring how hard it can be to tell sometimes. A guy who was very tan, wearing country club whites and kswiss asked us for money at fatburger and then caused a fight and had to run after the cops were called. Bizarre.

7. Due to the lack of weather- “bad” neighborhoods don’t look so bad. When we first came here in 2004 people were all “stay away from XX that is a ghetto!” about different neighborhoods. Then we’d be driving through and it would be all cute yellow and green houses, brightly colored with cute lawns and I would say “THIS is the ghetto, pfft.” Looks can be deceiving when there’s nothing around to age anything. Houses can be dilapidated on the inside but look great on the outside. So from driving by, you’d never know, since the paint all looks brand new and the even crummy houses have nice lawns.

This is it for now, but I plan to make this an on-going list that could easily reach into the hundreds, so stay tuned.

My friend Dan had to spend a few months out here once and said that he missed New York so much, then he went back and it was November and it was like 4 degrees and he felt like he was being tortured and wondered why anyone would put up with it. Yet, he is still living there. Much like I still have my place there. Humans are ridiculous.


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Ira Glass made me feel better about things.
Something that happened yesterday.