I’ve been telling everyone I know for the past several months that I’m moving, and I planned and rescheduled my last trip to the Big Apple numerous times. I called headhunters and corporations asking for interviews. I got few replies, but I went to New York anyway, intent upon proving to myself that a move is what I need.
However, this last trip was different. This move was supposed to be the final installment of my “better bitter blonde” self-improvement plan; a new city would force me out of my comfort zone and into the life I’ve always wanted for myself. So on this trip, instead of wandering the city and imagining myself shopping in Soho or dining in chic establishments, I walked into bars and restaurants and thought to myself, “If I lived here, this is where I would go. These people would be my friends. It really would be that $#%@ing cold outside.” And for the very first time, I started to doubt my decision.
At first I thought it was PMS. And then I thought it was the miserable weather. And after that, I thought it was the not-entirely-successful-yet-not-unsuccessful interviews that were clouding my views of a city that I absolutely adore. And then a friend (whom I dearly love and still do!) said, “LA is so fake.”
And I was honestly offended. People are fake, dammit. Not cities.
So I thought about what the City of Angels has to offer and shifted the focus from why I didn’t want to move to New York to why I did want to stay in Los Angeles. And even though Lady Luck seems to have stood me up this month, I was still able to come up with a couple (well, 93) reasons why I love LA.
1. seat covers in public restrooms
2. 36 days of rain (on average). A year.
3. At least when you’re trapped in traffic, no one is touching you
4. $2 freeway off-ramp oranges
5. Only an idiot would take a $20K paycut to move to a city that costs twice as much
6. Track homes make me laugh
7. Everyone is good-looking. Everyone.
8. Blondes really do have more fun
9. Don Antonio’s dollar taco Wednesdays
10. Nancy Silverton and her crazy love of cheese nights at both Campanile and Jar
11. right turn on red (stolen from Woody Allen, I know)
12. You can grow (or kill) most anything in Plant Hardiness Zone 9
13. It's extremely difficult to "accidentally" run into someone in this city. Which is good when you don't want to ever see your ex again.
14. A parade doesn’t shut down the city. A 26 mile marathon doesn’t even inconvenience my commute.
15. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. And I don’t even drink coffee anymore
17. Wilshire Blvd. takes you everywhere worth going
18. Ports O’Call live lobsters and crabs
19. Celebrity-stalking is way more fun in this city. And easier.
21. Smog = Beautiful sunsets
22. Sweatpants ARE stylish
23. Sunglasses prevent crow’s feet
24. “Tacos el Jerezano” on Hazeltine & Burbank in Van Nuys
25. $15 mani-pedis
26. Trader Joe’s
27. The abundance of cheap wine that doesn’t taste cheap
28. Long (is there any other kind?) walks on the beach
29. the Pacific Palisades Sunday farmer’s market
30. shopping outdoors, year-round
31. Venice canals
32. Friends in “the biz” means never paying to rent a movie again. (Take THAT Blockbuster!)
33. Catalina. (I’ve never been, but I think I should)
34. Spanglish spoken here
35. Dodger baseball (Gagne kicks ass, or so my brothers tell me)
36. Dodger dogs
37. Public tennis courts
38. movies in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
40. Even better: Nordstrom Rack
41. Montana Avenue Holiday Open House each December
42. supermarkets that sell booze
43. Father’s Office burgers, medium rare
44. Wearing heels without ever worrying how far I’ll have to walk. Because nobody walks in L.A.
45. Olympic Spa in K-town
46. Al Fresco dining in January
47. Polite homeless people (at least in Santa Monica)
48. Picnics & Parties & Piñatas at Rustic Canyon Park
49. Sunday jazz brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel
50. If tourists bother me, I need only to roll up the window.
51. The Hollywood sign on a clear day
52. Picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl and not getting stuck in stacked parking
53. Being mistaken for someone famous (OK, it happened once)
54. Judging potential dates strictly based on their area code.
55. Karaoke at the Gaslite
56. Toi Thai on Wilshire – open till 4am
57. Taste of Santa Monica food festival
58. Taste of Santa Monica all-you-can-drink $15 pass into the wine garden
59. UCLA Extension courses
60. Walking to the Promenade
61. Easy access to Home Depot
62. Rent control
63. 3 hospitals in a 10 mile radius. You never know…
64. Hairdressers that pluck your eyebrows free of charge
65. Inexpensive bikini waxes
66. Wasting a beautiful day indoors, knowing that tomorrow will be just as nice
67. Palm trees with Christmas lights
68. Random celebrity sightings
69. Bike riding down the boardwalk
70. Staying in because you don’t want to “deal with” Hollywood
71. Getting good deals on furniture from people moving to NYC
72. Driving through Beverly Hills at Christmas just to see the lights along Sunset Blvd
73. Apartments big enough to have parties in
74. Bay Cities deli sandwiches
75. Enjoying the rare rainy day
76. 99 cent daffodil days
77. I’ll admit it. I like my car.
78. Pico Bowl birthday parties
79. Getting silly drunk in Manhattan Beach and pretending we’re still in college
80. People always want to visit you in the winter
81. Vegas is only an hour flight, and costs just $100 (well, getting there at least)
82. Driving on the PCH at sunset
83. Fireworks at Pali High on the 4th of July
84. Camarillo Premium Outlets
85. Cabazon is just two hours away
86. See’s Candy is so much better than Godiva
87. Dame on Broadway and Lincoln
88. $1.99 corkage fee at Fritto Misto
89. the chicken car on Lincoln Blvd
90. beach picnics at sunset
91. “Car-flirting” in traffic
92. Earthquakes really aren’t that scary.
93. Seasons are for suckers.
I know I didn’t list my family or my friends, and that was on purpose. This decision is my own and I don’t think I’d be content with it if I chose a city based upon the people in it. That’s what planes are for. Besides, Los Angeles would win every time and we’re trying to make this a fair fight.
Just because I don’t want to move right now doesn’t mean that I heart NY any less. I love it. And I may still move there some day. But for right now, you may call it “Hollyweird” or “LA-LA land,” but I’m going to keep on calling Los Angeles my home.
(now playing in your head: Randy Newman's “I Love LA”)