I always liked the Randy Newman song, but until this week couldn't really tell you if I actually liked the place itself. See, even though I'm from California, I grew up in the Bay Area and had no reason to ever venture past Santa Cruz. My parents and I went to San Diego once when I was nine or ten, but all I remember of that trip was getting stuck in traffic coming back across the border from Tijuana and buying a donkey piggy bank from a crappy vendor who had just painted it minutes before selling it to me, which caused the paint rub off all over my new off-the-shoulder Baja dress as my dad cursed the lady in front of us who kept letting other cars take cuts. I think I cried, and the farthest south we ever went as a family again was Monterey.
Clearly L.A. is not to blame for Mexican border scams, but my point- and I do have one- is that most of us who've grown up in either California's northern or southern regions agree that the two seem like completely different worlds. California is a huge, vast state with a wide range of climates, terrains, flora, fauna, and most certainly lifestyles, all of which go through some sort of metamorphosis along the 101. Yes, I just said "the 101." If you're from California, you'll understand. I've always gotten the impression that the North feels generally superior to its dry, arid neighbor downstairs and I always wondered if the disdain was warranted.
Now's my chance to find out firsthand, because as you all know, I just moved to LA! Or if you didn't know, now you know. Despite being horrified at the prices of "little beach pads" by the water- money that made San Francisco look affordable, no joke- I secured a great one on my third day of looking. Believe me, after the first two days, I thought I had made a huge mistake. Luck is grand. Kevin and I have been furniture shopping like a couple of decorators, but I suspect he's not having quite as much fun as I am.
More things I have learned after 5 days in LA:
- If you're into a healthy, organic lifestyle, you won't have a problem here. Everybody wants to look good and many have actually mastered the concept that you are what you eat.
- That other song is true. Nobody walks in LA. They drive to their gym instead.
- If you never want to see a freeway, there are 12 billion surface streets that will probably get you there faster.
- Everyone is "in the industry." You can imagine how easily a largely superficial industry has bred a thriving superficial society. It's fascinating. Yes, I realize I am also in the industry.
- Smog makes for dramatic sunsets. But it's still smog, and so that kinda kills the pretty pink effect.
- There's some sort of karate craze happening down here. Or maybe it's always been popular. I wouldn't know, since I've only lived here for five days.
- Celebrities are everywhere, and contrary to popular belief, are actually human. I'd tell you who I sat next to at dinner last night, but name dropping is so L.A. (NorCal 4 life!)