I Love L.A.?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. That other song is true. Nobody walks in LA. They drive to their gym instead.
  3. If you never want to see a freeway, there are 12 billion surface streets that will probably get you there faster.
  4. 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.
  5. Smog makes for dramatic sunsets. But it's still smog, and so that kinda kills the pretty pink effect.

  6. 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.
  7. 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!)