Monday, January 14, 2013

Los Angeles, you get me

I love to travel.  It is, by far, the time that I am the happiest.  Exploring a new place, whether it be just a few hours from Los Angeles or a totally different time zone, gives me such pleasure.  Going to places that city is famous for or uncovering little hidden gems; there are so many reasons I love being in a place where not many people know me and walking streets that I need a map for.  Recently, I went on a small birthday trip with my boo to San Francisco.  San Francisco has always been a destination I love.  It reminds me of New York in some ways, but the people are much more laid back and it still has that California feeling of being outdoors.  The streets can be magical and lined with beauty, but can also serve as a reminder that our social system is failing the homeless gravely.  
But it seems that every time I go on vacation I fall in love with the destination I am visiting.  So much so that I start to think about what it would be like if I were to move there.  It happened in Paris, it happens in New York every time I visit, and it is sure to happen at a future destination.  But something always seems to stop me.  Something never quite clicks completely.
I have this love/hate relationship with the city that so many visit to see stars and Hollywood, but is the city that I call home.  There is much I dislike, more that I love and lots that is keeping me here in Los Angeles.  I hate the traffic, the inability to slow down from our everyday routines/lives, and the fact that it costs so much to live here.  But oh there is so much to love!  I love the mix of people; the endless beautiful neighborhoods and incredible amount of fun things to do in them; the delicious food; how there is so much to do outdoors; and the overall life of this city that is so vast and expansive.  
When I hear people talking bad about Los Angeles, I feel compelled to throw myself into the conversation to tell them how they've got it all wrong.  Yes, there are things about this city that people have every right not to like or that I can even agree on not liking (much like when I visit other cities there are things that don't "click" with me, and ultimately keep me from seeing a life there for myself).  But when people say things like "Los Angeles has no culture,"  "people here are so superficial," "everyone is so spoiled by the beautiful weather," "I hate how big the city is," I want to scream!  There is so much culture in this city that it is bursting at the seams!  We are one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.  So many languages, so many ethnicities, so many religions, so many different cuisines!  And yes, there is a veil of superficiality that is a part of the city, I agree with that.  But honestly, I don't mind it at all.  I think there is a broad spectrum of different types of people in this city that there is no such thing as conforming to one look based on the importance of image.  The beauty of our environment is something I think most people are jealous of, and the judgement is simply a projection of that jealousy (this probably is coming off exponentially douchey, but sorry).  And yes, the city is big.  That is something that cannot be contested especially if you fly into LAX at night.  The city lights start about ten minute before the captain is making his/her decent.  
But Los Angeles, is MY home.  It may be a place that a lot of people can find a million things wrong with, but what I love about this city is that at any given moment you can find something fun and right up your alley to do--and on the cheap too!  You can be at the beach in the morning and drive two hours out of the city and have your feet in the snow.  You can do yoga in the park on your lunch break eat a bacon & chocolate pie for dessert that night.  There is such a broad base of things to do, places to see, and incredible people to meet.  And sure our bars close at 2am but most Angelinos have pilates, brunch, or a wave to catch by 8am--so who has time for all that drinking anyway?
I love the streets of San Francisco, the efficient public transportation & night life of New York, and the history of Boston, but Los Angeles has it going on in ways that those cities could never match.  The weather, the architecture, the blossoming art scene, the nooks and neighborhoods, the hiking trails, the sunsets, the food--need I go on?  Or have I converted you too?

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