I’ve been living in Los Angeles for almost six years now. I grew up in Boston, and the culture is very different in ways I would not have anticipated. Some days I miss home so much my heart almost aches; other times I think of living there again (especially in winter) and realize I would probably lose my mind. It’s an odd feeling when your new home doesn’t quite feel like where you belong, but you know you can’t go back where you came from. I believe this is the sentiment that Neil Diamond is expressing in the song “I Am..I Said.”
At any rate, here is a list of things I love – and hate – about LA.
1) The weather
2) The view of the San Gabriel mountains that I see on my way to work in the morning
3) Related to #1, the dry climate rocks for air-drying clothes – just out of the wash, they’re dry within hours!
4) There’s a lot of space out here – especially in apartments and closets (in Boston, everything is old and small)
5) There is a hiking trail around the corner from where I live, and when you get to the top, it doesn’t feel like you’re in an overcrowded city of 9mm people
6) There are Trader Joe’s everywhere (although the parking lots are never big enough)
1) Metered on-ramps on the freeway; does this really help the flow of traffic? My ’98 Corolla would beg to differ, since it can’t get up enough speed to merge and I generally feel like I’m going to get run off the road/die
2) The rubber-neck factor is off the charts. It once took me an extra 45 minutes to get to San Diego because people slowed to watch someone change a flat tire. I mean, really.
3) Earthquakes. I don’t think I can ever truly relax in a place where it is recommended that you bolt your furniture to the walls
4) The I’m-rich-and-entitled quotient of people is a lot higher here than most places – interestingly, they mostly drive Mercedes
5) My people (Italians) are not well represented; I miss the North End and Mike’s Pastries
6) As the song goes, nobody walks in LA. I long for the days when we would start an evening at one end of the city and walk or take a cab to another. It makes parking an issue just about everywhere, and it is mortifying having to valet my banged-up car everywhere I go. I generally have to sign something that says the valets were not the ones who dented it.
I’m not sure if I can ever go home again, or if I’ll ever end up feeling like I belong here. In the mean time, while I’m figuring that out, you can find me outside by the pool…enjoying the weather.