dscn2506.JPGSome observations on Los Angeles (photo taken from my office building yesterday, note that Smog! Lovely! Build more freeways!)

After getting name checked by Myles on his blog Stolen Bike Dynasty and watching a video of a 16 year old who got famous for helping a guy take pictures at parties, I started thinking about Los Angeles.

No doubt, Myles has a fascination with this place, a big one.  And I used to, until I moved here.  But it did spur some thoughts about those of us who grew up outside of the city of our obsession.  While Myles is obsessed with LA, I have a minor New York obsession (my subscription to the New Yorker, etc), and my friend Sue was always obsessed with London (bigs up to her for living there now).  All of us are Toronto kids, and it feels natural to grow up there with a longing for somewhere else.  But it’s so interesting to see what it is about those cities that draws our interest.  For me, it was always New York’s history, it’s energy, and it’s music scene.  When I was at McGill, I wrote every paper I could on New York City history.

On to my observations on Los Angeles, written pretty much just for Myles:

1.    No one is from Los Angeles.  The only people who are actually from LA are from closed communities that you will not have access to as a recent arrival.  Those communities are: Hispanic, Armenian, Jewish, and Beverly Hills.
2.    If you get marginally successful in the entertainment industry, you’ll see that everyone ‘used to live in New York City.’  Now, this is not true if you work as a PA.  In that case you are an intern, and will probably work with people from the Midwest and south who want to work their way up through production.  But remember the fastest way to the top in LA is through family.
3.    Do not even bother trying to bike on the road at night.  People in LA do a terrible job of paying attention to the road during the day, but at least you are more than a blinking light.  Stay on the sidewalks.
4.    Drivers in LA assume that there are never pedestrians – examples, they pull out of their driveways all the way to the road, treating sidewalks as part of their yard.  They pull all the way up in intersections, which is nice because it forces you to walk out into traffic when you cross the street.  They whip around corners on redlights without ever thinking that someone might be crossing the street.  This is because no one walks in LA.
5.    There is no ‘club district’ of LA.  There are clubs everywhere, but man are they spread out.  And the Sunset Strip is gross.
6.    LA has more ugly people than you would expect.  Remember, gross people from the Midwest come out here thinking they can be superstars.
7.    There are good looking actors all over the place, but the truth is that you have a better chance of working in Hollywood if you are fat or really really really ugly.
8.    USC – The University of Spoiled Children – is located in the ghetto.  Does anyone else see the Irony in throngs of people who can’t afford to go to USC (and who are systematically excluded from the campus) cheer for the football team?
9.    Europeans in Los Angeles are disgusting.  The ones in New York are tolerable, but the ones in LA are the bottom of the barrel Eurotrash.  After a while your views on immigration are to open the border to Mexico and ban all immigration from the EU.
10.    Mexican food is better in Tucson
11. In spite of it all, LA has it’s own vibe.  It’s different, and unlike everywhere else.  The hipsters are different, the people are different, the flow of the city is different.  LA does its own thing, it doesn’t wait for London, New York, or Montreal to tell it what to do (hmmmm, which city is that?).  For that, Los Angeles deserves big time big ups, and gun shots.  I’ll miss it when I leave.