An Ode to My Passionate Love/Hate Relationship with the Greater City of Los Angeles, California

OUE Skyspace Outdoor Deck with LA’s Iconic “Wings” Mural

I love living in Los Angeles… I love the culture and the diversity that’s present around every corner. I love that I can order ice cream to be delivered to my apartment at 1:30am if I want to (as well as really any other food that you could think of) and I love that there’s constantly no shortage of places to go, things to learn, and new activities to do.

I also hate living in Los Angeles. It takes 45 minutes and at least three different freeways to get anywhere and it’s not actually one city, let’s be real — LA is like, 17 cities grouped into this larger “Greater Los Angeles” umbrella term that includes everything from the South Bay in Ranchos Palos Verdes all the way up to Northern Malibu (which would probably take you hours to drive between up the PCH) and it can be exhausting to feel like you’re constantly competing for survival. And have you ever even heard that there’s a difference between “Pasadena” and “South Pasadena,” non-Angelenos? Most likely not — because I didn’t, for almost two years of actually living here. But people who live there let you know that there’s a difference šŸ˜‰

Plenty of Opportunities for culture and education.

Living in Los Angeles is like living in a beautiful shiny sunny bubble of the most talented and beautiful people, surrounded by an abundance of opportunities to take advantage of — but at the same time, it’s so hard to break through the noise (especially when there are constantly police helicopters circling overhead — seriously, I think anytime I’ve ever had to hear something or speak to someone, a helicopter has chosen that exact moment to buzz my apartment building so aggressively that it causes something to physically fall off of my bookshelf).

Living in LA sometimes feels like you’re swimming upstream — but the stream is frozen solid, and you’re in a bathing suit even though it’s freezing, and since everyone else is a model (because it’s LA) they’re either fitter than a Victoria’s Secret fashion show talent scout’s fantasy — which makes you feel unworthy of swimming up said frozen stream, or they’re literally a professional athlete because this is LA and they will kick your butt at frozen upstream swimming without looking back. Cutthroat. Good thing there are a ton of hikes here in LA, to get fit, yourself…

Angelenos Work Out, Like, a LOT

Don’t get me wrong, New Yorkers — I’ve been to Manhattan. I’ve experienced the intensity of your lifestyle and your competitive ways. I agree, you do win, it’s no question. We don’t “wear ties with our collared shirts” and “sundresses and shorts are appropriate attire essentially all-year round” and “we use our lunch breaks to ‘catch a wave.'”

Kinda. Angelenos and Los Angeles may be more laid back than New York, but it’s still a challenging environment to live in and I’m proud to say that I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far (in my opinion).

More Opportunities for the “Rooftop Bar” Cultural Side of LA šŸ˜‰

I don’t want to leave LA anytime soon, but don’t think that doesn’t mean that I won’t be complaining about how much time I spend in the car, or the poor air quality, or the rising actress/singer that cut me in line at the coffee place just because she can (yes, there are famous people just, like, roaming the streets here and I’m not cool enough to know who a lot of them are but that doesn’t mean that they won’t cut the line at the coffee place because well, their time probably IS more important than mine).

So what do I love about LA? Why am I staying here even though during this pandemic when plenty of (intelligent) people have high-tailed it out of this urban web of chaos and ridiculously high rent prices for open spacious places with clean air and food that might not necessarily be vegan, non-GMO or gluten free but it also doesn’t cost twelve dollars for a bag of potatoes (that’s a lot of money for potatoes if you didn’t know, because your name isn’t “Molly O’Brien).

However, I also love lots of things about this “city.” For one, we’ve got some great sunsets. If you can name another place with the amount of entertainment industry presence and a year-round chanceĀ to sit at theĀ beach (one that it isn’t even humid), as well as whichĀ offersĀ the opportunity to becomeĀ culturedĀ and experience new adventures constantly — I’ll consider moving there. But until then, being “stuck” hereĀ isn’t quite so bad.

Thanks, LA. It took some time to break me in, but I think I can truly be considered an Angeleno now (I’ve paid the parking tickets, tried the hole-in-the-wall restaurants, become accidentally stuck in a sideshow in the middle of the road), and I know now that there’s plenty more to learn, and plenty more to come.

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