Recently back home from a week long trip to New York city, which is all well and good, except for the record breaking, biblical-proportions rain that fell for the entire week. Seriously, it stopped raining for maybe 15 minutes while we were there. Then I came home (Carol went on to Philadelphia for a few days), and it rained here for a week.
New York is an interesting place, I have always liked the layout and the ease of movement. People say that Los Angeles should learn from the mass transit systems of cities like New York, London and Paris, but I think people who say that never lived in Los Angeles. Or looked at it on a map.
We have a rail/subway system, and if you’re one of the three dozen people who live and work along its lines, I’ll bet it’s real spiffy. The other ten million people who live here pretty much try to ignore it.
But it’s difficult to ignore something that you’re funding when you pay property, gas or sales taxes, which we all do. Even the “illegal” immigrants. In 30 or 40 years perhaps it will be widespread enough to be useful for the majority of us, but until then it’s nothing more than a mysterious curiosity.
It rained so hard one of the days we were in New York that the C train had to shut down, which doomed us to finding cab rides. If you’ve ever done that in New York when it’s raining, you know what a joy that is.
Overall the trip was a good one. I think my shoes are permanently moldy from being wet for a week, but that’s the price you pay to be a world traveler. Um hm. There is one thing about New York that rubs me the wrong way though, and that’s the attitude of a good many of its residents toward Los Angeles.
Yes, there are people around the country (and probably the world) who love to hate LA. Many of them right here in California (hello San Francisco!). The funny thing is the people who have the most disdain for our charming city usually embody the very things that they say they hate about us.
We were having dinner with an old friend of Carol’s who is a fashion designer in New York. Carol asked her if she ever missed LA and she said, “Oh, no…not at all! I hate LA! There’s no culture there! The people are so phony and obsessed with appearance!”
This from a Los Angeles native who now designs high fashion clothing that perhaps 0.001% of the population of the world could wear, much less afford.
Funny thing is, the places where I’ve heard the most anti-LA sentiment – New York, San Francisco, London – are full of people who are waaay more concerned with their appearance than anyone I know in Los Angeles.
Ever seen anyone wearing sweat pants while they walk down a swanky New York boulevard or London row? No, no dear, they wouldn’t be caught dead parading around like a common schlub!
I watched a local walk down Central Park West clutching her fancy pants by the front of the legs and holding them up so her pointy, expensive heels wouldn’t drag her expensive bell bottoms across the wet sidewalk. I don’t know how long she walked that way, but I assume it was all the way to her destination.
But New Yorkers are not consumed with their appearance. Nope.
And culture? The big, famous cities are full of culture, there’s no denying that. But the average New Yorker goes to the Metropolitan Museum about as often as I go to Disneyland, which is never (or when friends or family from way out of town drag us there). At the Met, the Natural History Museum, the Folk Art Museum – wherever we went – we were surrounded by other tourists. Not a New York accent for blocks.
We all want to feel superior, but honestly, the only reason a lot of people live in New York is so they can say they live in New York. Why else would anyone put up with the constant barrage of shit that is everyday life there? Unless you’re very well off, NYC is a bitch.
Two New Yorkers we had dinner with on separate occasions told us the same thing; “All New Yorkers do these days is go to work, come home, get carry-out and watch cable.”
Which, of course, you could do in Iowa.