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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
How to Live, L.A. Edition: It's Alright To Opposite-Of-Heart New York For A While, But Eventually You'll Want To Get Over Yourself
In celebration of the sixth anniversary of the day I moved to Los Angeles, and in honor of nogoodforme.com's recent foray into Satanicism, I present you with (6)6(6) life lessons absorbed in my (6)6(6) years living in this Satan-loving city. Today is Lesson #3.
(Los Angeles, then New York)
There's maybe only three or four ways that living in Los Angeles has made my life less of a gas, and #2 is this problem of not loving New York anymore. New York used to be my most favorite city in all the world, and now it's not, but it's not my fault at all. Nay, I fully lay the blame on a certain breed of New Yorker/ex-New Yorker you sometimes find miserably skulking around town, the type that get its kicks by smugly prattling on and on about how L.A. is so soul-killingly vapid, so appearance-obsessed, such a CULTURAL WASTELAND. Oh, and there's lots of traffic. And the air's dirty. And the girls are all made of plastic. Boo-fucking-hoo.
So nothing puts a hitch in my giddy-up like a self-righteous New Yorker, and I never get tired of feeling spiritually superior to them. I have gotten tired of fighting, though: Whereas once upon a time I seriously, self-appallingly gave the "Talk to the hand!" gesture to some dumb loser slagging off my fair city, now I just tend to chirp "Well, it's not for everyone!" in this weird tone 87 octaves higher than my actual voice, and then I go on my merry way as someone who loves my life enough not to try to make other people hate theirs.
It's sad, because I really miss loving New York. Some of my dearest pre-L.A. memories are of moments set in New York City, like the birthday when I took the Greyhound Bus down to Manhattan with one of my favorite people on the planet, and we played pool in some sleazy dive with these really weird dudes named Fish and Bones, then had the most stoned/sublime dinner at a Thai restaurant in Soho. We asked for a pot of honey, for some reason, and conceptualized an entire Sue Grafton-inspired murder-mystery series about being murdered by fruit. It went Attack Me With Apples, then Bash Me With Bananas, then Clobber Me With Coconuts, and we got all the way through the alphabet - though for "X" we had to cheat a little and go with Xerox Me With Xanthan Gum. See, kids: Drugs are good for you. So is New York City.
But I don't love New York right now. I've gotten over that thing of wishing they made t-shirts that read "I Opposite-of-Heart N.Y.," and sometimes I even force myself to listen to New York-positive songs by KISS or Bob Dylan or the Beastie Boys, but I've still yet to revive the NYC-loving part of my heart. When I'm there, the aversion manifests itself in a very physical way; I always feel vaguely energy-sapped, and I'm always happy to leave. It makes me sad, makes me feel like those L.A.-haters have stolen my New York love, and why would I ever let them have that power?
I don't have any answers, and I can only encourage other ladies/lads in a similar pickle to "fight the hate" and "don't let the bastards grind you down" and "keep on keepin' on," etc., etc. And instead of letting the haters harsh your mellow, you could maybe just make fun of them behind their backs by giggling your cute little head off to X-1's "New York Is So Cool": It's this very tongue-in-cheek song-type-thing they used to play a lot on the radio here about five years ago; it's about a dude from L.A. visiting New York and being so awed by all the awesome awesomeness ("My first night I go to a gallery - Larry Clark is showing new photos. You know who I see? CHLOE SEVIGNY. New York is so cool!"). Now it's dated as all get-out but still a hoot:
I should probably note that I get how you could substitute L.A. for New York in practically any part of this jam, which is maybe the whole point in the first place. I've stood in line at stupid goddamn motherfucking Cinespace; I've seen Steve Aoki at stupid goddamn motherfucking Kitchen 24 and gotten psyched enough to go write about it in my blog the next day. Joke's on me, dudes! And I'm totally okay with that.
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