I have lived in Los Angeles for four days. I arrived on Saturday at 2:30pm but spent the remainder of that day shopping 90 mph then enjoyed celebratory libations until 1am, so it counts.
Four days is not a lot of time to make a full call on this city, but it’s plenty of time for snap judgments and the confirmation of given existing prejudices. Here, so far, are mine:
- None of the Urban Outfitters in a 25-mile-radius have a proper housewares section. That’s four locations in four cities (Burbank, Studio City, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica). No selection of tapestries, no ridiculous-colored shag carpets, not nearly enough of those tree-looking-things you hang necklaces on. This is ironic because the Urban Outfitters in Manhattan have items that cannot fit in 75% of the apartments in Manhattan and yet here where people live in houses the size of my parents’ – nothing. I have places an order online, but I’m not pleased.
- Additional branches of given stores are far from one another, case-in-point, the Urban Outfitters. Like, there isn’t one in West Hollywood and then another in West Hollywood just 20 blocks away. This is a general theme I’m finding. For example, I have yet to find a Starbucks location from which you can see another Starbucks location. Shocking, I know.
- There is no Dunkin Donuts. Not, there are no Dunkin Donuts locations – that would imply that there once was or is talk of there someday being. There is simply no concept of the Dunkin here.
- Regardless of the weather at high noon, it is cool in the mornings and in the evenings. I’m told this has something to do with the desert. Frankly, all I care about is what it has to do to the quality of my frizzy hair in the morning when I leave for work and at night when I arrive at the bar. Major plus column item.
- People say there is no good Chinese food but then everyone seems to have a secret place where they get great Chinese food. So, first – we are way closer to China here in LA than I ever was in New York, so this no-Chinese-food is completely illogical. And, the “I’ve got a great” situation out here is another trend I’m observing. So far I’ve also seen it applied with fervor to bagel shops and furniture stores.
- You can pretty much drive any way you want and nobody cares. I did not go over 20 for a solid mile on La Brea the other day looking for this antique store and not one person honked at me. This is great because being honked at really stresses me out, but it probably also implies that everyone is just as bad a driver.
- I live within walking distance from some of LA’s best vintage clothing stores. This is not an observation, it’s a blessing.
- Parking garages are the greatest and worst thing about this city (I’d say “so far” but I think that might be it). Worst because there is this whhoollle rigmarole you’ve got to go through with the getting into the garage and worrying your car is going to scrape the ceiling even though the garage is sized to fit every model of car and then getting close enough to the ticket machine to get the ticket without having to put your car in park and open the damn door and then not hitting other cars as you drive around those sharp corner and then finding a spot and not hitting other cars as you pull into it and then not losing your ticket and then doing then not forgetting to do the whole pay-station thing when you leave and then the worst part of all – remembering where you parked. BUT, get this – you can get as much shit as you want at any store you go and you never have to worry about walking it home.
- And – though I don’t know how this could be possible – everyone is from New York. I have heard more “when I moved here from New York” stories this week than I’ve heard moving stories in my entire life. This is good because everyone can relate to all the insanity that is moving clear across the country (and living here for 4 days without your life belongings having arrived…) But it’s also bad, because in a few weeks they’re going to know it’s time to buck up and stop complaining about how hard it is to remember to fill the car with gas…