I ended up in LA by accident.
This is not a place where a girl like me would end up. Who ends up here anyhow? What kind of a person does this city, the alluring City of Angels, draw?
It’s a city for movie stars or the movie-star poseurs. Is it not? It’s the central of the universe in Hollywood speak. I think it was Kathy Bates who said that one must be invited to come here. Yet many forego the invitation, instead choosing to come here uninvited. Some do just fine; others, who knows (or cares?)? Most likely, lost in it’s abyss. Life goes on as usual. But it is much more than the physical sign, the concept, the illusion of Hollywood.
The city is home to manufacturing and an array of service industry jobs, public parks, and a growing sustainability sector. For a city of it’s size, of course, there is education, healthcare, transportation, construction….I’m sure there is more but that is just to show that as an economy, LA is diverse. Likewise, is it’s population and landscape. In other words, there is a lot of everything in LA. It’s not just a homogenous meltingpot.
Ok, so where were we?
One day, I went to Vegas. It was by accident that I discovered LA. See, I was working in Vegas but could not bear the thought of living there. The city is so shiny, one needs sunglasses to ward off the artificial strobe lights from the casinos and billboards. Greed and hedonism are it’s driving force. I was making enough to work in Vegas as much as I could, but “park” it elsewhere, so I was looking for a city in CA. SF didn’t work out during my initial visit, but LA did.
I fell in love at first sight. I found a place to rent right around the corner of where I was staying on vacation. It was meant to be.
It’s really great, and I love it but I’m going to leave. I leave all the places I love, just like I leave the people I love or the people who love me leave me. It’s all part of the transience of life.
Also, it’s really goddamn expensive. I caught the nasty acting bug from being here. It’s so commonplace, it’s easy to catch. But money is an issue for living here and for indulging the acting addiction problem/thing, and so I’m leaving to a place where I think I can average a more favorable profit to living expense ratio. It’s kind of like Vegas for showgirls, except it’s New York.
There is no money in LA. If there is, it is locked behind ironclad gates. It simply does not trickle down. So if you work in a service-sector job dependent on tips while doing the acting stuff thing, you’re most likely SOL. So many descend upon this city with nothing but a pocket full of dreams. As far as wanna-be entertainment people go, the market is so saturated with wannabees that there are simply not enough jobs to go around, even the below minimum wage ones. And so everyone tries to look busy, to claim busy-ness but in reality, we are all twirling our thumbs busy avoiding each other. Am I going to hate NYC this much?
In all honesty, I had a bad year here. I’ve been here a total of five. The last one was especially trying, and by far the worst. Money. Lack thereof. People. Shitty. That is why I’m running away. Maybe I’ll tell you all about it later.
A friend told me to be careful, people here are not like anywhere else. When people say that people in LA are “fake,” it doesn’t mean plastic. It means that when you’re getting chewed up, you don’t even know until you’ve been spit out.
But it’s ok. It’s pretty here, and the sun is warm and it makes me feel all fuzzy inside even if it is nothing but an delusion of safety within a dangerous jungle. And I’m leaving.
If you’re obscenely rich, LA is a good place to retire. When you can afford to guard yourself figuratively and physically from all of harm’s way, it is a great place. I cannot quantify the feeling of peace as I drive into the more mountainous parts. Or how picturesque looks the spill of orange as the sun sets over the beach line in Venice. There were times where I’d go hiking up to the Griffith Observatory every single day. The Los Feliz area around it is quite quaint. And apart from the charlatans of any city, there are many genuinely nice people who emanate a warmth I’ve yet to encounter anywhere else.
As I deliberate a move out, I’m conflicted. Obviously. I’ve learned to hate it somewhat because it’s irked me so but I will always love it. Like a vixen who has nothing to offer a man other than her ever-fading beauty, I think I’ll break it off before I end up like the man who fell in love with a beauty who indulged his love with bankruptcy. I hope I make the right choice.
Therein lies all my ramblings Los Angeles, NYC: The modern day of two cities.