Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Los Angeles: The Six Month Review

I can't remember the exact date I moved to Los Angeles, mostly because I began moving here long before I lived here. But I know some time around mid-June, I made the six-hour drive from my hometown-since-birth, Phoenix, to this not-so-foreign, not-so-glamorous mecca of pop-culture that I now call home. Six months ago, I did what some people never do in a lifetime: I left behind all that I knew for something different (albeit, not too different).

But it was different enough for me. I have experienced a lot here in Los Angeles. In the last six months, I have attended two major industry galas, worked full-time, eaten somewhere new every week, visited lots of quirky, unique places, seen things I've never seen before, and become scarily accustomed to a completely new life. In short, I'm hitting my stride here.

I've never hated Los Angeles. Don't get me wrong, there are things to hate here. But I've consistently enjoyed this place.

The Metro
One of the things I genuinely love about LA is the metro. The public transit system as a whole isn't all that great, but the metro is just perfect. Sure, sometimes it smells like weed and/or urine. Sure, sometimes people get in your biz. But I think I've met kindred spirits on the metro, humble people with real insight. And because of them, the metro shines when I think of this place.

The Weather
I have really mixed feelings about the weather here. I am always hearing about how great the weather is in California ("California Girls," anyone?), but it doesn't live up to the hype. It's still cold here now, like everywhere else (60s is normal winter fare in Phoenix). And the smog and crazy wind and acid rain are all pretty gross. But then I think of all the people living with snow right now ... and I'd take this any day.

The Food
I have had amazing food here--great sushi, awesome barbecue, fusions and gastropubbery. It can be strange and unfamiliar, but if you're willing to try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Usually. I have had my hiccups in the food department, particularly with so-so Mexican food. I wonder if this is due to the differences in cuisine that comes up through Arizona and that of California. But I think this crappy Mexican food is mostly confined to the restaurants because I have had wonderful homemade pozole here that I absolutely loved! You'll also love that wikipedia page on pozole, if you're unfamiliar.

The Traffic
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before: LA has the worst traffic. It's true, it's freakin' terrible. But it's more than just hours-long traffic jams and crappy drivers. It's the layout of the city. It takes a significant amount of time to go short distances. And that means for me, a girl who won't drive from Phoenix to Tempe (roughly 40-minute drive) to see my best friend, it's hard to make it a priority to see people I hardly know when driving to their area means using up half a tank and road raging my brains out.

I guess I have to say that all in all, I like it out here. I'm glad to call this place home. Happy six months, California.

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