Unless you have been under a rock, we spent last week and half of the week before in New York. (And you can read our diary here.) As we navigated the city, I kept a running tab on things I liked, things I didn’t like, and things that we missed/do better in Los Angeles. No, this is not an NYC versus LA contest: it is just a list of some things we noticed.
Things We Will Miss
• How complete the city is. New York is a much, much older city and has just about everything. Everything is more established and, if you want to find a culture, you don’t have to go very far. We as a city are just a baby!
• Being able to walk everywhere. Hypothetically, we could have walked everywhere. And, when we could and were up for it, we did. We tried to take the train and cabs as little as possible. Can we do that in LA? Not as easily. In some neighborhoods, you can totally do it. But, if you are in West Hollywood and need to be in Eagle Rock, nice try walking there. See you next month!
• Great cocktails…everywhere! This was a surprise: in every neighborhood, there was a place where you could get nice cocktails. Not just “a drink” but a nice cocktail. Especially in “cooler” hoods, there was always a collection of bars. Aside from Downtown, our “cooler” hoods like Silver Lake and Echo Park lack places that make legitimately great cocktails. A beer and vodka tonic? Sure, you can get that–but that’s not the same as a rye, St. Germain, sherry, and vermouth cocktail, served up.
• The availability of seafood. We’re getting better at this but, sheesh, NYC has seafood everywhere. Is there anything better than some oysters or a shrimp cocktail or lobster on a hot day? No, there is not anything better.
• The vibrant blog and design community. As our event proved and all the meetings we had with locals, New York is the American hub for blogging and design. In Los Angeles, we are a very disparate and growing community. Like how complete the city is, it was nice to (briefly) be a part of such completed communities and to be able to see so many people we talk to all the time by e-mail.
• Great gay bars. Why don’t we have better gay bars? We’ll be writing more on this soon…
• Brooklyn. I hadn’t been to Brooklyn since 2004. My: how things change! It’s now a little more sophisticated and grown up. Sure, there’s a lot of “artisanal” bullshit but, by and large, it was nice.
• Outdoor dining. Like gay bars, why doesn’t everywhere have outdoor space in LA?? Maybe everywhere here does and we’re just so used to it that we forget. Or, maybe dining outdoors here is a bad experience. Whatever it is, seeing so many signs that said, “Our patio is open!” made us wish every place in LA had a patio.
• The cabs. So easy to get around! So cheap! Such a great alternative to walking when it is raining!
Things We Will Not Miss
• How complete the city is. This was painfully obvious: there is no room for expansion in anything! There’s no place for people to live how they want to live, everything has already been done, and to get into anything from a bar to a subculture to a museum, you have to wait a long time. That sucks. Thank god we are a young city: we can all do whatever we want!
• None of the crosswalks have countdowns. This was a very small but annoying detail New York lacks: crosswalks that countdown how long you have to cross the street. We’d be hustling across a crosswalk when the blinking red hand just stopped and traffic came toward us. Give us more of a warning, will you? Thankfully, all crosswalks have that in Los Angeles.
• New York fashion. Bleh. So much silliness. I thought people here dressed silly–but New York? There is an overabundance of “I am dressing weird to be weird!” people. Here, at least people try and manicure themselves if they are being weird. Moreover, so many people in boring sties and boring dresses. Aside from our friends and the people from the meetup, everyone was either silly or lame.
• Ramps. Don’t even get us started.
• The architecture. This is so frustrating. First, everywhere is way too small. No one has space to live or do anything! Second, the style of the buildings are painfully boring. Sure, some modern buildings pop up here and there. The rest? All shitty monoliths. And, in Jersey and West Queens and Brooklyn? There aren’t brownstones: it’s all aluminum sided BLEH. Even our crappy apartments in Los Angeles at least have some taste. Thank you, art deco and Spanish mission influence!
• The subway. Loud, sweaty, shaky, confusing, crowded: too much! Sure, it gets you places fast–but the experience is totally shit. Hence, why we walked and cabbed everywhere…
• Elevators. I hate riding elevators. They make me so nervous. How do you get anywhere in New York? An elevator because they expanded up, not out.
• Brooklyn. “Artisinal bullshit”: enough said. Also, GOOD LORD IS IT FAR AND SUPER HARD TO GET TO.
• JFK. Again: it took us an hour and a half to get through security. NO, THANK YOU.
• The cabs. As convenient as they can be, most of the drivers made us want to vomit. Also, when they weren’t cheap, they were expensive because the cabbie had no idea where he was going and we had to look up directions for him/her.
Things We Missed About Los Angeles
• Our space. Walking off of the plane at LAX, you instantly feel like you can breathe. Everything is more spread out, the roads are not as congested, and you just have room. We walked into our apartment and it was two times bigger than most places we visited in New York, save for the MoMA and The Met.
• Booze in stores. It should never be a struggle to find a glass of wine! Here, a CVS? A Ralph’s? You got booze! In New York, they have this silly law that you can only sell beer in stores and that wine needs its own shop. Hard alcohol? God bless you. And the stores you find? Closed at midnight.
• The crosswalk countdowns. Again, small detail–but a big detail.
• Our car. Even though our car is a piece of garbage, we missed the freedom and independence of being able to literally drive ourselves around. You don’t have to rely on anyone else to get from Point A to Point B in Los Angeles: you have to get yourself there, be it by car or bike.
• Nature and geography. The abundance of trees and flowers and ability to be able to go from beach to mountain to desert to forest in a day is remarkable. We are spoiled! We love it.
• Animals! This as well: how could you live with a dog in New York? Sounds grueling for you and them! Moreover, the only wildlife we say in New York were pigeons. That’s cool? No, no it really is not cool.
• The availability of pools and the ocean. This needs no explanation.
• The Valley. New York has New Jersey–we have the Valley. Having had to try to maneuver through Jersey roads and seeing the very harsh environment, we thank God that our “other half” is at least good looking and interesting.
• 2AM bar closings. The bars in New York close at 4AM: what adult in their right mind has the desire and ability to stay up until 4AM?? No one! It’s exhausting, too. You lose track of time and you very easily have ruined your next day because you are hungover and/or tired from staying up so late. Thank heavens we are kicked out of bars by 2AM! We are far more responsible in Los Angeles.
• The ability to shut off. Like the 4AM bars and subways, everything and everyone is always on. It’s so loud and full in New York: you can never shut down. Even in the nice apartment we were renting, it was loud and hot and not-very-relaxing. No, thank you!