I used to live in L.A. It’s a beautiful, crazy place, full of people of which 95% of whom I can’t relate to. In the years that I was in LA, I made a good circle of friends who didn’t fit the mold, and for a while, I had the best of both worlds. But one by one, most of them relocated to places like London and San Francisco, and by the time my relo came around, I was ready for it. Before I moved to New York, I had this vision of myself as a New Yorker… I’d run a gallery and dress like Jennifer Aniston in ‘The Breakup,’ I’d meet up with my intelligent, broad-minded, down-to-earth, worldly friends for wine, fabulous meals, and witty, passionate conversation. I’d throw smashing rooftop dinner parties complete with “Shima’s Famous” foods, Hotel Costes music, and the laughter of my friends drowning out the city.
But the reality of a place is often not the same as the fantasy of it, and as time wears on, not only do I not have that gallery job and that wardrobe, but I’m thinking that maybe I watched too much ‘Sex and the City,’ and was misinformed that one can have an enviable career, an enviable apartment, and more free time than one can fill with luncheons at Pastis, all while not seemingly working that hard. I mean, other than the one question mark sentence per episode, when did Carrie ever work?
If anything, take away the spunk, add some D cups and bronzer, and those women had LA written all over them. Come to think of it, there are quite a few similarities between New York people and LA people, and it makes me wonder if people everywhere are the same. Just marketed differently, that’s all.
Here’s an example. In LA it’s referred to as Flaky. And it’s not necessarily a negative connotation. I know at least one person, if not three, who wholeheartedly embrace this character trait and are utterly unapologetic about it. In New York, these people exist too, but the word “flaky” is never used. That would be negative, insulting. Instead, the flaky New Yorker is spun as Overbooked or Workaholic, and I guess that’s somehow more justifiable because it’s attributed to working hard. Who can argue with that?
As much as I love this city, and the average person here is definitely more likely to be “my type” than maybe anyplace else in the world, I do have a hard time with the New York state of mind of work, work, work, and that accomplishment in life is material (versus based on the relationships you foster in life). Don’t get me wrong, I have a strong work ethic, and I like “stuff” as much as the next person, but I just feel there is more to life. Much more. And maybe this is just leftover European attitude from my recent transatlantic adventure, but in any case, LA scores a point (for better or worse) for work-life balance. The life you live is largely a product of the choices you make, plus a few monkey wrenches to challenge us and test our strength.
That’s my two cents, and I say it as much to remind myself, as to share with you all.