You Can Check Out Anytime You Want, But…

You Can Check Out Anytime You Want, But…

Los Angeles.

Over ten years ago, I was told by my family that we were moving to LA. I wasn’t very happy about this. Aside from not wanting to leave my home, to leave it for Los Angeles? I’m not even sure what preconceptions I had about the city, I just knew I definitely did not want to live there.

Once I arrived, all I thought about was leaving. Aside from just missing my home (and native) land, every other city I visited seemed cooler. Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver… they all have so much character. And not just character, but pride! Every resident of those cities radiates such love for their home. The same can be said for Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans, and just try to shut a New Yorker up about how incredible the Five Boroughs are.

The question is, who feels proud to live in LA? Who defends it? Southern California has an abundance of beautiful locations, but not many of them fall in Los Angeles County. We’ve got unbreathable air, a sun-blindedly bland sky, a sprawling cityscape, and quite possibly the most clinical downtown skyline imaginable. Insult LA all you want and you won’t find much of a fight. Fake? We agree. Corporate? We agree. Artless? We agree.

So why is it that I never want to leave?

The more time you spend in LA, what you begin to realize is that you aren’t the only one that doesn’t belong here. No one belongs here. That’s what we all have in common. New Yahkers can brag about their city all they want, but you know what? It’s easy to feel at home in New York. Feeling at home in LA is a challenge. You have to work to find your place here. You have to struggle through the depression of our unchanging seasons and achingly monotonous architecture. And that bonds all of us far more than living in an obviously “cool” city could.

I love Los Angeles. It’s gorgeous. It’s atmospheric. It’s one of the most truly and originally American places you’ll ever find. You won’t gasp how beautiful it is while your plane is touching down like you might in a typical tourist trap city. No, with LA, you have to get to know it.

Once you do, you can never leave.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 12th, 2011 at 7:01 pm and is filed under Greater Good. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “You Can Check Out Anytime You Want, But…”

  1. Andy Says:

    August 13th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Nim, I like your upbeat attitude. Truly something worth mentioning on the “Good.” I wasn’t completely sold with your sentiments towards the City of Angels, but after hearing some Cinematic Orchestra with Patrick Watson… I can’t help but want to visit you kids! Much Love!