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Saturday
Sep112004

Why I like Los Angeles.

In the last week I…

-did my hair and eyes all crazy, got dressed up in black and gray with hanging suspenders and boots like some kind of steampunk character and went dancing all night in a big beautiful gothic club full of red curtains, candles, smoke and beautiful girls in lace and leather and watched vinyl-assed go-go dancers bump and grind to throbbing EBM and industrial fucking music while I got drunk on glowing blue non-PowerAde® beverages. After-party at the house of some fantastic glamour photographer guy I’ve never met before. Meet new people, have those great “party conversations,” etc.

-cleaned up and went to a trendy yet really fun Hollywood nightspot to drink cocktails and chill and chat and flirt and party and not-talk-business with friends (both old and new) while the DJ spun the pop and hip-hop classics (both old and new).

-danced my ass off to my favourite music at a massive 80s/new wave/electro/indie/rock club surrounded by hundreds of beautiful and sweaty brightly-colored people decked out in full alt-culture regalia.

-went to work on a show at a great indie comedy/improv theatre run by students, amateurs, TV & film actors, managers, agents and civilians; all of whom come to see and do the work (that nobody makes any real money doing) because they just love it.

-drove out to the beach and back just for the fuck of it.

-good friend and i hit an invite-only record release party and performance by a great prog house/techno/breaks/trance/dub group down in Koreatown. Met new people, danced until I could no longer move.

-drove down to Anaheim to have lunch with my dad and god-father and other assorted middle-eastern relations. much political debate and bread-eating took place.

-drove out to the beach and back just for the fuck of it, again.

-chilled at home and ate delivered Brazilian cuisine while a couple other friends came over to watch Trekkies 2 and tell stories.

-saw a hilarious show by a comedy troupe from Cleveland that included jokes and sketches about shaking babies, suicidal meteorologists, NAMBLA, and Cobra Commander.

Hell, the only thing I didn’t do this week was go out to dinner or down to Long Beach and do the karaoke thing with my friends there. .

What I’m trying to illustrate is that Los Angeles affords me the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want, whenever I want, in whichever aspect of society I happen to be feeling at that moment. I’m not saying this makes LA better or worse than any other place, but having options is critically important to me, and Los Angeles provides limitless possibilities without the claustrophobia (and shitty parking) of New York or the bizarre socio-political narrowness (and even shittier parking) of San Francisco.

Not to digress but there is something about San Francisco I have never been able to understand, and let me start by saying that I love San Francisco. Despite the fact that I always get some kind of stomach bug whenever I’m there, I always have a great visit and know lots of cool people there. But you cannot go for a single DAY in San Francisco without hearing about how much Los Angeles sucks. Not a DAY. You can go for weeks in Los Angeles without even hearing the words “San Francisco,” and when you do it’s usually about how nice it is to visit there. For a people who’re known for being the most open-minded and accepting of Americans, the San Franciscans are cocks about LA.

(My mom says it’s because they’re jealous that they stopped being the major financial headquarters of the west coast in the middle of the last century, when United California Bank moved to what became downtown Los Angeles and became First Interstate.)

I’ll always remember a visit to Boston I made before I actually moved there. My friend Kendall and I were standing around in one of underground T stops waiting for a train when a Hari Krishna came up to us (when I say “Hari Krishna,” think “white dude who went to India for a summer”). After utterly failing to sell us any of his books, he asked Kendall and I where we were from. When I said Los Angeles, he actually said “Oh, sorry.”

Let’s just forget for a moment that (IIRC) the Hari Krishna movement started in Los Angeles, but how rude is that shit? He went on to lecture us about how ignorant and closed-minded we were and that we needed to travel and learn things about the world around us or be doomed to live forever as unenlightened swine. Naturally, he was mightily embarrassed and outed as a poser cocksucker when confronted with the combined list of places Kendall and I’d actually lived (as opposed to visited) up to that point, which included Bejing, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Seoul. But what makes people do that? “Oh, sorry.” Christ!

Anyway.

For better or for worse, Los Angeles is not “just” or “only” anything, and that greatly appeals to me. I’m not at all interested in routine, especially when it concerns my rapidly waning early-20s. I happen to love doing lots of different things with lots of different people, and this is where I can do that without even the slightest bit of resistance. I cannot stress enough how essential this is to my happiness.

Decent parking is perhaps slightly more essential.

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