Monday, July 09, 2012

One Writer Learns How to Leave New York and Survive in L.A.

Great piece by Gawker contributor Cord Jefferson about how he never thought he'd get over living in New York... but having moved to Los Angeles, how he now realizes that there's more than one way to live. A few paragraphs from "I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York":

What every Angelino seems to notice about all the bile slung our way is how unrequited it is. I'm acquainted with dozens of people who have lived in both New York and Los Angeles, but only the ones still living in New York continue to feel it necessary to tell me that, as one friend said, I'm going to "become a moron with the rest of the yoga obsessives." Another called LA's architecture "pedestrian and hideous." "I don't miss the cold weather," I usually tell them in response, "but I still miss Brooklyn a lot from time to time." Then they laugh at me the way I used to laugh at people who said New York was too cold.

Worse than the people who outright insult LA, though, are the ones who do so indirectly by suggesting that LA is just a sad mound of glitter trying desperately to be New York. That slur says we're worse than nothing, because we're nothing with absurd dreams of being great, like a high school laughingstock daring to think he could be the prom king... When I moved out of New York, I knew at the time that it was the best decision for my career and pocketbook. Only now have I come to realize how important leaving was for my sanity, as well. Not that I was afflicted with claustrophobia or exhaustion or any of the pseudo-ailments with which so many hypochondriac New Yorkers diagnose themselves. Rather, I'd deliberately forgotten that life outside New York is just as pure and valid as life inside New York, which is a hazard of the City just the same as street crime, and one that's far more prevalent.

Read it all here.

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