Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Seems It Never Rains in Southern California


I basically live in LA these days, toiling on the edges of the film and game industries. Actually I live in Pasadena. But it's real close to LA. I go home to husband and dogs on the weekend.

I live in a studio apartment only half a mile from work, and walk to work ever morning, which is exactly not the LA experience. But other than that, it feels like LA. And frankly, I am completely unable to wrap my head around the sprawling, sun-drenched anarchic thing that is greater LA. I lived in New York, one of the other defining metropoli of the U.S. when I was in my twenties and although it was not always easy, I felt I could 'get' New York City. Maybe it is age. Possibly it is that memory has glossed over the first year in New York when I was pretty miserable.

There is much to like about this place. The Asian food is extraordinary. The weather is a permanent vacation for a midwesterner.

Still I feel utterly out of step.

10 Comments:

Blogger Kristin Buxton said...

I'm another recent Pasadena transplant and understand completely. I walk a mile to work and people seem to think I'm crazy. I haven't experienced a summer yet, but think that the unrelenting sun will probably get to me.

April 10, 2008 12:51 PM  
Blogger jesswynne said...

I think Pasadena dn South Pasadena are among the more livable areas of LA...but still, I never wrapped my head around greather LA when I lived there, and I was 16 then.

April 10, 2008 1:04 PM  
Blogger SquidgePa said...

That looks like West Colorado Blvd, about a mile from Vroman's Bookstore.

You are about six miles from the La Canada-Flintridge Community Center, formerly the Youth House, where I learned to raku, and learned to throw big bowls, and would eat lunch from Wesley's Produce.

I lived in San Diego and around LA for over twenty years, but, not in town. I always thought of Pasadena as being almost a Disney version of what the rest of southern California was like.

April 10, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Walt said...

I enjoyed living in Pasadena and Altadena (directly north of Pasadena) during college and awhile thereafter. And I enjoyed a visit a couple of years ago. I don't know how many of my cultural and food locations still exist, though, so I can't make many recommendations.

How often are the mountains visible these days? Back in the 1966-1975 era we could go more than a week at a time not being able to see the mountains only 4 miles away. I think it's better now, but didn't spend enough time there to know for sure.

April 10, 2008 4:38 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I lived in Carlsbad, about an hour south of LA, and never could get it out of my head that I wasn't on vacation. I think that's the permanent effect SoCal has on Midwesterners, at least it seemed so with me. Maybe after a couple of years, you wake up from it, but one year felt like eternal summer to me.

April 10, 2008 5:14 PM  
Blogger meredith said...

Funny, I was just in LA (specifically, Hollywood) for 2.5 days earlier this week. I enjoyed my little sunny "vacation"!! We went from there up to Seattle/Portland, where the weather is just like it's been back home in CT for the past month (45 degrees and raining). I miss the sun.

(walt: the Hollywood Hills were pretty visible from Sunset Boulevard. I've been there when they have been almost completely obscured, that's scary.)

April 11, 2008 4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to college at Occidental, right near Pasadena. Loved it.

My creative writing prof said that the key to understanding L.A. is that it's a company town, and the company is Hollywood/the entertainment industry, the same way Detroit is (was?) all about cars.

There's something to that, a level at which great swathes of the city strive to believe in its own myth.

Carrie V.

April 11, 2008 1:31 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

I grew up in LA, lived the first 25 years of my life there. I "get" it, but I find it more and more unlivable every time I go back.

April 12, 2008 2:36 AM  
Blogger Erin O'Brien said...

effing hell.

You need me to send you some Stroh's?

April 18, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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