So what’s up with LA?
I spent the month of January there and came back with stars (or sun rays actually) in my eyes, so I sent Brie and Erik there recently to bring us back lots of beautiful, sunny photos. You should have seen Erik when he came back – he was tan, happy, and ready to move there and start a family (by getting a dog first).
It’s almost annoying, all these people who can’t stop talking about LA.
Wasn’t it supposed to be superficial, slow, far away from everything, and in a permanent traffic jam?
Yeah, but something’s changed, and I don’t think it’s LA, even though the waves of newcomers in search of a healthy lifestyle are probably changing the mentality of the city a little bit. What’s changed, in my opinion, are our aspirations in general. At first I was almost embarrassed to admit that LA was looking good to me. It almost felt like saying I was thinking about retirement, like someone who decides to move to Florida or the South of France for a slower pace. But then I realized the energy in LA, while very different from the energy in New York, is actually very on point when it comes to creativity and innovation.
But it’s true, our aspirations have changed. There’s a sort of movement toward wanting to take care of yourself, wanting to exercise, do things outdoors, go on yoga retreats…and drink green juice, which Angelenos have been doing for years. People want fewer clothes, and more experiences (in LA, people spend half their time in yoga pants going from one activity to the next). People are looking for a different type of fashion that’s more conscious of the world around (we’ll be talking about that here soon!). And finally, the inside is just as important as the outside (in LA, unlike in New York, people have space! You don’t spend all your time in restaurants, you can actually have people over!!!)
All of that, plus the eternally dependable, bright, sunny weather while we freeze our butts off in New York (last week I was still wearing a coat and turtle neck, which made me cry in indignation) is all it takes to send everyone running to LA.
It doesn’t sound too bad, right, this tableau of the perfect city?
Are you in, should we all go?
So that’s why it made me laugh the other day when I was talking to a friend of mine who had moved to the west coast, and she was telling me how disappointed she was.
“I’m coming back to New York!”
“I miss the city, the people, the energy. In LA, everything is slow, it’s really hard to meet people, I felt lonely and I got bored. And besides, after busting my nose on a surfboard, going on three hikes, and spending four hours stuck in my car, I was over “the great outdoors”. And as for the weather, here’s something I’m really glad I finally learned: I love the seasons! I like being cold, I like waiting for spring to arrive, I love the fall, how could you live without fall? Seriously! And you know what else? I love running into you on the street! Do you think we ever would have run into each other in LA? Pfff never! In two years, you want to know how many people I ran into? ZERO. I never even walked down the street, actually. So I’m done with LA. Super happy I tried it, though, because now I’m happy to realize why I love living here in New York.”
It reminded me of the Parisian exodus to Marseille a few years ago, when Parisians were looking for a less stressful, cheaper, more “authentic” (the word that doesn’t actually mean anything) life, so they all left in hordes for Marseille, which increased the prices and annoyed Marseille natives, only to discover that no, Marseille would never become Paris in the sun. Marseille would always be Marseille, and to be happy there, you had to make it your own and adapt to it, accept its faults and the beautiful things about it and…become a Marseillais. The Parisians left as quickly as they’d come…but with renewed love for their dear Paris. And that’s the way it should be.
So the idea today is to show you the LA we love, but with a grain of salt. We brought back lots of photos and stories that we’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks. But don’t put words in our mouths. LA, yes, we love it. Yes, LA is trending right now. Yes, we have lots of things to show you. And yes, maybe, one day Chris and I will move there.
But you can live the dream anywhere, and it’s like love! Sometimes all it takes is looking at things with fresh eyes and closer attention to appreciate what you’d be leaving behind. And you realize what you already have is…actually pretty great!
But that doesn’t mean we have to stop dreaming…
What about you? Have you ever thought about changing cities? Which cities do you dream of moving to? We’re working on some posts on the topic, so I’d be thrilled to hear your point of view!
Translated by Andrea Perdue