Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Click here for a New Yorker's perspective on Los Angeles, as seen in Annie Hall.

So far, the worst part about moving to Los Angeles is telling New Yorkers that you are moving to Los Angeles.*

Sure, we have received tons of love and support from friends and family for taking this next step in our life. But not without a little friendly backlash. First, no one wants you to leave the city because it would be more fun for them if you stayed put. (A reasonable reaction, admittedly). Second, no one in New York understands why you would want to move out of the best city in America to--of all places--LA.

Upon sharing our news, here are some sample responses we have received from fellow New Yorkers:

“Why would you want to move there?”

“Are you sure?”

“How are you going to find a job?”

“LA is fine to visit...but to live there? I dunno.”

“I know this girl who moved to LA and she hated it and was back in three months. Said it was the worst experience of her life.”

I consider New York and Los Angeles to be very two different cities, and that is okay. Dan and I are not looking to recreate our New York experience in Los Angeles. We are actively seeking to change our lifestyle. (Although I am sure plenty of Angelenos would mock our serious conversations about trying to get by with one car and our hopes of taking public transportation to work. Let us enjoy our ignorance for a little while, please!)

I think people would be more understanding if we said we were moving to Europe. In terms of coolness, Europe is on par with New York City. As for California, San Francisco would be a more acceptable choice. New Yorkers love San Francisco because they perceive it as a quaint West Coast version of New York. We would get more love if we said Portland because even though no one has actually been to Portland, everyone thinks they want to live in Portland. Even when we were toying around with the idea of New Orleans, people were into it since Northerners find anything south of Virginia to be foreign and exotic.

Mention Los Angeles, on the other hand, and there is a lot of well-meaning head scratching and grimaces.

I know there is supposed to be a rivalry between the two cities, but this is simply not true. Because to most New Yorkers, LA is not even on the radar. It doesn’t even come close. How can there be a rivalry when one side is oblivious to the other?

And when you put the city on their radar, by saying things, “I am leaving you for this inferior-to-New-York place,” they just don’t get it. You might as well be moving to Ohio.**

Since it makes no sense to them, they try to come up with logical solutions that would meet their needs and yours, such as:

“Why don’t you just move to Brooklyn?”

*Disclaimer 1: This may or may not be an exaggeration.

**Disclaimer 2: I am sure Ohio is just lovely.

Just for fun: Some other places where we considered moving.


Susan said...

I read your September 2008 post -- and everyone's weigh-in on where you should live. Interestingly, Ara nailed it! (Thanks, Ara!)

Kunka. said...

As a total newcomer, Yvonne, it may take you some time to get used to LA. A lot of people don't have the patience and leave well before they do. But let me tell you, as someone who used to think LA was the stupidest place on Earth, trust me, it's not. If one of my friends told me they were moving to NY from LA, I would probably have the same reaction you're getting now -- it's crowded, it's dirty, it's cold, it's expensive, it's old, I don't want to live in a closet, and football games start at 1 in the afternoon and you never get to see your fantasy team finish up the west coast games. Lame-O. (And can you trust a city that refers to itself as the "greatest city in the world!" You ask me, I'm looking for a little more humility...

Yvonne said...

@Susan -- I know, how did Ara know?

@Kunka -- I hope you are right and everyone else is wrong! In terms of sports on the West Coast, Dan will now have fellow sports fans to watch games with him so hopefully, I won't be subjected to such things as often. I can dream!

Ara said...

I just reread that post from Sept. 2008. I was either drunk or had a terrible night of spelling and grammar. I am utterly ashamed, but I nailed it!

Heather Taylor said...

As a born and bred Angeleno, I feel like LA is a fantastic place to live! When I moved to NY in my early 20s, everyone I encountered in NYC said, "why the heck would you move here from sunny LA?". I ended up moving back to Los Angeles two years later. Hope you love it here!

Yvonne said...

@Heather I hope I do too! I am getting excited!