Several years ago, when my family was planning a business-related move that would take us from Northern California to Los Angeles for a year, we received a lot of negative feedback.
“How can you even stand the thought of living there?”
“What a terrible place. I hate it there.”
“La-la-land…they call it that for a reason, you know.”
“Ooooh…it’s so fake.”
“Too much traffic.”
I found it particularly amusing that a significant majority of the people who were dissing LA had never even been there, but apparently they thought they’d read enough tabloids to have a pretty clear picture of the lifestyle.
But still—to hear so many bad things about the place that was about to become our home was rather disconcerting. Both my husband and I had spent our fair share of time in LA over the years, but it’s one thing to visit and quite another to join the masses. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I packed my bags and headed south.
We had rented out our house in the Sierra foothills and found a two-bedroom-plus-loft apartment—complete with every imaginable amenity—in the mid-Wilshire area of LA. On our first day there, I managed to get lost in the parking lot beneath our building. Undaunted, I continued driving in circles until I finally spotted a glimmer of sunlight. With that one small glitch behind me, I proceeded to do what every self-respecting Angeleno does—I fell in love with the city.
LA has a spirit and an energy and a vibe all its own. It bears no semblance to any other place I’ve ever visited—in this country or beyond. It’s home to some of the most exciting art, magnificent restaurants, and fabulous shopping I’ve experienced. The people are a kick, the weather is superb, and there are more fun things to do than the average person could possibly expect to fit into a normal lifespan.
We were both so taken with the city…so loved being a part of it…that we opted to stay an additional year. Even thought we are now back in Northern California, we return to LA on a regular basis. As soon as we get off the plane, we are both struck by a sense of being home.