I love LA! I love it for a bunch of different reasons but reason #1 has to be the weather. New York, Chicago, and Lexington typically have sweltering summers and frigid winters but in LA, it’s always 73 degrees and sunny. Call me a climate hedonist, but I’ll trade that any day of the year for traffic gridlock, outrageous housing costs, and the occasional earthquake.
Bingo and I stepped off the plane yesterday to–you guessed it–73 degrees and sunny, with a gentle refreshing ocean breeze. We’ve got the Blue Pacific to our west and the San Gabriel Mountains to our north with palm trees and movie stars mixed in for good measure. On our two mile run out to the ocean this morning, Bingo was a virtual babe magnet–kind of like a four legged David Hasselhoff during the height of Baywatch. Now he’s snoring away on the rooftop deck, no doubt dreaming about his newfound canine celebrity status and exhausted from this morning’s foray onto the Sunset Strip.
Most people think of LA as one huge city, but it’s really just a bunch of diverse neighborhoods stapled awkwardly together and bisected by a bunch of freeways and a mountain range. Within each of these neighborhoods, you can find whatever tickles your fancy. Hipster wannabes can head over to Echo Park or Silver Lake. Wanna smoke some weed? Just visit one of the many medical marijuana clinics over by Venice Beach. Do you have a desire to live out your retirement days in total comfort and obscurity? That’s what infamous mobster Whitey Bulger tried to do in Santa Monica until the FBI came knocking. Want people like OJ or Travolta as your neighbor? Move to Brentwood. Looking for a beach view from rocky cliffs? If you’re like Beyonce and want to purchase Cher’s former home, try Malibu. Craving some sushi? The Little Osaka district in Sawtelle is for you.
Speaking of sushi, another reason I love LA is the abundance of ethnic food. You can get anything here. Mediterranean kabobs, Korean bulgogi, Vietnamese pho, Chinese soup dumplings, all sorts of exotic seafood, and of course anything remotely Mexican. It’s probably not quite as energized and competitive as the Manhattan food scene, but people in LA don’t feel the constant need to be so driven. Sure, if I lived here, I’d want to be successful and famous as “the orthodontist to the stars”, but I’d also like to carve out enough time to chill out at Starbucks, do some yoga, meditate on the beach, and munch on some octopus seaweed rolls. It’s like “whatever” here 365 days of the year. Oh yeah, LA also has In-N-Out Burger. The cheeseburger with animal style fries is to die for. You can’t get that in New York.
You also can’t get Kobe in New York–or Kareem, or Magic for that matter. Growing up, I always found myself cheering hard for LA sports teams. I loved the Lakers and Showtime as well as the Dodgers and Fernando Valenzuela. My favorite football team was the LA Rams who are supposedly moving back to the city after a prolonged absence. Merlin Olsen was my favorite player back then until he became Father Murphy and started selling flowers. And how about the Wizard of Westwood in Pauley Pavilion or those USC Trojans playing in the LA Coliseum–FIGHT ON, man!
Another reason I love LA is because it’s in the Pacific time zone. There’s something impishly mischievous about waking up at daybreak and realizing it’s already approaching 9:00 in Lexington. Rabid sports fans can watch NFL football starting at ten in the morning here and Monday Night Football rarely ends past nine at night. I can sit through an entire World Series baseball game and still have plenty of time to hit the Kogi food truck for some late night Korean quesadillas–and still be in bed by 10:30. Sunsets are especially awesome here on the west coast. Anyone can wax poetic while sipping a cool drink on an ocean pier as dusk settles over sand to sea.
Finally, the real reason I love LA is because my daughter Katie lives here. It’s hard to emotionally accept the reality that your one and only little girl now lives in a strange city 3000 miles away. She came out west for college and I can kind of understand why she decided to stay. A dear friend of mine recently said that we try to raise our kids with roots but we have to give them wings also. So rather than fret about Katie’s decision, I’ve tried to make LA my second home. Bingo and I are here for a week and we’re going to savor every second of our precious time together. I’m afraid Bingo’s already getting into this west coast vibe and might not want to come back to his old Kentucky home either. Roots and Wings! We love LA!
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