Two recent competing articles, one (the link above, from the NY Post) from L.A.’s east coast competition (well, competition for cool, anyway) seeming to finally give the city its due, at least in some areas like dining and clubbing, transit, general livability, walkability.
The problem with articles like this one is that they’re most likely written by professional travelers/food writers looking for certain things and then finding what they were looking for, they write about it. In that process, though, they ignore the rest of what’s in front of them. They see the city that they expected to see, and write about it that way. Not from the perspective of a resident, but a tourist. One with a lot of cash, too. I’m happy they found the great places to eat in such varied spots as Downtown, Venice, Hollywood and Mid-City (and I’m happy for the restaurateurs and club owners, that they’re successful, really, that is an accomplishment).
But the overall impression you get from their story/review is of a city rich, laidback and carefree – of course, Los Angeles has that Entourage-y aspect. But that’s not the norm. The norm is that it’s a very difficult city in many respects: financially, socially, employment-wise, ecologically challenged, a diverse place but not without that tension.
There’s an incredible number of homeless people in the enormous city who don’t get to patronize these establishments. And, as it is the city of the car culture, there are many people who live in their cars. I’m not sure if that means they’re homeless or not – as a car is a roof over one’s head, I guess, technically. I come across a surprising number of people sleeping in their cars on my early morning walks. It never fails to startle me.
That’s what I flashed on – the homeless, in cars or on the streets – in the part of the story where they mentioned the daily celebrity sightings downtown – I mean, OK, really? I’m not sure what celebs they’re seeing down there (though I know “Mad Men” is shot on downtown stages) but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. So if you see an actor or two you don’t see the thousands of desperately poor around you? I’m not sure what kind of person has that lack of filter.
Which leads me to the competing story: