Five Reasons To Love LA

12 Apr

New York needs no explanation; you don’t have to quantify all the reasons that New York deserves your devotion, it just does because it just is.  Los Angeles is a trickier bird, a big, broad, spread out, gaudy mess of highways always snarled in traffic and areas that seem like an art installation called “Tacky And Unfabulous.”  But there are reasons to love Los Angeles.  Here are five.

1. Random Storefront Churches everywhere.

For every time you see one all locked up, you drive by one and catch a glimpse of the believers, sweaty and focused, hear a snippet of some sermon and just as quickly as you catch it, you drive away.  Some of them are hispanic and therefore likely Catholic, but there are Korean ones that have amazing names like The Great Light Revelation Church.

2. Actual Diversity

(photo above is of LA band West Indian Girl) Other cities have diversity, but few cities actively require their citizens to mix.  Great bars in Koreatown, great food in the Hasidic neighborhoods, music in South LA, and the big mess that is any Dodger game — basically you have to get out of your small world in order to appreciate Los Angeles, and in order to live here you better appreciate it.  Yes, there are people who exist in a Trader Joe’s/Runyon Canyon/Beachwood triangle, and who probably don’t see much of LA or its diversity but they don’t love Los Angeles.  They love their neighborhood.  Totally different.

3. Indie 103.1:

We didn’t even know they were coming, just found some idiot with an English accent mumbling about this Pixies song he had just played.  Tired of the world music of KCRW and unable to handle the Dude Rock of 106.7, Indie 103 started out so independent that the very whisper of support from Clear Channel almost drove them under.  Yes, they have screwed up — notably firing Dicky Barrett from his great morning show for some ridiculous thought crime — and they have some weird shows I don’t love (not a big Native Wayne fan) but when you can turn on your radio on a Friday night and hear a deep cut from Stop Making Sense and when Vampire Weekend is replaced by Airborne Toxic Event who are replaced by Does It Offend You, Yeah in quick and unpretentious succession, you know you have a reason to ignore the traffic and enjoy radio again.

4. Michael Cimarusti (Providence and LA Mill):

Cimarusti loves his job, he loves fish, he loves eating, he loves restaurants.  His food remains innovative and edible, a rare combination in the weird culinary world of Los Angeles which clings to inedble trends.  His new place, LA Mill is as different from Providence as it could be with one lovely exception: the clam fritters.

5. The Arclight.

In much of America here is how you see a movie.  Find a movie, buy tickets online or wait online, get there early, split up the job of saving seats and getting popcorn, find seats, get annoyed by the sticky floors, suck down a massive soda that tastes like crap and then watch fourteen minutes of ads before the trailers start.

Not at the Arclight.  Drive in, get validated, present your printed at home tickets with your seats reserved, buy popcorn but also fancy snacks, or if you are going to their over 21 screenings, get a beer or wine or other tasty adult cocktail, go to your clean seat, with a clean floor, with tons of leg room, and then watch a few trailers before your movie starts on time.  Even if the kids who introduce the movie are spastic, you have the added benefit of seeing the film with people who actually want to see the film — no texting, no talking and god forbid there is a hair on the projector or a dip in the sound — someone will fix it and fix it fast and apologize profusely.  If you’re going to spend $20/person to see a movie it should feel like you paid to see the movie, not stress about seeing a movie.

One Response to “Five Reasons To Love LA”

  1. MR April 14, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    So you know how when something (or someone) is awesome, when they do even the smallest thing that you don’t like, it’s the worst thing ever? Indie 103 broadcasting a Brent Bolthouse/Danny Masterson Douchestravaganza show on their air frighteningly often is one of those things.

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