I’m sorry, Los Angeles, you let me down. I was braced for the snooty girls with too much foundation, the endless stop-and-go traffic; I had prepared myself for the extra effort it would take to meet people. But I was not ready for the overwhelming isolation and inaccessibility of steamy urban sprawl. Apparently a good portion of an Angeleno’s life is spent alone, in a car, with Ray Bans on and the windows rolled up — a little bubble of A/C and self-adoration and Foster the People [“Pumped Up Kicks” came on the radio for the first time as I merged onto the Hollywood Freeway and played every half hour for the next two months – it will forever be my LA soundtrack]. When I tried to meet people — I even crashed a bike shop party sans bike — the dialogue died soon after the exchange, “I’m new and don’t know anyone,” “You could go to Silverlake — it’s pretty cool.”
After living in San Francisco for two years, I was accustomed to walking out my front door with a couple bucks for the bus and having the entire city at my disposal. Don’t like the people or the stores or the weather? Walk a few blocks and find something new. Striking up a conversation was as easy as a smile and a “hey.” You didn’t have to wear your Sunday best to go to the grocery store . . .
Sure, if the landing was a little softer — if I knew a couple people down there — it might have been ok. But I feel no shame in saying that even if things fell into place and the situation felt livable, LA probably just isn’t my style.
So I’m back! And what’s next? Sit tight — the new internship starts tomorrow!