Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Los Angeles has been gripped by a heat wave. This is not news.

I must amend that statement. It's not "news" in that this is obviously not new information to anyone who's been paying attention to the actual "news" (ie, the media.) Yes, temperatures are soaring into the triple digits and rolling blackouts may be imminent and my GOD what to do without central air, but COME ON. This is Southern California. We live in a desert.

I actually find myself enjoying the heat. I can put on my little boy "tightie whities" (sp?) and my wifebeater tank and drink white wine and pat myself down with a towel ala "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Doesn't the heat just scream dirty sex and martinis and going without underwear?

Just think of all the sweat glistening off tan, pert thighs... Is it just me?

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Jaded Generation

These past few days I've been having an interesting email back-and-forth with a wonderfully insightful fellow blogger
on the topic of the so-called "hipster." A hipster in this sense broadly defined to mean any urban twenty or thirtysomething who views themselves as apart from the mainstream (whether it's because they have tattoos/do drugs/listen to indie music/wear ironic bandanas, whatever.) By definition, these people would be called the "counterculture."

So does that mean that the 2006 hipster is our generation's version of the hippie/beatnik/flapper/ of yesteryear? That the guy sauntering down Rivington in his ironic bandana whilst listening to Art Brut on his ipod is in the same league as the civil rights crusaders, suffragettes, and abolitionists - all of whom also spurned the mainstream?

Sure, today's hipsters talk a lot about how they're SO against the Iraq war, and that absolutely gays should be allowed to marry, and how Hurricane Katrina showed just how devastating America's poverty problem really is. But last I checked, most of these people were NOT quitting their jobs to volunteer in New Orleans or petitioning their congressmen or marching on Washington. Hell, they could hardly even be bothered to vote. I mean, come on, there's Sparks to drink, and eyeliner to artfully smudge and music to turn up their noses to. (And what do you mean, they don't care? They just wore their ironic anti-GW tshirt yesterday!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

... but I'm JEALOUS of people with green eyes!

Jealousy. Is there any other emotion quite as toxic?

There's a kind of strength in anger; a dignity in despair. Sadness always bubbles just under the surface of compassion, often as the flipside to love or joy. But jealousy resides inside the lowest, meanest, dirtiest part of ourselves. As an emotion, it's where we humans become truly hateful.

Because we're only jealous of others when we hate something about ourselves. It's so much easier to turn an envious eye towards others' happiness, success, beauty, etc. than to cast that eye upon ourselves. And who can deny that sometimes it can be fun to revel in jealousy, to let yourself go that dirty place and slide around in the muck? Come on, admit it... we all just need to feel mean sometimes. And jealousy makes it safe; the only person we're being mean to is ourselves.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What I miss about New York

I lived in New York for three years. I moved there in June of 2000. The dotcom bubble had yet to burst, the Democrats still controlled the country and “Sex and the City” was the show of the moment. It was a charmed time, and New York was the epicenter of it all – a place where jobs were handed out like candy and the cosmopolitans flowed until dawn. Every 23 year old I knew was talking about bonuses and stock options, company Christmas parties in Miami and Friday afternoon beer pong tournaments in the office sanctioned by the 29 year old CEO. So confident was I in the power of New York that I got on the plane from Los Angeles with no job and no apartment, certain that the city would take care of me, which it did. Within two weeks, I had a job at a boutique PR firm (complete with yearly bonus, summer Friday schedule, and boss w/a coke connection), an apartment in up-and-coming Park Slope, and a charge card at Bloomingdales.

It was wonderful those first few months. I felt like Annie when she first descended upon Daddy Warbucks' mansion. I ate Thai food almost every day. I did lots of ecstasy and ordered from and was there for the birth of vodka and redbull and when all the cool restaurants were serving nouveau comfort food.

Then I was there when everyone subsequently lost their jobs. The 2000 election debacle. September 11th. Anthrax lurking in every envelope; our receptionist sorting our mail with gloves on. What sounded like fighter jets constantly overhead. Sitting on the subway, heart racing and scared out of my mind because the lights had gone out. Bad coke that tasted like dirt and made my throat hurt for days. Moving to an apartment smaller than my college dorm room and running my credit card bill up past $10k. Getting laid off (and learning that company loyalty is not always rewarded.)

But even when it was raining, my coffee guy was there and he always had my order ready (medium w/ cream and sugar) when he saw me coming. The woman who ran my drycleaner opened her own Chinese bakery and it was my dollar she proudly displayed to represent her first sale (a delicious fig cookie.) And when one evening, I hailed a cabbie to take me back to Brooklyn and subsequently realized I had no money, asked him to take me to an ATM and then found that the citys' ATMs were all inexplicably "down" (blackout preview?), he still took me home and waited while I ran inside for a check - finally telling me in broken English, "If I had a daughter, I'd want someone to do the same for her" - I realized - it's not New York, the city, that creates the magic, it's all these people.

That's what I miss.

Friday, July 07, 2006

it's all relative

OK, I'm really pissed off. Right now, I can drive half a block and buy multiple bottles of liquor and several packs of cigarettes, and if I'm lucky, the man behind the counter will ask me for my ID and I will demur and feel flattered, harkening back to when I was 17 and wielding my fake Alvarado street license and was thrilled to be the one who brought back the Boone's Farm so we could all do shots in the park to the tune of Bush's "Glycerine."

But why the fuck can I not buy an 8 ball and an ounce of pot and a few tablets of e instead of this pint of Stoli? No reason. It's all relative. Who decided this?

LA or NY?

Los Angeles or New York? Because I’ve lived in both cities, I often get asked which one I like better. It’s a well-worn debate, and many people have a very distinct preference for one over the other, but I can never answer the question. For me it’s impossible to compare the two; they are so vastly different in every way. How can I weigh the pleasures of a drive down PCH at sunset against a walk through Central Park just as the leaves have started to fall? Or choose which is worse – the 10 freeway at 6pm or the 4 train at 9am?

I live in Los Angeles now, and in some ways, I guess that is me making a choice. Los Angeles is where I grew up, and I love the weather and my car and the Mexican food and the fact that my family is here, and when I lived in New York I found myself missing it. I’ve resigned New York to my past – a place I’ll always love but will never live in again. But I just returned from a weekend back in the city and was reminded of all the little things that make New York great - things that LA can never duplicate - and I find myself feeling this little tickle in the back of my brain that maybe New York really IS better in some quantifiable way.