As a New Yorker, spending time in LA is always such a trip. The two cities are wildly different, from modes of transportation to conversations about transportation to how one takes their kale. Since arriving last week, I’ve quickly adapted to the ways of the Angelenos. Some of them I dig (smoothies), some of them I’m on the fence about (using the word “dig” more than once in a 5-minute period—out loud). All of my observations, however, seem to support several common clichés about the City of Angels, which I’ve organized into a nice little list. Enjoy, dude. Then discuss!
- They’re Not players, They Just Crush A Lot. Of produce, that is. Specifically into juices and smoothies. And they’re all about adding spirulina and flax seed and chia seed for health or immune benefits. The other day I attempted to make my own fruit-n-veggie concoction based on a general list of ingredients at a cafe (awesomely called Literati), and the result was way mixed…up. According to my friend Lauren (a New York-to-LA transplant), adding carrot was my mistake. She claims mixing orange and green isn’t wise. But how does one figure out the best flavor combos without the risk of wasting $8 and several trips to the toilet for the next 12 hours? Also, $6 for a shot? That’s two subway rides and a better-tasting everything bagel! On the smoothie tip, I’ve had one a day since arriving. I’m not sure if it’s because I came down with a cold so it feels nice on my throat, or if the chilled, blended mixture of kooky things like dates and almonds and mint and coconut milk is just so delicious in the warm Cali sun, but I dig, which brings me to…
- They Dig, Dude. We’ve all heard about Valley Girl Speak—like, right? I mean, totally—but I’m not staying in the valley, so I can’t vouch for that cliché. The word “dig,” on the other hand, seems to be common in LA, from Silver Lake to Santa Monica. I’ve been known to use the verb as a way to express admiration myself, but more so in the written form and never—never—in the past tense. I took a yoga class the other day and the teacher used the word three times too many. Did I, ahem, dig his class, though? Yes, yes, I did. In fact…
- LA Yogis are For Serious. Despite everyone being obsessed with handstands and wearing jewelry to class (distracting, no?), the classes in LA have a real sense of wholeness and authenticity to them. That’s not to say they don’t in New York—believe me, there are some terrific instructors who lead spiritually uplifting and challenging practices and I can attest to their power first-hand—but I truly get the sense that yogis here really do take what they practice on the mat into their daily life, which ain’t an easy task. Try finding peace when all you see are brake lights leaving the Greek Theater after a concert—a nice segue into No. 4…
- Driving is Life. If you haven’t seen the SNL “Californian’s” skit, you must. It’s so spot on. No matter the topic, time or place, every conversation with people who live here inevitably comes around to driving—how one got some place, how one is getting home, how long it took, how another route might be better, etc. It’s exhausting! But I also get that it’s how they all survive and relate.
While us New Yorkers won’t necessarily spend too much time explaining our mode of transport, you can be sure we’ll complain ’til we turn Big Apple Red that the L isn’t running or the F terminated at Jay Street. Thankfully, though, we’re lucky to be able to rely on our own two feet to get around, which is pretty much unheard of in these parts. Oh and we’ve got those awesome new CitiBikes, which was admittedly the topic of many-a-New York-conversation this summer. (“Did you get an annual membership?!” “Yes! It’s such a good deal.” “I know! Total spin city.”)
- Kale is King. The kale revolution is in full effect in NYC too, but they take it to whole other level here in LA. So far, I’ve had kale in smoothies, juices, a hand pie, a quinoa bowl and I’m pretty sure there may have been a leaf on my veggie pizza.
So there you have it. Some observations and musings on LA living. To conclude, I will leave you with a Haiku:
Blending dates, almonds and kale
Namaste—do you dig?
Oh woe the 405