“When it’s 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles.
When it’s 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72.
However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York,
and only 72 in Los Angeles.” — Neil Simon
WARNING! THE CONFESSION I’M ABOUT TO MAKE IS VULGAR, OFFENSIVE, AND HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE:
Over spring break, I experienced L.A. for the first time…and I didn’t hate it.
If, like me, you were born and raised in one of the five boroughs, you understand why I’m mildly horrified that I wasn’t immediately repulsed by the hilly, tawdry, irritating clusterfuck that is Los Angeles. If, alternately, you don’t understand why my affection for LA is so problematic, let me explain:
We native New Yorkers have a fierce allegiance to our city. We’re allowed to “love” Paris or Florence or Barcelona insofar as we might love to visit, but as hardline New Yorkers, the City is where we’re from and where we always intend to go. We’re not, however, allowed to love (or even like) LA. Because, as Simon said, while our hometown is overcrowded with smart, diverting personalities, LA is overcrowded with vacuous, hollow shells who think it’s OK to pair an Armani suit with a Lakers snapback and skateboard to brunch (I’m not exactly quoting him here, but I’m, like, 98% sure that’s what he was getting at). Any self-respecting New Yorker rejects that to which she or he is superior, see? So, as someone who intends to have her ashes scattered across Fifth Avenue, I was highly disturbed to find myself thinking: shit, I think I love it here.
But, shit. I did. I loved it. I found it fun and sprightly and utterly tacky. The people are completely cockeyed and garish and, apparently, content living in a fucking air vent if it means they can continue driving their Autobiography Black. And even though two-thirds of them are hopelessly clinging onto expired pipe dreams of stardom, they’re palpably less stressed than New Yorkers. They’re (literally) just chilling, sipping on green tea boba at Urth, enjoying the agonizingly pleasant weather with no discernible intent to go to work. As the oft-disenchanted (but forever beholden) product of a New York City private school, I think I could kick it (for a while).
Having half-reconciled my unpredicted affinity for LA, I boarded my flight disappointed only by the fact that my celebrity sightings in California had started and ended with Madison from Million Dollar Listing. But then, like a parting “LOL, FUCK YOU” from the Los Angelean gods, a sign that some pygmy part of me really does belong in LA: I saw Kristen Wiig. Like, either the girl wearing a neon cheetah-print top and Jeffrey Campbell knockoffs at my gate spiked my Starbucks with the same hallucinogens she was wearing when she got dressed earlier that morning, or I actually saw Kristin Wiig — Kristen fucking Wiig — sitting in first class on my plane. Naturally, when we landed five hours later, I hauled ass to baggage claim in what I anticipated would be an unsuccessful attempt to talk to/fall in love with/stare at her for a few more seconds. I don’t have any photo evidence, but when I arrived, there she was: Kristen Wiig, waiting for her bags among the Nameless like the beautiful, humble, divine being She is. Palms sweaty, knees weak, I approached her:
“I know this is totally tacky, but can I get a picture with you?”
“Oh, hey! Actually, I’d rather not take a picture right now; I just got off a flight and feel gross. But can I give you a hug?”
And she did. She gave me the most sensational hug I’ve ever gotten, asked me about my trip, and called me “adorable” as I drooled over her.
“I was just thinking how it sucked that I didn’t see anyone cool in LA when I spotted you on the plane and stared you down for a good thirty seconds before I registered: holy shit, that’s Kristen Wiig!”
“Aw! Well, I hope I qualify,” she responded in that very particular, weird, kind of self-deprecating Kristen Wiig voice (that goes a long with a little “shucks!” hand gesture) that you would recognize if you’ve seen Bridesmaids as many times as I have.
If you’re reading this, Kristen (and/or who — after extensive Googling — I’ve deduced was her ravishing assistant, Sheryl, who laughed as I assaulted her boss with flattery), it’s decidedly your fault that I returned to New York convinced that I will, one day, have a semi-permanent love affair with LA. You’re everything, and meeting you was not only a perfect pleasure, but also an irrefutable intimation.
I’ll say now it with the very same appetite with which I’ve said it before: I fucking bleed New York. She’s my steady. My ride or die. My bottom bitch. My bride. So, please: don’t tell her that LA could get it.