05 - 4/4/21
I must start by asking any viewers to pardon me for missing yesterday's post. I spent the day on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, the subject of this blog post.
I live in L.A. For most things, it is an excellent city: it has a great climate, wonderful people, idyllic scenery, and (objectively) the best food scene in the United States. But despite these boons, I don't think that I would ever raise a child here. I've lived my whole life in Los Angeles, yes, but my mom, an actress, occasionally works in New York City, where I very often join her. As a result, I have had exposure to that city in a deeper way than just as some tourist marveling at Broadway. And for some reason, I always feel more at home there than I do here.
Maybe part of it is just my personal spirit. I like walking; I hate driving. I like spontaneity. I love the cold. Of course, it is possible that I developed this spirit in direct contrast to living in L.A.
But I think there is something deeper about the two cities which makes one better than the other for kids (and young adults). New York is far more centralized than Los Angeles. What do I mean? The sheer verticality of the city makes distance between places feel like nothing, especially compared to the vast sprawl that is L.A. Even getting from one side of town to the other, or from one borough to another, is as simple as hopping on the train. In Los Angeles, if you want to do something, even something as menial as heading to the supermarket, you need to plan. Going out becomes a task, rather than just a part of the life of the home. But in New York, going out is as easy as stepping out of the door. Within a few blocks are everything needed to survive.
I marvel, when I visit the big apple, how so many people in the city are able to recognize and remember others' faces. It seems that every couple of blocks I find someone greeting someone else seemingly at random, and every more couple of blocks I find somebody who I myself know.
My school has very little spirit. Aside from the basketball teams, which are some of the best in the state, crowds of events are rarely populated by anyone other than parents. Of course, I don't expect that in New York, everyone is showing up to everything, but I imagine that the fact that the choice to stay or go can be made every time. In L.A, the only kids who are able to choose freely their activities are those who have their licenses and a car, but in N.Y. anyone with a metro card can get around safely and easily.
Of course, I don't mean anything by this post. Certainly the cities, or the schools inside of them, aren't going to change. And I don't imagine that any prospective parents will take the word of a teenager on the internet about which city to move to. I just merely want to reflect on something interesting I've noticed, and try to formulate what I believe into proper words.