When I first declared to my New York friends that I was moving to Los Angeles, I'm sure many were shocked. Saddened. Happy. Surprised.
"Why would you want to move there?" they asked.
LA, after all, is known for its beautiful weather, eternal sunshine and fake, plastic people.
It's no secret than New Yorkers have a secret dislike for all things Los Angeles. San Francisco? Not so much. But Los Angeles? After all, how can you take seriously a city nicknamed "la la land" or known for its "California dreaming?"
Yet, I read articles like this http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-obama-jobs8-2009oct08,0,7931005.story and yet my friends in LA say "don't worry, things will get better".
And I'd like to believe them. Really I would.
However, having such blind optimism - I'm not quite sure what good that will do me.
I mean, how long can you stay living in a city that has the highest unemployment rate in 70 years. 70 years! Ok, so I'm not sure if that was for all of CA or just Los Angeles. I believe it's not just LA that's messed up but the ENTIRE state.
So is the glass really half full? Perhaps. Things could get better. And they will. But this is definitely the worse recession I've seen in my life and from the looks of most LA city streets and "for lease" signs, it appears more like a depression to me than a recession.
Yet, all the information points to the glass being half empty. And I certainly am increasingly afraid of staying here and being swallowed up by either a horrible earthquake, one of the 93 million fires that rages here every day, a mudside or god forbid, a tsunami.
And sure, I know, nowhere in the U.S. or world are you safe from natural disasters. The east coast and Florida have hurricanes. The midwest has tornadoes. The south has hurricanes and drought. Oh yeah and LA has the mother of all natural disaster combos - the fire, earthquake, mudslide, tsunami and now drought seasons.
So I'm sorry to all you cheerful Californians. I'm really trying to hang on. Hang on for hope. For a sign. Any sign that our economy is improving.
But so far, well, I'm not convinced.
And from what I've read, this state is worse of than almost any in the country. But at least the weather is nice.
Ironic to me that in LA, it's so warm out, yet people are so chilly. Yet NY is so cold, yet people are so warm. Hmmm.
I know it's not socially acceptable to talk about "negative" things in this city. Or expression any negative thought at all.
But what if I'm not being negative?
What if things are bad. And going to continue to get worse?
What if I'm just facing reality?
La la land indeed.
Now I think I know where the city gets its name.
But don't worry.
I'll be out of your hair soon and can return to my east coast roots.
Where it's still socially acceptable to complain.
And I don't have to pretend.