This post is pretty special to me, as it's been exactly one year since I've returned to New York City.
I recently returned from a week in California: I took a 36 hour road trip to Yosemite with my best friend, had a 5 hour "moment" in LA, and drove off to Indio for the Desert Trip festival. I started this post almost one year ago when I moved back to New York from LA, and I'm finally getting around to it (I wanted to test what I really missed aside from Waba Grill teriyaki bowls and the ice cream truck in my East Hollywood neighborhood that played La Cucaracha). Needless to say, the things I missed didn't change at all. I've experienced New York life before so I had a decent idea of the differences in lifestyle. I knew the little things that made me excited in California because they weren't anywhere else. Ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu, my personal "10 things you miss about Los Angeles when you move to New York":
1. The weather. Yes, this is the most obvious answer, and for obvious reasons. When I thought about writing this post, it was almost a year ago during the wintertime. I figured I was just being a baby about the cold, but now it's October and I'm equally as uncomfortable as I was then.
First, winter is a miserable experience, this is undeniable once you've worn your favorite sandals all January in LA. When you have patio seating year-round. When a beach day in November is normal. When everyone Snapchats the same beautiful sunset at least once a week. There are the few and far between psychopaths that claim they "like winter", but think about those people - just for just a moment - and you'll realize that this friend of yours has always been a little off.
Second, the humidity is a REAL thing here. Sure, summertime is fun and games, but it's rarely just a comfortable sunny day in New York. The sun is either reflecting so intensely off the skyscrapers that it blinds you and you walk into traffic (for real), and 10 minutes later a violent black clouds roll in and it's all of a sudden a severe thunderstorm. Then as you run to the train, you end up stuck underground for 45 minutes sweating all your makeup off. The diversity is nice, but I think I'd rather have 75 degrees and sunny every single day. Did I mention the humidity? The sweat? I was reminded every moment I stepped outside this summer.
2. The poké shortage. Let me start by telling you that this is one of my favorite foods. My obsession with raw tuna is more than likely going to lead me to mercury poisoning - but at least I'll die happy. In LA, poké is everywhere. It was a fad for a moment, but the 15 minutes of fame have passed and you can access your local bowl of fresh fish and scrumptious toppings without a ridiculous wait. In New York, poké is a brand new fad. I'm clearly not the only one that wants a piece of this pie - lines wrap around the block for this stuff. The good news? Entrepreneurs are getting the point and poké spots seem to be popping up everywhere. Maybe the line at Ippudo will be shorter because of the poké fad? I'm going to give this one a try.
3. Getaways. The absolute number one thing I miss about living in LA is getting out of LA. Not only was it easy (just hop in your car and go), but the west coast was in the palm of your hands. Within a couple of hours you could hit Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, even Mexico. Want to make a weekend out of it? Vegas, Yosemite, Big Sur, San Francisco, even the Grand Canyon were at your fingertips. Weekend trips out of New York City leave much to be desired coming from the West Coast. Last winter a guy invited me to "the mountains". I had minimal expectations - I knew it wasn't going to be the landscape of Yosemite, but the view was literally a small hill in the distance. It was a little endearing, the poor guy was all like, "SEE that mountains out there?!!!!", and I tried to play along but it shamelessly came off as sarcasm. Aside from the disappointment in terrain, depending on public transportation is never a good idea and renting a car is always a pain in the ass and full of liability. Lastly, finding a good adventure partner is always the hard part for me - everybody always has something better to do (like a mansion in the Hamptons or a rooftop in TriBeCa). Homegirl just needs a little fresh air, a Waffle House, and a field to run in.
4. Cruising. Wether you were in your own car with the windows down or in the Uber that was a third of the price compared to New York, it just felt better.
5. The Beach. Wait, there's a beach here? Do people actually go? Oh... yeah. Everyone does. Forget about surfing, jumping off of rocks like the beauties at El Matador, or simply finding a spot for your blanket. Or as we say, fuggedaboutit.
6. My friends. It's never easy being the new kid in town, and the older you get, the more people are set in their ways, their routines, their circles, and their lives. It's hard to really find your place when you have to start from scratch. In LA, it took falling hard - right on my face - to pick myself up and allow myself to open up to new people. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I met the most unforgettable friends that I still stay in touch with on a regular basis, some everyday. Social media (cough, Snapchat, cough) absolutely helps this situation. The truth is though - making friends is hard to do. And I still consider my best friends to be on the other side of the country.
7. Mexican food. You just can't trust it here. (Update: Chilo's in Bed-Stuy is giving taco trucks a little hope).
8. Grocery shopping. Three reasons. 1. Groceries were cheaper. Produce, healthy shit, everything. Markets were everywhere, street vendors with delicious fresh fruit, all of it. 2. Have you tried to carry twice your weight in groceries 5 blocks uphill while still trying to look cool in headphones and internally convincing yourself that having a car still wasn't worth it? 3. The line at Trader Joe's. If you don't know, God bless.
9. Nobody thought you were a crazy, high maintenance, entitled snob when you asked for almond milk in your latte. IT JUST TASTES BETTER! Fine. I drink my coffee black now. Like my soul. And all of my clothes. Thanks, New York.
10. Avocados. Bougainvilleas. The desert. Wearing distressed denim to work. The purple trees in May. Not having to fly across the country for Coachella. Rosé year round. Better ice cream options. Hiking. The PCH. Palm trees. UGH, I'll stop there.
Here are some favorite memories from my time in LA: