Hi Ladies!

I’m a city girl. Always have been. I grew up in Boston right in the city and started taking the subway when I was 13. I love cities. I love New York! I love Paris! I love Buenos Aires! And I love L.A.! Most of the time.

The best hike ever!

I will always be a New England gal and the east coast will always be my first love. I never thought I would wind up in L.A. and sure as hell never thought I would wind up in the OC!!!! But this is why I always say to people “Never say never.”

When I moved to L.A. from NYC, there were things I both loved and hated about it. I hated that you couldn’t just walk out your door and be in the scene with everything in your reach within a few blocks. I hated that you couldn’t call the deli in the morning and have them deliver a fried egg sandwich in 20 minutes. I hated that the bars close at 2 a.m. (I don’t mind now that I am an old lady but then it was pretty tough). It took me forever to figure out that I could leave stuff in my car for use later. Like gym clothes. I would drive to work and then curse myself that I didn’t have my gym stuff to go to the gym after work. What’s that you say? I can leave stuff in my car? What a new and amazing concept!! When I think back to my NYC days and how I would get up, pack up my gym bag and clothes for work, walk 10 blocks to the gym, workout, and then shower and go directly to work, well, I am amazed that I did it. And more than once.

It is easy to be lazy in L.A., and even easier to be lazy in the OC. If I have to park more than 15 feet from a store, I get irritated. I’ve come a long way from walking 15 blocks in New York in heels to go to dinner without even thinking about it! The people at the grocery store look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I don’t need help carrying 2 big bags of groceries out to my car. They can’t imagine anyone doing that. Well, back in NY, I would carry about 4 big bags of groceries about 10 blocks. No biggie.

Times have changed. And now that I live in the OC, I feel like I can properly reflect my L.A. days and really assess what I miss and don’t miss:

I MISS:

HIKING with my friends in Griffith Park and Runyan and Fryman. Where I live is totally flat and the nearest hike is about a 30 minute drive away. Of course, now I walk every morning along the beach so I really should shut the hell up!

HOLLYWOOD PARTIES – meeting random celebrities as if it is nothing and actually hanging out with them like they are, well, people.

Me and Peter Gallagher

 

Me and Shirley Maclaine

 

CULTURE & DIVERSITY – I thought going from NY to L.A. was like going into a cultural wasteland. Well, my friends, try going from L.A. to the OC! I have never seen so many plain, boring white people in my life! If I see one more old dude in a Hawaiian shirt….

And there is no culture here. Sorry but it’s true. The local rendition of “Les Miserables” is just that – Miserable. At least L.A. has the Getty and LACMA and some decent theater. It’s not New York, but it’s decent. The surfer culture in the OC. helps a bit. Seeing the hot guys with their boards cushions the blow. 😉

I love the Getty!

EXCITING NIGHTLIFE – Just wait a week and there will be another new restaurant popping up in L.A. Or a new bar, or café. Something to go check out. And the vibe is usually cool and the food is decent or pretty damn good. And who doesn’t feel fabulous at the Polo Lounge or Barneys Greengrass or KOI? The OC, well…… it sucks. Most of the food choices are chain restaurants, or little local restaurants that do a so/so job on the food and don’t have anything exciting going on. And I refuse to EVER go to an Olive Garden, or a Claim Jumper, or a Chili’s. It is downright depressing the amount of chain restaurants and malls in the OC. It makes me nervous. Dining in the OC is family-central with lots of kids and not so much pizazz. I don’t mind it so much now that I am an old married lady.

Many good times at the Polo Lounge

 

COOL PEOPLE – At least L.A. has people who are trying to be hip and express themselves with a unique flair. The OC is….well just go watch the “Real Housewives of the OC” and you will see what I mean. Lots of blondes, fake boobs, tight clothing. I can’t believe the bimbos I see wandering around the OC with their chest popping out of their tops. I guess the guys like it. Whatever.

WHAT I DON’T MISS ABOUT L.A.:

TRAFFIC – Duh. I know. EVERYONE knows. But it’s true. Getting from one part of Hollywood to a short distance takes a lifetime and I recall gripping the wheel thinking of a million things that I could be doing rather than sit there and be frustrated. I used to live near the Hollywood Bowl and summer traffic was downright gruesome. In the OC, it’s easy breezy. Sure there can be some traffic on the PCH at high noon in the summer on a Saturday, but it’s a cakewalk compared to L.A.

INSTITUTIONS – Going to the post office, or DMV, or anything along those lines in L.A. brought you to a whole underworld of disgusting people. It’s just plain gross. Everyone is irritated, and annoyed and mean. I remember going to jury duty in downtown L.A. and seriously fearing for my life. It was right out of the scene from “Trading Places” when Penelope goes to bail out Dan Akroyd’s character in “Trading Places.” Go watch it again. You will laugh your ass off and know what I mean. Pretty unsavory characters at these places. But in the OC? The DMV was a pleasure! The post office is a pure delight!!! The police station? Gorgeous!! Sure, there were long lines as usual, but the places were clean and the people so courteous.

PAIN IN THE….. Doing errands sometimes in L.A. was a total pain in the ass. Trying to find parking at the Whole Foods on Fairfax is like trying to find a kidney donor. And forget about going to Starbucks or Coffee Bean. I STILL can’t believe that people wait in those damn lines and everyone has an order which is a short essay – I want a half-calf, no foam, one scoop of vanilla, no sugar caramel machiatto – and I like long walks on the beach….And the people? So many posers and wannabes, it can drive you crazy. Everyone thinks they are somebody in L.A. and they will do anything to prove it.

The HB Post Office hasn't changed much – I love that!

 

But in the OC? The line at the Starbucks in Huntington Beach CAN get long, but no way near as bad as L.A. And the grocery store, Whole Foods, malls, etc? As long as it;’s not near Christmas, you are fine and good to go! Plus, the people in the OC overall are very low-key. People dress casual, there’s no reason to pretend you are a producer or director because everyone KNOWS you would be in L.A. if you were. I find most people in the OC very approachable and friendly. (Disclaimer – this does not apply to Fashion Island or South Coast Plaza where it is a poser convention every weekend and enough fake obnoxious women for you to want to go postal – I avoid these places as much as possible).

NEIGHBORS – I did love my neighbors in L.A. but let’s face it – city living is city living and my apartment was noisy. I heard my neighbor walking around upstairs all the time. And the guy down the hall was one of those euro dudes who smoked, which meant that the hall smelled like a grunge bar at all times. And the apartment before that? I didn’t know my neighbors at all and feared that the white trash across from me might hurt me. In the OC, I LOVE my neighbors. Everyone is so nice. Everyone has a bike and a dog and maybe a kid or two. Besides the barking dog people, it’s a pretty damn great place to be!

THE WEATHER – It is amazing how just being one hour away from L.A. is a world of difference when it comes to the weather! L.A. in the summer is pretty hot and the air can just cling there, like dirt on a screen. Not so great. The weather in the OC is gorgeous! The air quality is a million times better and the summers are perfect.

THE NOISE – L.A. always had noise. Not as bad as New York but I could hear traffic, sirens, neighbors, etc. In the OC, it is Sooooooo quiet. I sleep like a baby. Our street is like a ghost town at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. And that’s fine by me!!

I Heart Huntington Beach!!

 

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE GOOD AND BAD NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE. FOR ME, WHEREVER MY HUSBAND IS AT IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR ME!