So…you ever been to LA? (part of a series)

Hey all, am on a road trip and using it as a vehicle to find out what the rest of the country thinks of LA, us and the city I LOVE to call home.

A little bit of background on today’s entry. I was in Las Vegas to celebrate my cousin Paul’s 30th birthday and met some really nice people. Paul is a So Cal native, born and raised behind the Orange Curtain, went to Wharton College and chose to live in Los Angeles when it was time to leave New England.

The real story lies in his friends I met at the party. A nice mix of east coast and west coast. One in particular that I got to spend a bit of time with is “Tex” a Houston Native who went to Wharton with Paul. During the conversation I learned quite a few things.

“Tex” after graduation decided to stay back east. He had visited Los Angeles before and liked some elements of it but in the end chose NYC as his home. When asked “have you ever been to LA before” he answered yes and enjoyed his visits, A LOT.

I asked “Why chose NYC over LA”. He answered, with out hesitation…”NYC is so diverse, so compact there is so much I can do in 3 blocks from where I live. LA is diverse too, but the sprawl is as bad as Houston. Worse, people in LA are all about what they are wearing and how you dress dictates how you are treated and where you can go”.

Wow. The sprawl comparision and wanting to escape makes sense. If we ever get around to a mass transit formula we can live with the sprawl would be a non-issue. The wardrobe, appearance is everything they say. Are we truly that shallow that an outsider can make the distinction that how he is treated is based on his wardrobe? What you say on the topic? Food for thought at least.

Future entries will have a picture or two of the folks I talk with. Next stop Beaver UT where the state run booze shop closes at 6pm and you can’t even get grey poupon over the counter as its made with white wine….

CategoriesLA

17 Replies to “So…you ever been to LA? (part of a series)”

  1. Well, it depends. When I go over to the Westside, it matters how your wardrobe is, but other than that, nope.

  2. “people in LA are all about what they are wearing and how you dress dictates how you are treated and where you can go”

    After fourteen years in LA, I’m pretty convinced that people with this sort of view are simply projecting. Indeed, if you want to be accepted by the circles of highly fashionable types and culture snobs, you’re going to encounter the above. But Los Angeles as a whole is one of the most accepting communities I know of.

  3. I live on the westside, B, and have never had a problem with my wardrobe. Is there some checkpoint I don’t know about?

  4. Once I wrote a joke that the action I got on a date in LA was determined by how much money I had in my wallet. So with $27 we were eating fish tacos and I was only getting some heavy petting.

    Yeah, I think the clothing thing counts on the Westside.

  5. If when you are on the Westside you head straight for, say, the Armani Exchange on Third Street Promenade, then you will be judged by what you wear. I wonder if Tex was referring to that type of scene. There are lots of places on the Westside which are not like that. I think Sawtelle, Santa Monica Boulevard by the Nu Art, Main Street in Santa Monica, Palms, and Pico Boulevard are very nice.

  6. Nitpicks from a former temporary East-Coaster: The Wharton School (not “Wharton College”) is in Philadelphia, which is not in New England. New England consists of the six states east/northeast of New York. Or did you mean to imply that your friend lived in New England after graduating from Wharton…?

    I have been judged based on my wardrobe/appearance before, but it does not happen often (happens more in South OC than LA IMHO). And I usually make an effort to look good when I go out anyway. Did “Tex” go out in LA wearing a stetson, cowboy boots, and a big shiny belt buckle? Just kidding.

  7. Tex didn’t fit the stereotype at all…regular guy that would have fit in anywhere around here so I was surprised when that was his experience and view of us. I just report it to stir up some thinking and conversation.

  8. Oh, enough of the east side holier than thou stuff. The east side is just as superficial and status conscious as the west side. It’s the style and the nature of the status is different. East side Hipster, Westside Chic-ster – both pretty snobby. If I walked in silverlake with a newly bought tommy bahamas shirt, cargo pants and some oakleys I would be subjected to east side sneers.

    Let’s stop trying to deny that LA is superficial in many ways – style and status conscious in various ways. Are there other things about LA that make up for it – sure – but it is a fact.

    Don’t know that NY is any better in this respect though. Manhattan, West side, Williamburg, Silverlake?

  9. Oh, enough of the east side holier than thou stuff. The east side is just as superficial and status conscious as the west side. It’s the style and the nature of the status is different. East side Hipster, Westside Chic-ster – both pretty snobby. If I walked in silverlake with a newly bought tommy bahamas shirt, cargo pants and some oakleys I would be subjected to east side sneers.

    Let’s stop trying to deny that LA is superficial in many ways – style and status conscious in various ways. Are there other things about LA that make up for it – sure – but it is a fact.

    Don’t know that NY is any better in this respect though. Manhattan, West side, Williamburg, Silverlake?

  10. LA NATIVE: “Oh, enough of the east side holier than thou stuff. The east side is just as superficial and status conscious as the west side. It’s the style and the nature of the status is different. East side Hipster, Westside Chic-ster – both pretty snobby.”

    Thank you!

  11. yeah, “eastside” hipsters can be pretty snooty and obnoxious, however, they still respect the short ethnic kid strolling down the street looking like he just stepped out of the un-gentrified section of the hood… the “westside” chic-ster, on the other hand, would look away and cross the street to avoid any type of interaction with the fellow… scared?… perhaps… most likely this Chic-ster is doing the cultural “westside” thing by looking the other way and hoping the “problem” goes away…

    but dont get me wrong… LA is LA… eastside/westside/north/south… love it or hate it… if youre here than stop complaining and do something about it…

    – word up –

  12. Oh fuck all y’all. Come on up to the Valley and I’ll take you shopping at T-Mart on Sherman Way. Dickies work pants and XXXL tees for everybody!

  13. Westsiders are a helpless lot, incapable of performing anything remotely domestic they rush to the phone book and call a plethora of domestic service providers, thus the beginning of a typical Westsiders interaction with persons of color that starts from cradle (nanny) to grave (nurse).

    Eastsiders on the other hand, drive minorities out of their homes and neighborhoods. Newer and heavy with trust fund money, the Eastsider whitey is an insecure one, and what happens when white people are scared? They stick together. Superficially they might look up to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco as inspiration for their faux-hemian lifestyle, it may not be an accident that you can’t name a whiter big city than these three.

    While the Westsider integrate persons of color to its even most mundane routines, the Eastsider puts minorities in boxes where he/she can manage the interaction. Minorities in my music? Check. In my politics? Check. Watching out for my kids and serving me coffee every morning? Not there yet.

    So persons of color beware; the Eastsider might take a seemingly outsized interest in you, but in reality, it’s the same awestruck attention they reserve to pandas.

  14. Interesting direction this has taken. I never thought about the managing contact with “minority” before.

  15. “So persons of color beware; the Eastsider might take a seemingly outsized interest in you, but in reality, it’s the same awestruck attention they reserve to pandas.”

    That’s the oddest and scariest post I’ve read in a while. It’s revealing in it generalizations and assumptions based on the posters own corrupt pathology and little more. Please stay on the West Side.

    Signed

    A. “Minority”

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