One year in Los Angeles…but will I be playing musical chairs?


This coming week marks one year that I will have been living in Los Angeles. This is huge for me. This is huge for my family. This is especially huge as we were considering moving yet again. Both my son and I miss New York. He loves snow. He loves the cold. I asked him about whether he likes the beach. He noted he likes the beach but that every little kid loves the snow. Every little kid loves making a snowman and being in snowball fights. I told him that most LA kids have not experienced this and he noted that even they dream of snow. I didn’t know how to answer this assertion as I myself miss my beloved New York.

Despite it all, have made the most that I can of Los Angeles.  I am going to say this and please (those of you from LA) don’t hate me for it.  Los Angeles is an ugly city. It is not the LA you see in 90210. Nor had I expected it to be so. It is markedly dirty, unstructured, and heavily industrial. The city shows hardly any signs of thoughtful planning with weird intersections throughout the city.  Drivers act as if they have never seen a pedestrian in their life and there are high numbers of DUIs. Definitely not in New York anymore, Toto.  I have found things to like about LA, such as the restaurants and ready access to beaches and, of ourse, the weather.  While my son loves snow, I love the heat. LA, thus, agrees with me in that sense.  But is LA cuckoo and ugly?  Yes, it is. Plus, for people who go on and on about global warming, they sure like to pollute this wealth with their deeply-felt, never-giving up love of their cars. These are people that will get in their cars to just go two blocks. Shameful. Furthermore, many live in a bubble. I knew Trump was going to win and told anyone who would listen to me. For the most  part, people here thought that was impossible. Bubble!

Anyway, while I have sought new LA experiences almost every weekend since August, I have yet to get rooted here. I like my building downtown. But I also miss having a home. If I were to get a home here, I either have to move far out or go live in an area that is not quite safe.  I grew up in the Bronx and like to think I still have my street sensibilities, but I am also Not Jenny from the Block. I don’t sport rocks, but I do see things slightly differently now.  My question to myself is then is how do I get rooted out here? Or anywhere else for that matter? Obviously, even in my beloved New York, I have not fully held onto my roots since I have lived in 17 cities. I always return to New York, but it has only been 21 months since I left New York as I spent ten or so in San Francisco before Los Angeles.

I don’t feel rooted.  I feel as if I am playing musical chairs right now in my life. Aren’t I a bit old for that? Then again, us Generation  Xers are still looking for something although we have managed to make ourselves successful. We have a sticky ennui that leaves us semi-rooted in the midst of a musical chairs game. Too abstract a thoughts? Too odd? Possibly.

I’m going to run with it, though.  What seeds can I plant that will keep me rooted?  I have yet to figure that out. It is not necessarily a particular job. I have come to believe those come and go unless I were to become the CEO of Facebook or something like that.  It is probably more like a field. However, I am of the belief that we can now have two or three different careers in our lifetime.  Having a house most certainly keeps many people rooted. We have a house in New York. We just rented it out. Life is easier that way now.  My sister questioned whether that was too much work. She is a millennial. I rent it out to a family that knows how to fix things. There pay rent. I transfer the money to my bank account. I then pay my mortgage. That is not too hard. But, because I am superstitious, I will now go ahead and knock on wood.


I am not too sure what seeds one can plant and remain in one place.  It just doesn’t fit with my life perspective. When I tell people that I will not stay at my current job for too long, I get wide-eyed looks. People are scared or wonder why I feel the need to move on. But that my friends I will discuss throughout this week. Let me just state that I hate myself for having the answer of “why not.”

As I near my end here, I cannot stay on such a negative note. One year in Los Angeles. It is the one city I never thought i’d live in because of the lack of transportation. I don’t drive. But so far, I have survived LA and it hasn’t broken me.  How is that for being rooted?


I will find what I am looking for.  I am not going to rush it but I will not delay either.  I just don’t want to play musical chairs and end up without a chair. Nor do I want to end up in a crappy chair just so that I can sit.  I don’t get my own metaphor here. But I will say, Los Angeles ain’t New York but I will be just fine.

22 replies »

  1. We visited LA in the summer and we had the same reaction. The beaches are beautiful but it’s just a big city and nothing to it. We also did not like the highway system. So confusing. New York is one of a kind! 😄


  2. Escribes textos muy largos e interesantes. Y aunque mi inglés se diluye en la nada más absoluta, al leerte, puedo entenderlo casi completamente todo. Y puedo asegurar que escribes en ignlés de la forma más perfecta y entendeible que he observado en mi faceta de lector. No es porque te siga o por adularte simplemente; es que es la vedad. Tus artículos son muy interesantes y muy explícitos. Yo me alegro por ello. ¡Buen domingo y excelente semana venidera, Psycho…! Ramón


  3. My brother (actor Doug) said there are several versions of the greater Los Angeles area, but you seem to be talking of Los Angeles proper. Regarding your comments, I offer my own situation as a microcosm. For the first years I lived in my small town (big difference, I know), I was plotting my escape. Now, I don’t want to leave. A couple of burned down stores and five salary freezes later, I can say that the town hasn’t changed significantly but that I have. My situation hasn’t changed. My perspective has, and I see a balance between the two. Sometimes it’s best to cut and run. Sometimes its best to adapt and make wherever you are a better place. Best of success in figuring all this out and finding what you are looking for…


  4. Some cities do not welcome you as you would have liked. It’s hard but that’s the truth. I have been to NY once and I liked it – whatever little I saw. It was snow all around yet I loved it. Can’t compare to LA cos never been there but I wish you find peace. Hugs.


  5. IDK, a rolling stone gathers no moss? Like most Taureans, it seems you may be yearning for roots, or a home place of sorts. I think you already have this in NYC.

    As a native Angeleno, I am not offended by your perception of the city, though I know that you know that there are many more attractive, and thus usually more expensive surrounding suburbs. Were you as surprised as I that the latest terrorist threat, though it was a hoax, targeted a subway station? That station was at Universal City, so there may be some related irony in that choice.

    Last, if you’re looking for a snowy good time for your Santa-accepting son, I suggest Santa’s Village, which is located in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead. We had a great time with our girls there, when they were near the same age as your son, and got some great and memorable photos which still make me smile. It’s been closed for a while but I understand it may reopen soon if it hasn’t already. Make an effort to check it out before you move again!


    • Santa village just reopened this month!!!!! Thanks so much for the rec. Will try to go. How exciting.
      Since ive been here, there have bern three bomb threats at the subway station . One right where i live. My block was blocked off. I have bern surprised by that


  6. I have been living in Los Angeles for now almost thirty years, and agree with you, not a very pretty city, to live in, despite the weather, to much time spent on commuting, from one place to another one, a big sprawl neighborhood feeling all around, and never being able to keep friends for too long to make it worth staying for them, but it’s not the city’s fault, I guess it’s the same on every big city in America, we seem to live on times where people it’s rootless, yourself a clear example having moved 17 times!
    The Japanese have a saying: a rolling stone gathers no moss, but it’s not interpreted as we understand it in the West for them moss is a thing of beauty.
    As with all proverbs, it isn’t the literal meaning that conveys the sense but the metaphor. A ‘rolling stone’ refers to a wanderer, unable to settle to any job or lifestyle and therefore characterized as unreliable and unproductive.

    Gathers moss That notion was known to the ancient world and Greek and Latin versions of the phrase are cited by Erasmus in the third volume of his collection of Latin proverbs – Adagia, 1508.

    Please do not take this as a critique of your wandering preferences, we are all different, and thrive on different things, but reflect life is brief, and we get old before we can realize it. And if to have deep roots have any meaning to you, don’t squander your time, if you can avoid it, let your heart be your guide, and not your mind, go and settle where your heart is. 🙂


  7. We visit Los Angeles frequently – but are always happy to return home to the Central Valley. Too much pollution, too much traffic and the city is difficult to get around in. I don’t feel a sense of community there, not like in San Francisco, but at least in Los Angeles you don’t freeze your butt off in the summer. Great post!!!


  8. Hello! I came across your post when I was doing a general search for Los Angeles. I can totally relate to what you have written, except for I’m home sick for Los Angeles! I’m thirty-nine and with the exception of a year living at Bard college in Upstate NY ( Beautiful, but I missed city living), I’ve lived in Glendale, California my entire life…until last August, when my husband’s new job brought us to Portland, Oregon. At first, I was excited for the new adventure, but living here has worn me down. It’s hard not to be negative about Portland. I desperately miss living in Los Angeles and when we visit, it’s simply home. My husband is originally from England and has lived in both Sweden and Australia, so although he likes LA, he doesn’t have the same attachment to moving back, but he does agree that we need to get the heck out of Portland, this place isn’t for us. I hope you can find your home, whether that’s back in NY or elsewhere. It’s hard adjusting to a new place, especially when it just doesn’t feel right.


    • Hi there. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.
      Bard is in a beautiful spot. I went to vassar..somewhat nearby.
      I was just in Glendale today looking at houses. I’m at a lost as to where to buy/settle down here.
      I hope you find your way back to LA or to a new cool place that helps you feel at home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bard is beautiful, as is Vassar! I think I was entranced by East Coast colleges. It’s hard to know where to settle in a new place. We’ve looked around Portland, in case we end up being here long term and as we get to know the neighborhoods, with the help of a great realtor, we are feeling more confident. My husband’s job is great and he’s happy at work, so unless they have reason to move him, we might be here for awhile. I hope you have luck in California. I lived in Glendale for thirty-nine years ( In October, we sold my childhood home) and I love it. Glendale has changed a lot, mostly with growth and the downside, is it’s crowded with lots of traffic. However, it’s definitely a community that I’d return to. I also absolutely love the Montrose/La Canada area ( above Glendale) it’s a lot less hectic, with a small town feel, but still close to everything and I adore Pasadena. Depending on how far out you are looking, Arcadia and Sierra Madre are also lovely. Please let me know if you need any neighborhood or Los Angeles advice. I’m happy to help. Cheers!


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