2 Days in L.A.

Because even this diehard New Yorker has to go home sometimes.

I leave New York at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning feeling murderous and call an Uber to Newark. NEWARK, ugh. Naturally, there’s an accident just outside the Jersey-end of the Holland Tunnel. (No injuries– I’m not a terrible person for complaining, just a New Yorker.) “Does this thing ever leak?” I wonder. I think about perishing tragically in the Hudson River. Actually, my Uber driver was the one who brought it up, “You ever think about what would happen if they bombed the Holland tunnel, and you was in it?” Despite his particularly untimely use of the b-word before my flight, he gets me to Newark in record time, so I don’t hate him.

I take a nap, but, in my half slumber, I can feel the warmth of the sun tickling my face through the windows.

I’m wearing a fur (calm down, it’s vintage) because it’s about 34 degrees outside and I get cold when I fly. I forgot to register my TSA pre-check number when I booked my ticket, so I have to take off my suede boots at security, which the agent throws onto the conveyer belt with a devastating clunk. If they’re in any way scratched, I’m going to be the latest threat to homeland security. This wouldn’t happen at JFK. A TSA agent there once sent me to the front of the security line because she liked said boots. I miss New York already.

DTLA - © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

DTLA © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

After 3 Vice documentaries, and Bridget Jones’ Baby, which I cried during despite the fact that it was a special kind of trite, I’m in L.A. It’s 72 and sunny on a mid-February day, and my fur suddenly feels like the death that it is. My little brother picks me up and we drive home with the AC on steady. I take a nap, but, in my half slumber, I can feel the warmth of the sun tickling my face through the windows. Too bad there’s 2 tons of metal between me and the nature that Angelenos won’t shut the fuck up about. Full disclosure: I’m from L.A.

The world is still a garbage fire, but more importantly, what will Beyoncé wear?!

I get home and have about 4 hours before I go to my friend’s 30th, which is the reason I flew in. Everyone else is here for awards season, which is impossible to forget because literally every local news station is talking about the Grammys on Sunday. The world is still a garbage fire, but more importantly, what will Beyoncé wear?!

Manhattan Beach - © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

Manhattan Beach © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

It’s fucking beautiful out, but I have work to do. I turn on CNN in the background, so I can keep up with how America’s most unpopular Cheeto is fucking the country and the world. Mom left a basket of fresh tangelos and other snacks for my arrival. I eat two tangelos and they taste like motherfucking sunshine. I also have some chips and salsa– the fresh stuff. I finish the salsa like it’s the last fresh tomato I’ll taste all winter, because it is.

I wonder if New York is the reason I’m still single and about as financially stable as Greece.

I get to the party and order a margarita, which are categorically better in L.A. than they are in New York, and this makes me sad… but only until the second margarita. There’s passed hors d’oeuvres before a sit-down dinner, which I pounce on. The Angelenos graze daintily, but that’s because their rent is cheaper. One of my friends from high school is there, and she’s pregnant. Another already has two children. I wonder if New York is the reason I’m still single and about as financially stable as Greece.

Chinatown - © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

North Spring Street, Chinatown © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

After the party, I go to get my car from valet. Despite the fact that real estate is treated like an all-you-can-eat buffet in this town, there is still nowhere to fucking park. Also, the temperature has dipped to a fresh 40-something degrees, and I’m shivering like a little bitch in my backless satin top. That’s when I remember that L.A. can be more bipolar than a Beverly Hills Housewife off her meds, especially at night. I should have brought my fucking fur. I drive home to the Hills– West Hollywood, not Beverly. The smog may be blocking the stars, but from my room, I can see the whole city twinkle like the parallel universe that it is.

What is this agricultural sorcery? Oh, it’s just L.A.

Day two. It’s Grammy Sunday, and yes, people there actually call it that. I go to brunch with my little brother. He gets a tuna sandwich and I get French toast. We’re probably the only two patrons eating bread in the joint, but then again, we were raised by a New Yorker, so we’ve been taught to value carbohydrates. I get a side of fresh berries too, and they’re fucking delicious in fucking February. What is this agricultural sorcery? Oh, it’s just L.A.

Fairfax skaters - © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

Skater Boys on Fairfax © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

I go home to do more work before meeting a friend for dinner. Okay, fine. I watched the first half of the Grammys. I cry during Adele’s George Michael tribute and proceed to play “Freedom,” while dancing alone in my underwear for the next forty-five minutes, making me late to dinner. Is this why everyone’s always late in L.A.?

It’s 72 and sunny for the third straight day, and I wonder if Mother Nature is just being passive agressive

I’m dining with a former New Yorker, so naturally we have to talk about the relative pluses and minuses. He’s a convert, though. He’s sipped the cold-pressed Kool-Aid and never turning back. He tells me he’s planning on making a fried chicken dinner next week for some friends on Valentine’s Day. If I attempted to make fried chicken in my studio apartment, it would turn into a 300-square-foot oil fire.

Venice Skate Park - © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

Venice Skate Park © Julien Lacheray/HEREYOUARE

Monday. Time to leave my hometown to go home. I think about buying a pound of fresh berries and smuggling them back with me, but no time. It’s Monday, so my inbox is getting gangbanged, and I’m fielding emails while trying to pack. It’s 72 and sunny for the third straight day, and I wonder if Mother Nature is just being passive agressive. I get to LAX and hug baby bro goodbye. Fuck, I get teary again. What’s with all the fucking crying? Jesus.

Four and half hours later, we touch ground in Newark and I’m home by 1 am. There’s nothing in my fridge except a yogurt of questionable vintage. I get in bed and look out my window, which faces the back of other old tenement buildings. Fuck you, New York. I love you.

Julia Reiss is a Los Angeles-born writer and humorist alive and mostly well in New York City.
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