Los Angeles, We Never Knew You Cared
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 8, 2007 7:45PM
Except that it wasn't really critical. Maybe it was the full night's rest we got last night, or the really strong latte. Or the cold pizza we had for breakfast. Or maybe it was the second and third glances we took at your note. Whatever. We recognize longing when we see it, whether it's in someone's eyes, or in a letter. We're sure UPS and Piero's Pizza appreciate the results of your longing, too.
It's nice to live in a state with a moratorium on capital punishment, not that we flaunt it all that much. That would be unbecoming. We would make light of the fact that people in your state elected actors to the Governor's mansion — ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS — but we just re-elected an Elvis impersonator. Ronald Reagan, by the way, will always get points in our book for pardoning Merle Haggard, but nothing else. And while foie gras may be verboten in our fair city, trans fats seem to be going the way of the dinosaur everywhere. We would have thought that in a city as image conscious as Los Angeles that Angelinos would have acted as the spyboy on this particular battlefield. Then, that's the crux of being an Angelino, isn't it?
While we don't have any particular qualms with the city proper (we'll agree to disagree with your description of Los Angeles as a "Mediterranean-like wonder on the Pacific"), the term "L.A." conjures images in our heads of blissful apathy. You said it yourself: when it's cold there, it's 70 degrees. That would thaw even the most cynical people. Well, maybe not Kevin. He's a born contrarian and rabble-rouser.
Anyway, when you live in an eden, who would want to sully that with something as lowest common denominator as a pro football team? We know the NFL isn't quick on the uptake, and still wants to have a team in Los Angeles. But let's consider the facts. Few of your pro sports franchises were homegrown to begin with, the NFL teams that you did have left town for greener pastures years ago, and any NFL franchise is going to have to compete with fans from your semi-pro team. Leave the pro game to cities that get behind their franchises. Like Green Bay. And us.
We'd also like to clear up some misconceptions you have about us, besides the Grabowskis, who these days prefers a cork in his wine bottle. First, we do love our red meat and pizza, but Chicago is also the greatest culinary city in the world. Maybe you've read about some of our cutting-edge restaurants that take the presentation of food to the level of surrealist art. Or read the Michelin and AAA restaurant guides, and just took a look at the sheer volume of premium restaurants we have. Some of them are even accessible to reach via public transportation. Barring that, we still prostrate at the altar of the burrito, hot dog, and pork chop sandwich. We just wish we didn't have to go to the left coast to get our In-N-Out fix.
We'll have to admit that the CTA is a tender subject with us. But considering the sheer mess that is traffic in Los Angeles, we can't let you get away with calling it "not much better" than Los Angeles' public transportation system. Just because two-thirds of urban space in Los Angeles is devoted to transportation doesn't mean there's less gridlock. Here, if we can't rely on the CTA, we break out our bikes (even when it's 18 degrees outside), we carpool, and we even walk. It allows us to better view our world-class skyline and enormous park system.
We'd also like to address your misconceptions of our music scene, of which you claimed the only artist still relevant these days was an R&B singer with a predilection for water sports. We'd worry about what Lupe, Rhymefest, Catfish Haven, The Changes, Motep, Wilco, and countless others would think about it. But, like Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon, they're too busy looking good. The most memorable music to come out of Los Angeles in 2006 arguably was Kelly Clarkson jamming with Metal Skool.
In closing, We hope that we're not giving the wrong impression. We didn't hate what you wrote. More to the point, there were a lot of things we agreed with. We just wished we had more than this limited space to show you just what a blessing it is to live in a wonderful city like Chicago, led by a mayor with a suspect grasp on the English language. As for your fair town, we don't hate it, and have never had a bad time in our visits. But it's kind of like a brief relationship, between soulmates. Your memory may not keep us warm, but it never leaves us cold.
Eat a "flying dutchman" for us, please.
PS. The Smashing Pumpkins' high-water mark wasn't "Siamese Dream." It was "Adore."