LA vs. NYC: Epic Throwdown for Ages and Times

*By your mother, who wants you to move home and meet a nice man/girl to settle down with.

Anyone will tell you, these two places are polar opposites. Actually: everyone, it seems, wants to tell you. You cannot move from one coast to the other without choruses on either side chiding you to make the call: which one? Which do you like more? What kind of a person are you, really? Well, I’ll tell you.

Polar opposites. Literally: One of the earth’s magnetic poles is located in an illegal casino for rats and cockroaches located at the base of the antenna of the Conde Nast building, the other one at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, masquerading as a man dressed in a bedbug-infested Cookie Monster suit.

People in New York are blunt. So blunt, that just running into one on the street constitutes a second-degree bludgeoning. So blunt that instead of a handshake and a “hello,” a true New Yorker will punch you in your face and tell you what is wrong with your relationship with your parents. Then he/she will tell you he/she is not your therapist and it is none of their business.

People in LA, conversely, are slippery and fake. So slippery that just trying to look directly at one will cause your eyeballs to become so lubricated, they will rotate 360 degrees inside your skull, causing blindness. So fake that each Angeleno is assigned his/her own doppelgänger who does all his/her social interaction for him/her, promising calls back and future meetings, even though doppelgängers are prohibited their own phones or datebooks. While their doppelgängers are out mixing it up in the world, real Angelenos are driving at unreasonable speeds, making illegal left turns.

It is illegal to own an automobile in New York. If you bring your car into lower Manhattan, a league of gypsy cab drivers will hunt you down and smash your windows with tire irons, then the NYPD will fine you for littering glass shards and douse you with 64 oz sodas, which only they are allowed to possess.

It is illegal not to own a car in Los Angeles. If an Angeleno is reported for spending fewer than 35% of his/her day outside a private vehicle, the LAPD dispatches a pack of ravenous Chihuahuas to chase him/her into a car. This policy was the initial cause of the rise in carjackings in during the 80s and 90s, yet remains popular to this day.

New York is virtually uninhabitable outside of mid-March through mid-May and mid-September through mid-November. During the summer, the combination of heat-reflective concrete and an overwhelming 4:1 AC-to-person ratio, the air becomes a solid jellylike mass of urine, bus exhaust, and water vapor. During the winter, the avenues become canals filled with toxic mud-slush, traversed by barefoot homeless people on cardboard rafts who offer crossings to commuters in dress shoes for twenty dollars a ride. During the spring, teenagers rut openly in subway cars, beating up and stealing the iPhones of anyone who interrupts their mood. And those are the Stuyvesant kids.

In Los Angeles, there are no seasons. Every day is exactly the same–placid, dry, 73 degrees. The excess of sunny days causes premature wrinkles which boosts the thriving botox industry. The air quality is so bad, performance artists roam the streets making shadow-plays in the smog for passing vehicles.

These are the things I have learned.

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