Los Angeles Redux

To twist a buzz phrase from a few months ago: Los Angeles is too big to succeed. In fact, I'm beginning to think the same applies to California, and perhaps the entire United States. I suppose there's some poetry to the fact that I came to this conclusion after visiting Boston, the place where this entire "United States of America" thing got started.

I really liked Boston. While I know I only got a partial picture of the city (I never saw the sections from "The Departed" or "Mystic River," if you will), it seemed to me like a combination between a giant college campus and the Universal back lot. It was absolutely amazing to be in a city that was so close contained, that seemed so...well, considered. And, of course, there was all the great history in the city something that, through no fault of its own, you won't find out here.

And Boston was clean! It kind of blew my mind that they just raised the sales tax in Boston while we were there -- to a whopping 6.25%, which is still 3.5% LOWER than California's, and yet their biggest city seemed like it was maintained much better.

I've now been to most of the major cities in America and I can, without hesitation, say that Los Angeles is the most ridiculous. I was actually kind of bitter when I came back here, and flying in to LAX did not help matters (LAX could be the most ridiculous airport in America).

Granted, Boston had a lot going for it that was circumstantial: 1) Nicole and I were there for a wedding, 2) It was summer time, not winter time, 3) Nicole and I were in dire need of a vacation, even a short one, 4) the people of Boston were very happy to see a Cleveland Indians' fan, as we'd just traded them Victor Martinez.

None of that, however, detracts from the things about Boston that made Los Angeles look so bad or, to be more accurate, the things about Boston that also exist in most other cities in America that make Los Angeles look so bad. You know, things like a sense of community, well defined neighborhoods, historical significance, public transportation, relatively friendly people, etc.

Los Angeles is just so large that it seems there's no rhyme or reason to the city. It's barely contained chaos. Even worse, there's no real way to fix this. Hollywood tried to secede from the city at one point, but I don't think that would help. I think the hot mess that is the sprawl of this city is just so uncontainable that even dividing it up into smaller cities would make no difference -- you'd just have smaller messes.

Los Angeles has two things going for it, in my mind:

1) I am enough of a sadist that the fact that I DO live in the most ridiculous city in the country gives me some strange sense of pride. Go figure.

2) As the majority of my last blog on Los Angeles will attest, this city is enjoyable because it's in Southern California. Not only do I not have to live through Ohio winters or Atlanta summers (two places I used to live), I have easy access to Disneyland and Universal Studios, which is a big plus for a guy who enjoys theme parks as much as I do. I also have a strange love of the desert, so being here is also good for that.

This city is ridiculous. It always has been and it always will be and, for now, it's my home. More to the point, though, the apartment I'm sitting in as I type this is my home. My life with Nicole and our two cats is my home. It would be nice to be able to expand that a bit, but in the end I still have it pretty good...

...even if I DO have to get into my car to go anywhere in this town.