The Big Apple or Hollywood?
Having lived in Los Angeles now for a few months after years of living in New York City, I’ve come to the conclusion, that while LA life is slower, easier and laid back; New York life is more well, ‘me’…Let me explain.
And that cliché of LA being removed from it all, well, it’s been a rough time for the world all together and if I have to be removed from it a little bit to maintain my sanity, so be it.
When the economy is bad, it’s a lot easier to survive in a sunny state, than one where the heat is inconsistent in your building. And don’t actors often sacrifice the lifestyle of their choice in order to have the career of their choice?
For example, in New York when you buy groceries, unless you have them delivered every time, you’re in for a weigh-lifting session; depending on how far you live from the grocery store.
In LA, you can buy as many groceries as you want for a lot less, put them in the trunk and drive home. Sounds silly, but I actually called my New York Neighbor girlfriend on the phone the first time I did this at Ralph’s. It was like grocery shopping had become a theme park ride.
In New York you have seasons, spring, summer, fall, winter. I’m not exactly missing an East Coast Arctic Winter right now, but it’s those seasons that get you re-charged for the next couple months.
It can be invigorating. In LA, you have two seasons, Hot and Not-So-Hot. And unless it’s raining, everyday is the sunshine same. The drawback is that it’s very easy to get comfortable being too comfortable. New York forces you to keep up with its hustle.
LA forces you to create your own hustle. And it’s odd embracing change when the environment around you stays the same. Groundhog Day.
In New York, I had a two-room studio in a three floor walk-up in a prime neighborhood in Manhattan. And I lived alone. In LA, I have a master bedroom, my own walk-in-closet and bathroom, in a two-bedroom, two-bath share with a roommate, who works from home. Craigslist.
Yes, the apartment is much bigger and the street is lined with palm trees, but I do feel mostly marginalized to my bedroom. It’s ironically about the same size as my NY studio apartment, but with a washer/dryer inside. Eureka!
In New York, when you have an audition, uptown or cross-town, and you have to wear heels, a dress or something not so easy to trek through two feet of snow in, you either call a cab or lug around a necessary change of clothes.
How in the hell did I ever do it before?
In LA, you drive to your audition, hair and clothing protected by the AC and roof of your car. Your make-up is relatively unmarred by humidity; it is the desert after all.
And yes, there’s traffic, but that’s what some actors call ‘rehearsal time’. Not me. I’m listening to my GPS.
There are pluses and minuses to both worlds that I’m adjusting to. When I tell my friends the things I accomplish in a day, they reply, “Wow! You’re keeping busy!”. Really?!
Because I could still run a marathon at the end of each day. In New York that energy is used up walking to and from the subway, getting up the stairs with my groceries peeling themselves from my fingertips, or just doing laundry.
In LA, I don’t know what to do with that excess energy. Trying to find the ‘Hang loose in inner peace’ Cali girl way of being for the natural New Yorker in me is a little more challenging than I thought.
But sometimes the best thing about New York is leaving it and coming back…with a wicked tan line from the West Coast. I guess everybody’s a little bi-coastal.
Yours Truly — Ann H