Los Angeles: Totally the right kind of tease

New York may be cold, but after five days in Los Angeles, it’s good to be home, even if it doesn’t really feel like I’m here. After all, I leave again on Saturday. At least I have our bed until then.

But Los Angeles is hard for me. Part of that is being from New York; I’m sort of contractually obligated to be discomforted by California. But the problem isn’t that I don’t like LA; it’s that sometimes I do, and it brings out the worst in both my insecurities and my arrogance.

The first time I went out there was in the late 90s to work on production for a commercial. I was staying at a hotel in Beverly Hills during a terrible cold spell, and I spent most of the trip — which ended with me and some friends crashing the Miss California Teen USA pageant and getting up to unrelated shenanigans in an airport hotel — feeling both not pretty enough to be there and yet absolutely fabulous. LA is, because of the sort of nonsense it does to my head, a place I brace myself for.

But mostly, when I go, I ignore it. After all, the yearly trip is for a Doctor Who conference; that’s like the antithesis of LA, right? Even if I am often there to do some business too (and that I did this year, quite pleasantly so).

But this time we rented a car and spent a lot of time running around town in a weirdly food-driven way: we needed supplies for the con; I wanted In-and-Out burger; people hadn’t had French macarons before, and I felt that needed correction — all of which somehow led to several deeply odd mall adventures and some serious mid-day drinking in a Mexican restaurant just shy of Rodeo Drive.

And you know what? I sort of loved it. Because the me who felt not beautiful enough for LA in my 20s realized this time it wasn’t about whether or not I was awesome enough for LA, but it was about letting LA, and all it’s awful ridiculousness, making me feel awesome and invincible.

So I decided to be a little bit shameless and to play along with the city, and it flirted right back. So much so that it’s really a good thing I have this life I am making in New York and that Patty and I don’t know how to drive (although we’ve got to do something about that). Otherwise, there might be some real consequence to all that flirtation.

It was a fantastic and only intermittently melancholy few days, and I wound up nabbing some great details for a piece of original fiction I’m working on. Also, how could I not love just a little a town that has an Exposition Boulevard?

Next stop: Zurich by way of Toronto.