Response to a LAWeekly Article
The article can be found here: http://m.laweekly.com/informer/2014/05/21/hey-la-its-time-to-start-hating-san-francisco
The title just kind of pisses me off, “Hey LA it’s time to start hating San Francisco.” It got under my skin a bit so, I wrote Dennis a thoughtful response via email. The contents of that email follow.
Having worked and lived in the SF Bay area (working in they city and enjoying a place to call home in Pacifica) for a 5 year stint, then packing up my worldly belongings for the concrete stretches and poison air of Los Angeles, your LAWeekly article struck a nerve. It was similar to chewing on aluminum foil and hitting a cavity. Perhaps that’s the point. As a “journalist” (and I use that term lightly as I was a journalist for a lifetime in what seems like a lifetime ago) in this day and age, I understand the need to be vitriolic and bombastic when posting opinion pieces to be consumed by the masses that have the reading level and maturity level of an Eighth Grader. I understand, you want to punch your reader in the eye and in return get some sort of desired reaction. With this response you’ll have those for your cause and those vehemently against it. Both sides will be passionate, if they read it at all.
However, your shot across the bow at why LA residents should hate SF is an extremely thin veiled excuse to pick a fight for a reason I can only assume is having read some other article that poked a stick at San Francisco and their recent housing and income gap and you thought “Boy, I want to jump on that bandwagon.” I’m surprised your editor didn’t call you on your bullshit.
Hate? Seriously. Inferiority complex? Are we comparing dick lengths? I’ve lived in Los Angeles now 3 years. I moved here to pursue working in an industry I’ve loved and chased my entire professional life. I go back to San Francisco for work and pleasure several times a year. Every single time I return, I question why the hell I left such a magnificent place. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and far too often lament coming home to LA. Los Angeles doesn’t offer the same type of life that the San Francisco Bay Area does… and that’s saying a lot. Los Angeles is a vast sprawl of concrete that could literally swallow several other metropolitan areas, where as San Francisco has a much smaller waistline (it must be walking all of those hills). It might be because of this expanse of land and broken dreams that Los Angeles’ pedestrian and commuter options are terrible, but the food is of no comparison. Within my 3 year term here in the City of Angels I have yet to find a particularly striking place to eat that I didn’t have to take out a small loan for. The last birthday meal I had the pleasure of enjoying at Hinoki and the Bird cost more than my last two anniversary dinners combined, of which I thought was a blockbuster feat. It was good, but it was also recent and memorable because I had to save my wife from choking to death at the dinner table in front of Don Cheadle (I wish I was making that up).
There are many, many things I dislike about my time in Los Angeles. I’m paying more for rent in Los Angeles than I’ve ever paid for in my life (yes, including my time in the Bay Area). There are some things that I’ve enjoyed here too. There are opportunities here that I’ve been afforded that i wouldn’t have had otherwise – and that’s precisely why I made the move to Los Angeles and continue my life-struggle.
I understand your popular jabs at “hipsters” and “gentrifiers.” Have you been to Beverly Grove lately? Melrose? Your tale of two cities is brimming with bile. I can imagine how it must have burned as it reached the back of your throat just reading it. However, I have a hard time taking it seriously “If you hate us, you must hate those things,” is an argument I’d expect from a 16 year old. The entire article reeks of “we had it first” child mentality right down to the mention of people in another city wearing Chuck Taylors (!).
I’d ask “What the hell?” but I know the answer to my question.. You needed to kick out an article and kick up some dust (or clicks). I hope next time you work a little harder on actually thinking through your argument and/or next piece of work instead of having a high school sophomore email you a first draft and sign your name to it.