Thursday, October 29, 2009


Los Angeles is a cruel episode of The Twilight Zone. I spent several days out there this week for my birthday and as usual, it did not disappoint. I have a rule about visiting LA that I have to go for a minimum of three days. In the first two days, it is easy to fall back in love with the wonderful weather and the hot men around every corner. At the end of day two, you start debating in your head if you are cool enough to live in Los Feliz or such an alcoholic that only West Hollywood makes any practical sense. And then on day three, the shit hits the fan.

In my case, it was the $280 parking ticket I got around the corner from The Waffle, a fabulous 70s themed diner with a Brady Bunch staircase and brown and orange d├ęcor. “Did you park on a baby?!” was the incredulous response from a friend of mine. Oh no. Just a poorly marked bus zone in a bankrupt city in a bankrupt state desperate for cash.

On Tuesday night, I went to dinner with Mike, who was with me on the trip, Cyd and Dan recently relocated to the LA cast and Jason. We went to Vermont, a new restaurant on Vermont where my friend Brandon works, which several years too late picked up the generic restaurant name trend that haunted Manhattan in the 90s (I’m looking at you Food Bar, Cafeteria, et al). It is a companion place to Rockwell, the outdoor venue next door that my friend Jeremy tried to convince me to have an LA-based birthday party at. After our dinner, I am relieved that I was too lazy to pull something together there.

Turns out the bad service at Vermont was genetic since the place is owned by the same people who brought you my personal LA hell restaurant Mark’s on La Cienega. The last time I ate there I waited an hour and a half to be seated inside a dumpster because my biceps weren’t big enough and I wasn’t sufficiently famous. We sat inside at Vermont but under a strangely placed tree, which combining the horrible waiter with my nasty cold, made me long for a noose. I don’t understand how LA, a city populated entirely by waiters, past and present, can have a single restaurant with a middle aged server who can’t get a single aspect of your order right. By Wednesday morning, I couldn’t get on the plane back to New York fast enough.

It is disheartening to think that the city I lived in for fifteen years can now cause a near allergic reaction. Part of me really wants to move back, to take up with my old friends. To spend more time with my family. To get off work at 7pm and have a real life like a real human being. Plus, the new Pavilions in West Hollywood is amazing. If I moved back, I would want to have my mail forwarded to the produce section. But as I collapsed with some relief in my window seat on the flight home, I knew that as much as LA has to offer, it just doesn’t offer enough. It’s a bad ex-boyfriend you still love who is really sorry for everything but you know in your heart will never change. And I am better off without him.

1 comment:

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I was in LA for 8 hours. I hated all of those hours. It may have been the least pleasant time I have ever spent on ANY vacation...and that includes being all but ignored in a Denny's in Wisconsin Dells for 45 minutes.