Why L.A. Is Better Than New York, Courtesy of Moby
Moby/Eleanor Stills Photo.
We didn't host the Super Bowl. We don't even have an NFL team. The Tonight Show is leaving for New York. And The New York Times even had the nerve recently to claim that its tacos "can go mano a mano with the best of Los Angeles."
Well, you mend your egos, Angelenos: You still live in the best city on earth. You don't need a New Yorker to tell you so, but it helps.
Moby is the quintessential New Yorker for Generation X, too:
Here's a guy who went from punk rock in the 1980s to warehouse raves in the 1990s to loft living and owing a tea shop, Teany, in the aughts. He rolled with ravers, artists and animal-rights activists.
But ultimately, as we reported previously, he found Los Angeles to be a much more compelling place for ground-floor creatives.
Moby has been explaining L.A.'s superiority again, this time in a blog post at Creative Time Reports:
Young artists in L.A. can really experiment, and if their efforts fall short, it's not that bad because their rent is relatively cheap and almost everyone else they know is trying new things and failing, too. There's also the exciting, and not unprecedented, prospect of succeeding at a global level.
The techno/pop star seems to be saying, however, that this is more about the gentrification of New York than the electrifying creativity and diversity of L.A:
I don't want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful, and there are clearly many other great American cities. Artists aren't just leaving New York for L.A. - they're also going to Portland, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and countless other places.
Though Southern California remains near the top of this list of America's least-affordable real estate (and all the top picks are also in California), New York still beats us in through-the-roof rent, a fact Moby repeats. But to say L.A. is lovable because of its reasonable housing costs is hard for us to swallow.
Moby also drags out some lame stereotypes:
- L.A. has no center, despite the fact that some of the densest neighborhoods west of the Mississippi are in and near downtown (Westlake, for one).
- L.A. is a baby of a city. Sure, our (postwar) boom years are more recent than those of places on the East Coast, but remember the city was officially founded in 1781 and had Native Americans living here for thousands of years.
- " ... The moment you leave L.A., you're in a desert that would most likely kill you." The moment you leave L.A. you're in some of America's most populous areas, from the Inland Empire to Orange County. There are 20 million people living from Ventura County to Tijuana. Not exactly barren. There is desert, sure, just as there is farmland west of New York.
Anyway, our favorite takeaway is that L.A. has a unique alchemy for creatives, something we've always believed.
From surf and skate culture to lowriders and street art (forget 1970s New York; try 1940s L.A. pachucos), not to mention Hollywood, a major slice of the music industry, and off-the-chain immigrant food, it's a place that's hard to beat.
Our tacos aren't bad either.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.