Who Do You Love? It Depends on Where You Live… LA vs. NYC

You know the old saying about what matters most in choosing real estate — “location, location, location”? Well, I think the same applies to matters of the heart. Love may seem the same everywhere, but consider how differently identical things can be viewed based on nothing more than the city in which you live. In other words, what may be charming or adorable in one zip code is a total turnoff in another. Don’t agree? Take a look at these examples and see for yourself.


With almost a thousand miles of track and more than five and a half million rides per day, the New York City subway is one of the easiest ways to get around. Lots of New Yorkers make it to their mid-30s without ever learning to drive a car, let alone owning one. Being a foot jockey in the greatest city in the world has never been viewed as a negative. It’s actually a point of (nearly) sneering pride.


While few cities offer the kind of knee-jerk, uncompromising love of all causes green and good that Los Angeles does, it remains a shocking reality that those choosing to live without cars are viewed with very deep contempt. In fact, living in your car in LA is definitely preferable to not having a car at all. Just try getting a second date in the City of Angels when your first one ended with a trip on a subway. #DroolingLoser


Few things reach the level of linguistic brilliance that is native New Yorkers flinging weapons-grade insults at one other: creative inter-splices of specifics mixed with seemingly impossible anatomical references or activities, paired with a revered family member (or two) and marinated in a stew of expletives. The net result is almost melodic in its lyrical coarseness, especially when hurled face-first at the subject: You taxi-stealing, basket-weaving, mother%#&@# piece of monkey %$#* I hope you rot in whatever $%#@-decorated version of hell would house a backward-hatted, mouth-breathing hipster %$#@ like you.


In the kingdom of the backhanded compliment, evil smiles replace spitting sneers as insults are delivered on the sly: When I first met you I never believed you’d be so successful, or I wouldn’t have the guts to wear that skirt if I were your size. And those barely scratch the surface. Absolutely no one ever says anything directly bad to anyone else’s face. Insults are either carefully veiled or delivered so far behind your back that you have absolutely no idea what’s going on or whom you can trust. This leads to intense paranoia and fear, which in turn leads to the insecurity necessary to continue insulting others in such a lily-livered way.


New Yorkers are certainly not prudes, but they generally see nudity as something reserved for the more intimate moments of life — places like a doctor’s office, deep inside a health spa, the shower, central booking, maybe even in bed (but not necessarily). No wonder clothing plays such a big role in New York life. Fashion Week suddenly makes way more sense.


Granted, when the sun shines for 12 months of the year, the temptation to disrobe is far greater than it is elsewhere, but in Los Angeles the social acceptability of nudity reaches a whole other level. Gyms, juice bars, parks, restaurants, concerts, movie premieres, supermarkets, weddings, funerals — you name it and there is someone attending with most of their “assets” barely covered. A problem? Not if you’re genetically predisposed to physical perfection or have mastered the art of eating tissues to stay thin.


Famous for some of the best restaurants around, New York also boasts some of the most varied and numerous street vendors anywhere. Any food from any spot on the globe is available at all times in the city that never sleeps, and a true New Yorker doesn’t waste time talking about calories or fat content. In New York, food is to be savored, enjoyed, and messily consumed. And when you have some of the best pizza, hot dogs, bagels, and cheesecake ever, that’s pretty easy to pull off.


Here, the more picky, annoying, or precious you are about what you choose to eat, the higher your personal status climbs. Low carb? Gluten-free? That’s so yesterday. Try pesca-pescatarian. That’s someone who will eat only fish that eat other fish. Without a doubt, behaving like a spoiled 4-year-old when it comes to the victuals placed before you is a sign of intellectual heft and new age insight. Food is about more than eating. It’s about evolution.


Gyms are the same all over, but New York adds in the real-life activities of regular, everyday walking: climbing upstairs, heading downstairs, dodging cars and trucks, fighting for cabs, yanking purses from muggers, and so on. Even when you get home, odds are you’re ending the day climbing the stairs with a bag of groceries. That means when it comes to fitness in the Big Apple, exercise really is wherever you want to find it.


Fitness in Los Angeles is far more creative and nuanced than many might believe. More akin to finding a religion, your chosen form of exercise goes beyond simply “burning calories.” Holistic regimes, quasi-spiritual retreats, or even physically demanding purges not attempted (on purpose) since the Middle Ages are de rigueur. In LA, sweat is for animals. True fitness is a state of being.


Consider for a moment that a huge part of the city exists above five stories. Then figure that something like an earthquake would pretty much present a clear and present danger to folks living in such locales. That makes a hysterical, screaming response to even the mildest of earth shakes a perfectly rational and totally appropriate course of action. Those who survive are often those who run the fastest.


When your entire city straddles a huge stretch of the San Andreas Fault and you’ve been experiencing quakes and their subsequent aftershocks for the better part of your life, any response to an actual earthquake — beyond rolling over and going back to sleep — will always seem like irrational overkill to a jaded local. Is such a response the safest course of action? No, but seeing as your car just got repo’d, your life in LA is pretty much over anyway. See #DroolingLoser.

Contributed by By Jarrod Thalheimer

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