So today I got back to New York after a trip to Los Angeles, my soon to be new home. Welcome to the land of fame excess (woah) am I gonna fit in? As a New Yorker, I’m used to walking everywhere. Apparently in Los Angeles, walking is for those with out cars. Those with out cars, don’t speak English. I got strange stares as I walked along La Cienega (a main road in LA) and an even more shocked reaction when I told someone I was meeting that I walked from 4th street to 17th. When I ordered an ice coffee, she commented “you really aren’t from here!” Odd.
I was fortunate enough to have a friend lend me a car for the day which allowed me to experience life as a real Angeleno. While the major complaint about LA is the traffic, I found it quite enjoyable. Do I need to make a left or right?! No big deal, I have five minutes to figure it out as I slowly chug at .5 miles per hour along Wilshire Blvd. What’s that? A celebrity walking by? No need to slow down, I can just look out the window of my practically parked car. However, I think I need to invest my next (and final, but hopefully not for too long) paycheck in a subscription to People Magazine. I know as much about celebrities as I do about car mechanics. And I couldn’t fix a car if you had a gun to my head.
I was sitting at lunch when I saw a cute guy, shaved head, ski cap and sunglasses walk right by me. Behind him were three paparazzi, with cameras and video camera in hand. Keep your eyes open on TMZ for a girl sitting awkwardly alone (my friend had just left our lunch to get back to work) behind a celeb as he walks down the street. I also stared for longer than I should have at Joel and Benji Madden who were supposedly eating dinner behind me the night before. I tried, pretended I was excited, but really, couldn’t place them. You could have told me they were from Blink 182, Cobra Starship or N’Sync and I would have been none the wiser.
I assumed looking for an apartment would be more difficult than looking in New York since you have to drive everywhere. Wrong. I literally could trip over “For Rent” signs that were on every other building I saw. I called about 2 million people, got about 1.5 million calls back, and given that my blackberry felt this would be a good weekend to go totally haywire, I couldn’t keep track of all the phone numbers that were going in and out. I was lucky enough to find a place and what an added bonus, it came with a refrigerator! That’s right, most apartments in LA are BYOF. Oh, sorry, refrigerator. Apparently “fridge” is a foreign word out there. It didn’t make much sense to me that I saw more apartments with fireplaces then I did with refrigerators. I guess a diet of smore’s by the ole’ fire ain’t so bad.
The leasing agents were a cast of characters. From the Kim Kardashian wannabe who, while describing the layout of the bedroom told us, “I fit all my stuff in this room and it’s like really nice, not Ikea. Like I have really nice furniture,” to the hilarious owner of a “two bedroom apartment with backyard and weekly maid service,” finding a place was quite an adventure. The owner of the aforementioned apartment I could have sworn was Estelle, Joey’s agent from Friends. Ten years time did not suit her well. Dressed in a large fur coat with huge round sunglasses attached to the chain around her neck, she took us to an apartment that looked like it had been robbed and then left to rot. No weekly maid service could salvage this place. Appliances all over, moldy bathroom and kitchen and the two bedrooms which required you to walk into the first to get to the second. This would never work. I told her it was nice and we would think about it, to which she replied (loudly) “WHAT?” We said “Goodbye” she said “WHAT,” and the search continued. Finally we found a home we loved. Great size, a pool and sweeping views from the “Ruff.” Took me a second to figure out that the leasing agent wasn’t barking at us but was describing the “Roof.” But once I understood, I decided we were in, and I stood on our soon to be balcony, looked to the left and saw the Hollywood sign. LA here I come.