The Middle of It All

I’ve been searching for the “middle” of LA since I moved there.

Of course, there is the geographic center, which, according to my best guesses in looking at a map, is Hancock Park/Larchmont Village. However, this doesn’t really seem to be the heart of LA.

You see, in New York, for better or worse, if you stand on 57th street and 7th Avenue looking south at Times Square and north at Central Park, you will feel like you are in the middle of the [NYC] universe. I’ve been searching for a similar Angeleno equivalent, to no avail.

And, I’ve found out, people in LA really don’t care if there is a “center” of LA or not. They’re too busy making sure that they’re not too busy to enjoy their lives. Too blessed to be stressed, if I were to want to sound like the millennial Insta-influencer.

Once I moved past finding the “middle” of LA, I do think I happened upon the metaphorical center of LA – Cafe Gratitude.

You can get an adrenal latte, cannabinoid oil elixirs (can you drive after drinking these? serious question), and listen to people talk about crystals, moon juice powder (what?), sleep, and wellness. This, my [internet] friends, is LA.

I’ve also become convinced that LA isn’t so much a place, but an idea. It is so spread out and unfathomable to me how Santa Monica, Pasadena, and downtown LA are all considered the same city. Hence, why my “LA as an idea” ideology has developed.

I made my first trip back to NYC since moving and had a hard time answering “do you love LA?” question.

I do know I don’t hate LA. There are some serious perks, including:

  • Predictable, dependable, and AMAZING weather: The weather enhances your life every day. You could be having a bad day, and if you stand outside for 10 minutes, your mood is lifted, no cannabinoid oil needed.
  • Actual work-life balance!: I used to think work-life balance was also just an ideology, and not something that was actually attainable. I, my friends, am here to tell you it exists and it is omnipresent in Southern California.
  • Daily vacation mode: At least once a day, I feel like I’m on vacation in LA. And, I’m not. It is wild.
  • Mini vacation mode: On the weekends, I can go to the beach or mountains and feel like I took an actual vacation day without being all that far from my house (obviously, traffic is the rate limiting factor on “how far” in terms of time). And, I can stop at Target on the way home and stock up on dollar section items, because I can load as much as I want into my car.

But moving is hard. Starting over is hard. I know, #firstworldproblems.

I have decided that you can’t really compare LA and NYC. I’ve read 500,000 articles on the two cities trying to figure out how to compare. Sure, they both have culture, great food, entertainment, but your daily experience is pretty different in LA as compared to NYC. I’ve stopped trying to compare. Both cities have their undeniable merits, they’re just different.

I do miss NYC immensely – it’s my first love, the place I grew up (as an adult, at least), and feels like home. But, I do love my “new” life, sleeping 8-10 hours a night, seeing the sun, and not dreading winter.

If you know the center of LA, please do tell. I’m still searching. In the mean time, you can find me drinking my adrenal latte, too blessed to be stressed.