The Six Types of Transplants Ruining L.A.
By Hillel Aron, May 16, 2013
Ah, Hollywood. Beckoning transplants west like our own little Statue of Liberty. We kind of wish it wouldn't.
Every day, hundreds (just to go with a nice round number) of hard-working, diverse, interesting people come to Los Angeles and feed our desperately sluggish economy, buying tacos and facial treatments and what have you.
But let's face it. We get a lot of the wrong kind of people moving to Los Angeles, too. We see them every day, clogging our bars, taking our parking spots and hitting on our women.
If only there were some kind of limit on certain people, like the United States used to have under Warren G. Harding to keep out all the Chinamen.
Here are the six kinds of people City Hall should put a hard quota on -- and by hard quota, we mean zero.
Here, then, are the six worst kinds of L.A. transplants:
6) The Hippie
Often from Northern California, the hippie comes to Los Angeles for its sunshine, cheap yoga and preponderance of religious cults. (OK, either that or he was aiming for San Francisco and overshot the mark.) This type often settles in Venice Beach, walks barefoot and talks about how he once found the perfect quinoa. Some are known to surf; they do so poorly.
Hippies are often thought to be mostly harmless, so long as they bathe once in a while. But the problem with the hippie is that he thinks he belongs here. In fact, hippies generally labor under the delusion that this land was built for them, ignorant of its origins as a homicidal cattle town built on the banks of a capricious river.
It's this sense of entitlement that makes the hippie's presence so insidious, so offensive to the native Angeleno. Peace, love and understanding? Try stolen water, labor strife and concrete.
5) The Instant Hater
It is, of course, fashionable in certain parts of the country -- the mouth-breathing, gun-rack-possessing parts -- to hate Los Angeles. The implication is that its denizens are foppish, that our gorgeous weather has made us soft.
Many, therefore, are primed to hate this town before even setting foot on our sandy shores. And so it is with little hesitation that they decry with disdain and wonderment, "Why does no one walk in L.A.?" or "Why can't anyone drive in the rain here?" as if they were the first one to come up with this brilliant observation. In no other locale on the planet do people make snap judgments about so vast a land mass and so numerous a people as they do in Los Angeles.
Here's a good rule of thumb: Until you've either conceived a child here, started a business or achieved enough to deserve your own Wikipedia page (of moderate length, not just two paragraphs you wrote yourself), you are a guest in our great city. Ask not why we do what we do; ask what you can learn from our strange and curious ways.
4) The Instant Connoisseur
Of course, we'll take the hater over the instant connoisseur any day of the week.
You know the type. The ones that move here and then five months later want to tell you all about how Larchmont is the cutest street and oh -- this is THE. BEST. TACO TRUCK -- you have to try it. And yeah, Runyon Canyon is super-great. Yes, I've tried a bacon-wrapped hot dog. Yes, they are the best thing to eat drunk, along with anything else remotely edible, like boiled shoe leather.
Listen, fresh-off-the-boaters. Los Angeles is a massive beast of a city, full of sadness and mystery, a land of nooks and crannies so odd and counterintuitive, even those of us who've lived here our entire lives haven't really figured it out. It's why there are so few books about Los Angeles -- it's just too fucking complicated (well, that and we are all illiterate).
So don't call anything "the best" until you've lived here for at least five years. In fact, you should have no opinions whatsoever about any goods or services sold within the borders of L.A. County. All you're allowed to say is, "Really? That sounds amazing. What's it called again?"
3) The Screenwriter
What a drag it is when you walk into your favorite coffee shop only to see five balding white dudes with five identical MacBooks sitting at the five best tables in the shop, all staring at Final
God help you if you actually get into a conversation with these people. They would have to save a man's life to rise to the level of boring. And their self-esteem is a notch above those 14th-century monks who used to whip themselves.
We get it. You have a dream: to spend three years of soul-wrenching work on 120 pages that an enormous multinational conglomeration will buy, hire five guys to rewrite, focus-group to within six inches of its life and turn into something commoditized and horrible that makes gobs of money overseas. Cool dream, bro. Too bad you have a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while scratching off a winning lottery ticket.
2) The Actor
Some object to people who wait tables for a living and then call themselves actors. That's not really our beef; after all, we here at the L.A. Weekly often call ourselves journalists.
No, our problem is that actors are self-obsessed, overly dramatic and frankly disingenuous people who pollute our environment with their spastic behavior, high-pitched laughter and funny voices. And say what you will about screenwriters but at least they pick up a book once in a while.
We realize that the world needs movies, the L.A. economy needs movies, and movies need attractive people to be in them, otherwise known as actors and actresses. But perhaps we could confine them to some sort of work camp or ghetto?
1) New Yorkers
A variation on "the hater," the New Yorker puts a whole new twist on it, taking as gospel that his is the one true city -- "The City." To New Yorkers, other metropolitan areas are doing it wrong: The pizza crust is too thick in Chicago, Boston is full of sports-obsessed hicks, etc. But Los Angeles? Gasp. Los Angeles isn't doing it wrong. Los Angeles is wrong.
Take Meghan O'Rourke, the self-described poet/culture critic who trashed L.A. after spending all of four months living here.
The only thing New Yorkers love more than talking about New York is talking about how Los Angeles isn't New York, how our streets are too long; our public transit, nonexistent; our pizza shitty, our bagels shitty, our bars close too early, everything closes too early, no one dances at shows, everything is too slow, and everyone is too polite.
And when an Angeleno visits New York? We're kind of like, whatever. Cool place to stay for a week or so, as long as you have a couch to sleep on, 'cause you have to be, like, an oil magnate to afford a hotel room.
Because you can love L.A. without being obsessed with L.A.; you can love L.A. but not have your identity be all about being from LA. Our history is not so overbearing, or buildings not so iconic, our accents just ambiguous enough to allow us to wear our L.A.-ness like a loose garment. Ours is a kind of freedom New Yorkers will never know. And that is why they hate us. They hate us because we are free.
And so they move here. Go figure.
See also: 50 Reasons Los Angeles Is the Best Effing City in America
See also: Top 10 Reasons to Love Los Angeles and Never, Ever Leave
See also: Fear and Loathing of Los Angeles: Let Them Keep Hating. We Know Better.