The Frontal Cortex

NY vs LA

There are few arguments quite as futile, or fun, as debating the merits of cities. I’ve spent many hours discussing the virtues of New York City pizza versus Mexican food in Los Angeles, or the views from the Brooklyn Bridge versus Mulholland. Personally, I take great pleasure in knowing both metropoli, in being as intimate with the 101 freeway as I am with the no.1 subway line. But Paul Tullis isn’t quite as sanguine. He’s a former Angeleno who finds himself cold and broke in Manhattan, surrounded by a bunch of intellectual snobs:

“If all you care about is weather and real estate, yeah, L.A. is better,” a friend, who writes for magazines and television and spends time in both cities, told me over dinner recently. What my friend failed to acknowledge is that, for most people, ninety percent of life is massively influenced by weather and real estate. Sure, if you’re single &/or childless and can skip town whenever you feel like it, if you can go out till 2 and sleep till 11 and take advantage of all the city has to offer, if you spend every waking hour at gallery openings and luncheon meetings and bars and restaurants and none in your 500 sq. ft. apartment–sure, New York rules. But how many people does this describe, who can afford to live like this? It basically describes my friend, and the characters on Sex and the City. Which was not a documentary.


  1. #1 Orac
    November 22, 2006

    Actually, although I tend to be more partial to New York than LA, to me Chicago is a far cooler place to live than either of them. If I ever found a job in Chicago comparable to what I have now, I’d be gone in a flash without looking back. I love that city.

  2. #2 RPM
    November 22, 2006

    Having lived in Los Angeles for 18yrs and visited New York a few times, I chose neither. Sure, they’re great places to visit. But living in LA sucks (the traffic, the people, the fact that you can’t walk anywhere), and NYC is just LA piled upward rather that outward. If I had a choice, I’d probably take NYC because I already know living in LA sucks.

    Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

  3. #3 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    November 22, 2006

    What my friend failed to acknowledge is that, for most people, ninety percent of life is massively influenced by weather and real estate.

    I’m certainly not going to bring up the stereotype of southern Californians as shallow and self-absorbed.

  4. #4 Joshua
    November 22, 2006

    I’m biased towards Boston myself. If we could transplant the NYC subway and the never-sleeping mentality here, it’d be the perfect city to me. Well, maybe I’d like a couple more museums, too, but that’s about it. I like NYC, to be honest, but it’s a lot of bulk for not a lot of substance. Boston has a lot more character to it, in my opinion.

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