LOS ANGELES—Over the weekend, The New York Times published an amusing article about New Yorkers discovering Los Angeles anew. It seems that for a long time they harbored a lot of facile prejudices about us but have lately realized that L.A. is delightful. For some, this apparently began while they were looking at Instagram. "Last fall," the article begins, "Christina Turner, a fashion stylist in Brooklyn, was dreading another New York winter in her cramped, lightless Greenpoint, Brooklyn, apartment while gazing longingly at the succulent gardens and festive backyard dinner parties posted on social media by her friends in Los Angeles."
So she moved here. I only wish that I could've gotten word to her sooner. I've always known that New Yorkers are inwardly focused. When there's a municipal election there they don't even realize we're not all picking a mayor of America together. But I would've sworn that everyone already knew about our good weather.
Instagram isn't the only thing that has changed how New Yorkers see us. The article's author, Alex Williams, whose Twitter handle is @AlexWilliamsNYC, writes:
In an era when it has become fashionable for New Yorkers to grumble that their own city is becoming a sterile playland for the global-money set (Dubai with blizzards, basically), Los Angeles is enjoying a renaissance with a burgeoning art, fashion and food scene that has become irresistible to the culturally attuned. As a result, the old New York-Los Angeles rivalry is changing, at least on the East Coast side of the equation.
For Angelenos confused by that passage, it's useful to know that both New York City and San Francisco imagine that they're engaged in rivalries with Los Angeles, whereas an Angeleno asked about either city is most likely to say, "Nice place, I love to visit!" Says Josh Barro, a New Yorker of whom I've always been fond, "Angelenos talk about how they don't spend time comparing L.A. to New York in that tone people use to declare they're totally over their exes." And this just confirms how little New Yorkers understand us. If any city is totally over their exes it's L.A. This is the town that shaped Elizabeth Taylor and invented Divorce Court.