I went to Los Angeles this past weekend. To get right to it, my most shocking revelation is that NFL Sunday’s start at 10am! That’s amazing to me! Having worked at CBS Sports, in the back of my mind, I always knew that was the case, but the actually feeling of waking up to professional football on a Sunday morning is pretty damn close to being an orgasmic experience. And despite how awesome that is, is somewhat blasphemous. It’s like a Hollywood chase scene without the plot—sure, it’s exciting, but it just seems wrong—almost blasphemous.
But I digress. While in LA, I actually saw and did a lot more than watch football. But in line with being the investigative person that I am, I observed far more than I ever saw or did myself.
Despite having lived in New York for the last eight years, my observations weren’t all bad. Los Angeles does have some really good restaurants and an overall great selection of food. While I was there, you know I had to hit up several highly acclaimed places, including the Travel Channel’s heralded Mexican establishment, El Tepeyac Café, which serves up one of the meanest burritos you will find on this side of the Rio Grande. And the black person within me couldn’t help but go and find out what the hell all of this hype surrounding Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles is all about. Needless to say, Scoe’s perhaps makes the best waffle and the tastiest fried bird I have ever had. I know it sounds absurd, and believe me, I was just as skeptical, but their chicken & waffles, individually, are out of this world amazing, and the combination of the two will make any New Yorker wonder why they haven’t expanded to the East Coast.
Outside of food, being able to go to the beach at the drop of a dime isn’t horrible. And for all the crap we give Los Angelinos for not being as big on sports as we are, they showed up in large numbers to a bar in Santa Monica to watch the Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito fight. The women there were beautiful, and contrary to popular belief, they aren’t all made out of silicon. Lastly, I have plenty of friends who went to school out there, and despite the notion that Los Angeles is a bad place to come up in the world, everyone I know out there seems to have matured into well-adjusted, fully-functioning adults—which is hard to do given all the drinking and substance-abusing stories I’ve heard come out of the city (not that NYC doesn’t have any of that stuff, but at least we don’t have to drive ourselves home).
Of course, like any New Yorker, going to Los Angeles did raise some eyebrows and generate a few gripes. Not every restaurant that I went to lived up to its billing. I went in and out of In-n-Out Burger without being terribly enthused (for those of you who haven’t had it, In-n-Out Burger’s classic burger resembles Blue 9 burgers, although the beef isn’t quite as tasty).
While the people are a tad bit nicer than your typical New Yorker, it’s pretty hard to meet new people. In New York, you obviously have the bar scene, an unbelievable nightlife scene, small shows, hundreds of live performances, thousands of parties, and a networking scene that is beyond reproach. To give LA its credit, they are probably second-best in many of those same categories, but in comparison to New York, the night life is lacking, the bars and clubs are ultra-fragmented, and the only events worth attending are for the aforementioned ladies made of silicon and the men who buy them.
Having said all of this, I could still see myself living in LA. You probably don’t worry about some of things I just mentioned when you have uncanny weather, sexy beaches and an unparalleled chicken & waffles spot!
Still, there is one thing that causes me to rank NYC over LA 10 times out of 10. When I was in LA, and when I’m anywhere outside of New York for that matter, I always feel as if I am missing out on something.
It all goes back to that whole “The City that never sleeps” mess.
When I look at my own personal calendar of events, the events listed on Black Oak Nights, or just the slew of emails I get for this event or that event, I get amazed by the number of things that there are to do in New York City. Sure, LA has its own style and I’m sure they have more than enough events to satisfy somebody like me, but the events aren’t the same, and they certainly aren’t as diverse, wide-ranging and “important” as the events out here are.
Whether it’s a significant head of state speaking at my alma mater, a media and entertainment conference downtown, or P. Diddy’s All-White Party out in the Hamptons, the things “I” want to be at are all in New York. So with all due respect to my brothas and sistas out there on the Left Coast, while I have much love for you and could even see myself out there with you someday, the East Coast is the Beast Coast, and New York City reigns supreme. Besides, I can’t possibly see myself living in a city with no NFL team—that’s just blasphemous.