Ban Los Angeles, Ban Whole Foods, Ban Air Guitars

Downtown Los Angeles, a city that human beings choose to live in (Image: Matt Novak, an idiot who chooses to live there)
Downtown Los Angeles, a city that human beings choose to live in (Image: Matt Novak, an idiot who chooses to live there)

I need to get out of this fucking city. Los Angeles is just too damn expensive. I don’t know what I’m doing here anymore. The only thing worth doing that’s free is the library. Oh, that and playing air guitar at Whole Foods. Sorry, it’s 365-Foods or whatever it’s fucking called. You didn’t hear? That new Silver Lake grocery store has free air guitars. Because that’ll help offset your rent.

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From The Independent (emphasis all mine):

The Silver Lake site was swarmed on its opening day and, a week later, finding a spot in the car-park is still no easier than finding pre-spiralised zucchini at Safeway. The first indication that 365 is aimed squarely at millennials sits just outside the entrance: an empty rack offering “free air guitars” and directing customers to a specially curated Spotify playlist, peopled with such fashionable-yet-inoffensive artists as LCD Soundsystem, Bon Iver and TV on the Radio.

One more time in case you missed it:

The first indication that 365 is aimed squarely at millennials sits just outside the entrance: an empty rack offering “free air guitars”

And one more time for good luck:

an empty rack offering “free air guitars”

Reading that makes me want to club something cute and furry and vulnerable to bits with a blunt object.

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Why do we live in this city? Okay, yes, I sincerely love the fact that I can see an old movie on the big screen any night of the week at the New Beverly, the Aero, the Egyptian, or on a rooftop downtown. And I sincerely love the library. It really is a world-class public library. Fuck, I just remembered that I owe like six bucks to the library in late fees. I better get my ass down to 365 before they run out of air guitars. I bet they start charging for them on Monday.

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Matt Novak is a senior writer at Gizmodo and founder of Paleofuture.com. He's writing a book about the movies U.S. presidents watched at the White House, Camp David, and on Air Force One.

DISCUSSION

conlawhero
ConLawHero

My wife and I were commenting to each other about this very topic. We’ve been watching House Hunters Renovations on HGTV and it seems like they film exclusively in and around LA (Burbank, San Pedro, Valencia, etc....).

We’re watching these people who are buying ABSOLUTE SHIT HOLES for $500,000 to $600,000. Frankly, we were laughing at the fact that people pay that much for garbage.

We live in Upstate NY. We live in one of the top 3 largest cities in NY, so we’re not out in the fucking woods. We live in a super nice neighborhood and our 2600 square foot, 20 year old house that is beautifully done inside (all hard wood floors downstairs, granite counters, 3 seasons room, etc) we bought for... $255,000.

My wife is from Westchester County, went to undergrad in Boston and medical school in Brooklyn. I went to undergrad in Upstate NY, law school downstate, and LLM in Boston. We have both seen what “big cities” have to offer. I can honestly say, there isn’t a single thing a big city offers that can’t be found where we are.

You want broadway shows? Got that (with the broadway cast). Want Ethiopian food? Got that. Want international music festivals? Got that. Want ten different pizza restaurants within a few blocks? Got that. Want a world class philharmonic orchestra? Got that. Want world class research universities? Got that.

There’s literally not a single thing that I’ve come across in a big city that we don’t have here, unless you want to count sky high prices. Sure, as a lawyer I make a bit less (I make about 2/3) than an associate makes at a big NYC firm, but my housing costs are 1/2 to a 1/3 of what they are in NYC. Also, I don’t have to rely and pay for public transportation. You can literally be anywhere within the county in about 20 minutes (and it’s a big county). I spend $60 per month on gas for my car (6 speed manual Nissan Altima). I maybe spend $1,000 a year on maintenance for my car.

There is no math on the planet that allows one to make the conclusion it’s ever cheaper to live in a big city. Housing costs always outpace salary unless you’re willing to live in an extremely undesirable area (which will likely be gentrified and you won’t be able to afford to live there anyway).

So... yeah, $600,000 for a house I wouldn’t pay $100,000 to live in a city that’s more expensive and a larger headache because of traffic, it’s hilarious that people endure that shit.