I didn’t have much luck in LA. I didn’t go “out” as much as I thought I would. Second, when I did – and I mean this with utmost respect – I didn’t see anything that was striking.
I had a couple observations:
1. Weather. I used to think dry heat was “better than” the humid (and hot) weather people experience in places like NY. I’ve grown to like NY summer weather. In LA, I felt debilitated. Granted, I was in the San Fernando Valley, where it’s usually 5-7 degrees warmer than inner-city LA area. But when it’s already 95, 100 isn’t much worse. This really and seriously affects fashion. Which brings me to my related/corollary point.
2. Weather and City Affect Fashion. It’s very noticeable that people like to be comfortable in LA. I think people sacrifice less. This might be inherent to the city structure. Whereas in more condensed city spaces people have to sacrifice space, time and comfort because of population density and established public transportation, in LA most people drive everywhere. As I have described plenty of times to friends and family, in LA you leave your private home, enter your private garage, get in your private car/SUV, drive on public streets and highways that are privately subsidized, arrive at your private business… and do the same thing on the way back home. This could be comfortable, unless of course you’re stuck in traffic on the 405 or 101. I find myself experiencing the space with less spontaneity and interaction with the public. This is not to say that communities do not exist – ‘communities’ are weaved in larger more sprawling spaces. The notion of community needs to be discussed in larger detail, which I won’t do, but I will say that though LA has a ridiculously happening cultural base (and I predict that LA is going to give NY a run for its money in terms of art and culture in the next 10 years or less), it is inaccessible because of its draped design.
Really this can go on and on, but in my heart I love LA like no other.