Having been back in Cali now for a little over three weeks, I’m starting to finally get myself anchored. Got a car. Got a place. Connecting with family and old friends. I’m a California native, so the lay of the land and vibe are familiar.
One thing that I find myself needing even more of now at this stage of my life, with all of my experiences, is character and personality. NYC is full of that, but certain parts of Southern California can feel very homogenized. I grew up in a very controlled, planned, conservative environment, and didn’t know anything different until I got out into the world and saw that there was a lot more happening than I thought. I’m glad that I ventured out!
I think that everyone should take a minute and live in NYC, even if only for a year or so. It forces you to figure out how to interact with all kinds of people and all kinds of energy. It is a place where you have to be on your toes because you’re in constant motion. It’s an environment like none other, and I feel richer from the experience and grateful to have a perspective that is broader now because of it.
So in my search for a place to live, I found out that there is a great vibe and energy happening in downtown LA now. It’s giving you a little NYC action, and I like that! Lots of amazing restaurants and cool places to go check out, and they’re seemingly everywhere. At the end of the 1990s I was looking for a loft space to live in and went downtown to check out some new spaces that had just been developed.
The beginnings of what is now a thriving loft community in downtown LA was just getting started then, and although some of the spaces I saw were amazing, there was no infrastructure to make living down there convenient and user-friendly. There weren’t any supermarkets or that many restaurants to choose from, or Blockbuster video stores (yes, that was important at the time), so I decided to take a loft space west of downtown that had those conveniences.
Now it’s changed, and I’m happy to say that I’m going to be living there in a loft in an amazing re-purposed old 1920s office building. So great. So much character and personality, and you get a lot for your money, especially when you compare it to NYC, where you’re paying ridiculous prices for a square box and relatively no space.
I think that’s one of the things that’s really strongly felt here in Cali; that sense of space. You can see the horizon when you look out. You can find places to live that give you space and not pay thousands of dollars a month for them. Even though you may be trapped in traffic, you don’t feel closed in by the environment because you can see great distances all around you. Doesn’t take away from the frustrations that come with sitting on the freeway and moving at a snail’s pace, but there’s an expanse around you that doesn’t close you in.
Striking a balance in California is easier, and you can’t beat the weather! I love and adore NYC and it will always be a part of my life, but I’m enjoying the balance that California offers. It’s a beautiful place to live! Sandy beaches and sunny skies, I am Miss California! Lol!