Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Denver Bound?

Last month when I originally plotted out this post, I was seriously considering moving to Denver in May. I was wildly unhappy here (still not great, but I think we can remove the "wild" now), and the rent there is outrageously cheap! We're talking 850 for a one bedroom with fireplace, private deck, and utilities included within walking distance of my favourite bookstore for 850/mo. What the eff, right? Why would I ever stay in dirty, smelly, doesn't-appreciate-me-anyway Los Angeles?

"THE COLD, THE COLD!" you yell, if you know me at all. "You'll hate the cold and be miserable in Denver." Well, yes. And no. I do hate the cold. I hate it with a passion usually reserved for religious fundamentalists and puppy killers. Drop the temperature below 60 and my mood plummets with it. But I might make an exception for Denver because I love snow. And Denver is one of those places where it actually snows decently when it gets cold, thus offering winter some sort of redemption. Plus, I was moving there in May, remember? At least 3 or 4 months before the cold weather sets in.

Everything else about Denver is great, too. It's fairly cosmopolitan, certainly as much as I need in a city. It's pretty and clean and nature-filled. There's lots of awesome hiking and SNOWBOARDING in the winter. YAY!

What it lacks is a strong media industry. But it's so freakin' cheap, I could be a barista and pay all my bills. Who needs to pursue their career passion when they can snowboard every day in the winter and have a fireplace in their house and breathe clean air?

But when it came right down to it, I really do love Los Angeles. I hear a lot of my friends complain and say they would leave if they could do their work elsewhere, and I just don't understand. Despite the crippling personal and professional year I've had, I still love L.A.

It's truly an amazing city. All the things I hate about it I simultaneously love (except traffic). Even the rampant elitism and legions of unleashed socialites can be endearing if I'm in the right mood. I like living in Hollywood (where I just signed a lease, putting off Denver for at least another year); the grime and grit make me feel a bit more authentic. Yeah, I'm strolling on the renowned Walk of Fame to get to the farmer's market. I know it's touristy, but on the other hand, there's a homeless guy with no legs over there polishing one of the stars. It ain't all glitz and glamour, ok? But the juxtaposition (5 points for using that in a sentence) of those two elements, the glamour and dreams versus the dirt and heartbreak are what attract me to the city and inspire me every day. Seriously, confine me to the Westside (sanitized places like Beverly Hills, etc) and I'd split inside of two months.

And don't get me started on the number and variety of concerts that play here every day!...Seriously, that would take forever to fully discuss. Let's just say I go to about 3-4 shows a months, from indie to Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl and, as far as I can tell, besides New York, no other city in the country can offer that to me.

On balance, I'd say I'm pretty happy to be staying. Denver is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Not yet, anyway.

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