go west

The pioneers had it right, or was it the Village People? Who ever it was, someone knew what they were talking, or singing about when they made this pronouncement. But is the Westside truly where it's at? And if so, why are scads of people claiming the Eastside to be the epitome of cool? Or maybe sacrificing tranquility, clean air, and proximity to the ocean is just a way to distract oneself from the implications of moving on and settling into to a pleasant Westside yuppified life.

I'd been living on what would technically be considered the Eastside since first moving to LA in 1995. I started off in a charming studio in the Mid Wilshire district, less glamorously known as Koreatown. The building was gorgeous and the neighborhood had its charms too. That is until the day the attendant of the parking lot got hit over the head with a bat and his car stolen at 8:00 in the morning. I just so happened to be warming up my car when the attendant jumped in and yelled, "sigue les". In vain, we tried to catch up to the thieves.

A month later, I recklessly decided to move out for a stint in the Valley. Couldn't last there either because of the heat and dread of suburbia. It was a novelty to have Ikea so close, but there were only so many Swedish meatballs a girl could eat.

And then I moved up in the world, settling in Los Feliz. Well past it's heyday, it still boasted a quaintness that I relished at the time. My placement there also gave me access to the tyranny of cool that reigns in Silver Lake and Echo Park. But after deciding to cohabitate with my boyfriend, it was apparent we would need a bigger place, and we weren't going to find anything in our price range in that trendy hood.

We headed to Hollywood and had been living there for over two years. The apartment itself was fine, larger than we needed with high ceilings and a nice view. But the neighborhood was less than desirable. Once I even found a makeshift crack pipe in the elevator. And I am certain that the rooftop Jacuzzi that rent.com so proudly highlights was host to several diseases endemic to the less hygienic tenants who made up a majority of the building. Walking to the Hollywood Bowl a few nights during the summer was the only thing that kept me going.

When we first moved there, I was attracted to the area's urban no nonsense, which I later learned was actually my lack of good sense. It was exciting being offered drugs walking down the street, but after several busts and a couple of shoot outs, there was really no way for me to positively spin our living situation.

So when my boyfriend-turned-husband got a new job on the Westside, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to move onward.

Maybe it's age, but urban decay is no longer romantic and though I'm nowhere near where I thought I would be at the age of 32, I feel that it is time to raise the bar on my standards. I believe that if you honor your life, albeit prematurely, your life, in return will take care of you and reciprocate the bounty that it was bestowed. Wishful thinking perhaps, but what else is one to do?

A month later and we are finally nestled ever so comfortably in our posh new abode, though the beach is not at our front door, we are exposed to a whole new environment. The only problem now is that our Eastside Ikea furniture doesn’t match the Pottery Barn vibe. It looks like I’m going to have to turn some tricks Eastside style.

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