Loving LA is not easy for a parisian

So, yes I’m back ! Landed in Roissy tuesday after 6 days in California. You want to know all about my trip, right ? No ? Well, Neil asked so as he helped me a lot with this trip. Here’s the story.

So I took an AirFrance flight to LAX. My plane was crowded with Iranian people. I was afraid, I was petrified. No, of course not, they were all american residents (does anybody see that i’m lying ? yes i was fuckin’ scared praying that a Air Marshal was aboard).

The guy next to me during 11h was iranian. He drank beers… He was a chemical engineer finishing his Ph.D at the University of Tehran. Yeah I thought in my head that this guy was maybe building some chemical weapons, but he was nice to me, telling me not to drink orange juice because i’ll go to the bathroom. He couldn’t understand that my girlfriend and I weren’t married and going on a trip together… Yup, they are old school down there !

I landed in LAX, Terminal 2, Got a new stamp on my old french passport. A little beagle from the Agriculture and Food Administration sniffed my luggages (3 luggages for six days, what a couple !) and I’m out smelling the fresh air of LA ! Taking our car, fighting with the GPS thing for an hour and here we are STUCK in our first traffic jam ! Traffic, Traffic, Traffic. A parisian cannot imagine what people do in their cars waiting to get home. In fact, the car is the extension of the office. Everybody’s on the phone, taking appointments with their Filofax, playing with their PDA’s.

In LA, I saw accidents I never saw in Europe. In 6 days, I saw a car upside down in the middle of an interstate. Really upside down, I mean the roof touching the ground and the wheel in the air. I saw a tanker-truck smashed. The tanker blocked the highway for more than an hour. A purple sport car was of course pulverized a few meters away… I guess the girl/boy was on the phone, replying on a date on MySpace.

MySpace ? A phenomena ! Everybody’s is on MySpace ! HotTopic is selling humoristic shirts about MySpace. MyGod ! MySpace ! Everybody’s dating on it, Every artist have their MySpace ! If you don’t, well two cases : you’re driving a SUV and that’s ok / you’re not and your a jackass. One of my french friend had 3 dates on the same day with this website. Anyway, a date is a date. In france, a famous french jewish film said about dates : “A date is when you think you will fuck but you don’t”. In France, we’re not into it for the moment. But as everything comes from America, I’m sure that french will date in a few months. Question of time.

Let’s go back to LA, LA is a huge city. Ugly one. Of course it is for a parisian. But there is nice neighborhoods like Venice Canals, Mulholland Drive, some houses on the Pacific Coast Highway looks cool too. Hollywood is ok. Glamourous ? Let me laugh. Santa Monica’s cool, a nice city. Marina Del Rey and Venice are ok. Magnolia is a sleeping district. Inglewood, nothing to say about it. Downtown got his charm with the buildings. Beverly Hills smells the dollar bill. Rodeo Drive is the DisneyWorld for rich women or the LVMH Street. When you are so rich to buy things on Rodeo, I just can’t understand why buying something there. There is nothing less glamourous of buying his Vuitton or his Versace in LA, especially on Rodeo Dr. Please, people of Beverly Hills come in Paris or in Milano ! But not there, this is just ridiculous. The only thing I liked is seeing those rich blond women sitting on Via Rodeo at this restaurant. So Cliché !

I went to Universal, yeah i had to, i’m a tourist. It was fun to see some sets and the view on the city was nice. The Getty Center is a cool place, the restaurant is good and the staff is charming. I loved the view too there. In fact I’m a view guy. I like views.

In fact, Los Angeles is too new. A friend told me something quiet relevant about LA. There is a lot of culture down there, but community culture (armenian, russian, jewish, etc.) and those cultures didn’t aggregate (for the moment). We have to wait some years before a strong LA culture will emerge. So for a european guy, it was quite hard to love this city. In fact, I was quite disapointed. But I don’t hate you, people of Los Angeles. You were nice to me.

Vegas ? The crappiest place on earth. You can’t be surprised by Vegas. What you saw on TV is Las Vegas. I was in this Hotel called Tropicana. All rooms had mirror on the ceiling. How couldn’t you expect that ? It’s Vegas. The worst part is when I went to this Alladin mall. I was hungry so I took an ice-cream. The girl gave me the employee discount ! Like I have the FACE of someone WORKING in VEGAS ! Oh, if you want to eat, go to Le Cirque at the Bellagio. Nice place, good food and the staff is french.

Special Thanks to Natalia, Neil , Julien, Zankou Chicken , Oury & Tom , Girls in the Victoria’s Secret in Vegas (don’t ask me why).
In the car : K-EARTH 101.1, KIISFM 102.7

Pictures : LA, Vegas, Universal

6 Responses to “Loving LA is not easy for a parisian”

  1. Neil
    6/3/2006 at 0:11 #

    Yes, LA’s charms are hard to find. I agree with you on that. I can be so damn ugly. But it does have some weird energy that you sometimes don’t get in an established city like New York, London, or Paris. It just doesn’t have any real “history” to bog it down — or to give it any real class — except for the phony history of Hollywood. A lot of people come here to reinvent themselves because Southern California is a place where people don’t care as much about where you went to school or what family you belong to — it’s more about success and money —

    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you. In my opinion, wherever you travelling is an eye-opening experience because you get to see how others live — and you always learn something about yourself.

    I hope to meet you one day in Paris!

  2. Negrito
    6/3/2006 at 19:17 #

    Nice to see you back and knowing that was cool.. We want pictures ( especially of Victoria secret)

  3. schuey
    8/3/2006 at 14:59 #

    While I really like you, I really have a problem with the fear factor thing about Iran.

  4. nathan
    8/3/2006 at 15:10 #

    It’s not about Islam or the people of Iran (although, they voted for radicalists). It’s more about Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD, open antisemitism and of course nukes…

    And I can’t stand people supporting this country by promoting tourism or other ways. It’s quite the same as supporting tourism in Germany in 1939 !

  5. schuey
    8/3/2006 at 15:14 #

    I think it’s a bit soon to compare anything with National Socialism, even if the people of Iran are not my friends (hide women what a stupid idea) 😉


  1. Citizen of the Month » I Love L.A. (We Love It!) - 12/3/2006

    […] A few weeks ago, I read that Parisian blogger, Nathan, was coming to Los Angeles for a visit.  I always get nervous when I hear someone is visiting LA for the first time.  It’s a difficult city to like, especially when you’re coming from one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  I emailed Nathan, going into LA Chamber of Commerce mode, pleading with him to not give into his first impression of the city.  I reminded him that the city is spread out, and many of its charms can be hidden. […]

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