It used to be the case that L.A. seemed utterly different from Eastern cities in one crucial way: it was already hauntingly apocalyptic, a place of steep hills, deep predator-filled canyons, terrible earthquakes, and winds bearing plutonium from Japan. The first month I lived here I cowered in my bed at night as the helicopters passed over, thinking there was an ongoing series of manhunts… But I’m struck, visiting this time, by how California’s apocalyptic ecology no longer feels absolutely foreign. Since 2001, that science-fiction feeling has migrated eastward. Last fall, Sandy drove home to all of us the folly and imperiled grandeur of our island existence, with its unprecedented flooding and winds. In March, I took my one trip back East—to Boston, where I stayed in a hotel just yards away from where the first Marathon bombing would occur a few weeks later—and later watched images of dazed Bostonites being interviewed and “locked down.” Given all this, L.A.’s soot raining down from a sky of sun seems relatively normal: a kind of pathetic fallacy for our climate-changing, end-days era.
This guide to where New Yorkers move in other cities is kind of amazing. Though for the record, I am struggling with the idea that Santa Monica is the Cobble Hill of Los Angeles, and I don’t know anybody in San Francisco who wants to move to LA. (via The Morning News)