I've been looking for a new apartment for two months and have been finding nothing but dead ends. If a place looks nice, I call or text to set up a time to visit—a missive that’s often met with, "You should come right now. There is a lot of interest." Oh, and an inflated rent price, too. Open houses have become a thing for otherwise shabby quarters due to demand, making for awkward and stuffy viewings where you must imagine your own belongings in an furniture-less room filled with your competition—people hungry for a place to sleep that isn't a friend's couch. What is going on? Why is the interest the L.A. housing market so big it is making rent unaffordable? I’ve lived in this city for a long time. Now it feels like I’m being pushed out.
Well, breaking news, people: everyone loves L.A. right now—even people who don’t live here. The great carpetbagging of our city has begun, with Brooklynites and San Franciscans ditching their otherwise cold or expensive or whatever places for sunny Southern California. While we’re happy for the national recognition, we have to admit it: Things sure were nice when L.A. was more popular as a punch line.
My thought: The party is over and we need to do something about it. While you can’t just tell people not to move here because you like the space and quality of life, there are ways you can pitch against the city to friends, family, or whoever else expresses sudden interest in moving here. Partly inspired by this recent satirical rant on the subject, please enjoy—and actively use! —these 16 lines designed to keep our population at a modest 4 million.
- “Plane tickets back East are so expensive.”
- “Lots of people wear sun hats and dress like it’s Coachella. Every. Day.”
- “I drive everywhere. I even drive a mile to the supermarket. Can you believe that?”
- “Be sure to see lots of new releases before you move here. People talk only about the last movie they saw.”
- “I’m so sad. I haven’t seen my friends since they moved to [insert local neighborhood here].”
- “What’s great about L.A. is how much it is like summer camp: everyone always wants to be outside, at all times, and in groups.”
- “You’ll never not know what the cool new food/diet trends is—they come up in conversation constantly.”
- “People don’t realize how expensive sun screen gets when you have to purchase it year-round.”
- “Dating here is great—if you don’t mind only ever meeting people at dinner parties.
- “Have you seen Clueless? That’s how everyone talks. It’s practically a documentary!”
- “Being a non-smoker in L.A. is sort of a mute point. The air quality is so bad it feels like you are smoking.”
- “Be sure to move with all your clothes for layering, especially if you arrive between May and July—that’s when the city is covered in grey clouds without warning or reason.”
- “The art here is OK. Our museums are so spread out you can’t even get through one in a day.
- “Everyone is so nice and supportive and wants to collaborate all the time. Think Kumbaya City.”
- “The hiking trails are so great you forget ever minding the smell of dog pee.”
- “Los Angeles is like the Williamsburg of America: everyone is talking about it. Can’t wait to welcome you!”
Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I'm Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.