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Lena Dunham nails it in her #ASKLENA video advice series. For example: A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself.” 

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Although rather harsh, I laughed out loud at some of the items in this list. Plus, describing the city as a place “to succeed wildly, or fail spectacularly” sums up one aspect that I love about both LA and NYC.

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One Year LA-versary

September 4th marked the one year anniversary of my arrival in Los Angeles. I hated the city during my first week due to the intense heat wave, empty apartment, and general unfamiliarity. Eventually I grew to appreciate the city, although I still pined for New York. But somehow along the way, LA burrowed its way into my heart and is now the only place I want to be. Here are my top 14 moments (in no particular order) from my first year in LA.

1. Rainstorm pool party during a monsoon-like weekend at the end of February. 

2. Eating ramen by moonlight at a secret restaurant in the middle of the desert. 

3. Wine tasting and sunset driving in Malibu after skipping out of work early on a Friday afternoon. 

4. Playing hooky from work after two epic weekends of Coachella to get a massage, get my car washed, eat frozen yogurt, and nap in a hammock at the top of a hill overlooking the valley. 

5. The Tensnake warehouse party.

6. Local Natives at the Greek Theater.

7. A Clean Bandit 2am kitchen dance party on a Sunday night after seeing Robyn + Royksopp at the Hollywood Bowl.

8. The WeHo double decker bus party.

9. Chasing the most epic sunset of all time down the PCH.

10. Watching Fourth of July fireworks explode over our heads at Cinespia in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

11. Being a VIP audience member on The Price Is Right and getting a backstage tour after the show.

12. The Holi color festival. 

13. A surprise date to the Magic Castle.

14. A beach bonfire in the middle of winter on Huntington Beach.

Thanks for an amazing first year, LA.

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Twenty-Nine

I love the arrival of timely articles. Last night I told my roommate, “It’s almost a shame I’m turning 30 in a few months, because I finally feel like I’ve figured out how to live my twenties.” Today, Ann Friedman’s "The Power of 29: An Ode to Being Almost 30" entered my radar. She nails it. 29 has been the best year of my life to this point. And given the discussions I’ve had with my female friends and family members from age 30 and well beyond, it only gets better. Added perk: apparently everyone likes you when you’re 29.

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"When you tell people up north, or really anywhere, that you lived in Los Angeles, they say, “I’m sorry.” And I’m always like, “No, I’m sorry for you that you don’t know magic when you see it.” I think, as with so many things, that Carly Rae Jepsen puts it best: “I like Los Angeles. So many artistic people, and I just love the weather.”"

Sarah Miller’s essay "Relax. You’re in Los Angeles" on The Hairpin. CRJ really does put it best.

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What this piece is not going to do:

1. Fan the flames of the “New York is over” narrative, as advanced variously by David Byrne, Patti Smith, et al.

2. Propose a tidy New York-L.A. binary. (O.K., maybe just one.)

3. Refer to Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That.”

4. Make value judgments about which coastal megalopolis is superior.

Amen.

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Articles I wish I’d written: "Comparing NYC and LA: Who is the Winner?"

At night, LA sounds like: Rainforest Café with occasional SWAT helicopters

At night, NYC sounds like: Law and Order SVU

WIN: LA

If you hit rock bottom in NYC: You are silently ejected from the city in a Darwinian weeding-out-of-the-failures kind of way. One cannot financially afford to hit rock bottom in NYC.

If you hit rock bottom in LA: You move into a friend’s tree house in Venice for a bit. Can still date anyone of any status, can still attend prime events. Still have Wifi. Still vegan.

WIN: TIE

A 10AM meeting in NYC: Starts at 9:50AM

A 10AM meeting in LA: Would theoretically start at noon, but will be cancelled by both people and rescheduled 5 times

WIN: NYC

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I myself am a proponent of option two.

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My friend emailed me this link with the note, “I think you will like this because you and I both lean towards the introspective and (maybe you also?) feel nostalgia for the dark times well as the light.” It’s a short musing on the positive side of youthful misery, as reflected upon by a now very life-together mother/wife/business owner. She writes:

Being settled — and a mom and wife with a cool career — was all I wanted for years and years. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days when I had none of it. There was something really light about those very dark days. 

Ladies, keep on keeping on down the long, long road. Enjoy your single life. The heartbreaks, the pain, the sucky, confusing, horrible-ness of it all. Surf the couches, fuck the guys, feel the pain, pound the shots, wear the heels, cry your eyes out, spend all day in the dark thinking about how hard it is for your plump fragile soul to survive this mean cold mindfuck called LIFE.  Work your heart to it’s core. Then do it all again. You’ll find your way home when it’s time.

As I edge towards 30, I am acutely aware of how this free-spirited, spontaneous era is approaching its inevitable finale. Even if I’m not the one getting married or having babies yet, many of my friends will be starting soon. I imagine it will be near impossible to indulge in epic trips and 6am night outs once this new phase of adult responsibility hits. So for the time being, I’m living in the moment and savoring both the highs and the already-tinged-with-nostalgia lows. 

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An Email from my Roommate

Subject: We need to shop at Whole Foods more 

"This being West Hollywood, she was not approached by anyone." #bestline