Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Today's hype:

San Francisco.
And New York.

But first, SF: I went with my sister to visit my cousin and her girlfriend and I really like it up there. It had been a while since I visited – about 7 years – but I love it every time I go. And I consider moving there.

What's keeping me in L.A.? My job? Like I can't be corporate slave in the Bay Area? I could be a struggling writer anywhere. Friends? Yeah, I'd miss my friends, but sometimes they come and go. Some I lose touch with, some hook up with spouses or new careers, sometimes they move away, sometimes I simply move on. Not a big deal. I think I make new friends pretty easily. I've got my cousin and her friends to help get me started if I wanted. Family? Yeah, that's it. I couldn't leave my mother, grandmother and sister behind.

Still, if that weren't the problem, would I really go? Maybe, maybe not. Thing is, I hate the flakiness and the driving of L.A. And I don't know if it would be any better in Frisco. People in big cities are busy, and with so many distractions, I don't know if they'd be any more reliable than the Lalaland lollygaggers. My cousin assured me that driving isn't that bad up there. She barely has a commute, always finds parking, and it takes no more than 15 minutes to get anywhere in San Francisco. (We did go to Oakland once, and that was a relatively long haul.) Perhaps I wouldn't spend the hour-and-a-half-per-day in my car like I do here, but maneuvering up those steep hills might give me a heart attack. Hell, I even avoid that slope on La Cienega heading north to Sunset.

But San Fran is beautiful – all the houses and terrain are comforting to look at. It's more of a city, too. There are plenty of places to walk around and go into the stores and coffee shops and hang out. Plus the people seem to be cooler. More laid back. I didn't get the sense – as I always do in LA – that money really matters. Everyone wears casual clothes, drives practical cars or trucks; they're not donning fancy labels or showing off their status-seeking SUVs.

The weather could be a problem, though. Q: Why is the Bay area like the Israeli Army? A: 'Cause there's always a draft. SF houses are prettier than the ones in LA, but both are typically poorly insulated. Difference is, LA is a sunny delight, unlike that soft drink or that city up north. It'd be a challenge for a runner like me to maintain his fitness regiment without freezing to death or getting altitude sickness on those hills. But I could probably get used to it.

I'm still not sure if it's true that SF is a straight man's paradise. Would there really be a surplus of straight single women looking for a regular breeder guy like me? Perhaps now, more than ever, it would be the perfect place to go. I saw the hundreds of same-sex couples lined outside City Hall, camping out for a legal marriage as if it were Pink Floyd tickets. So now, when women are wondering where are all the men who aren't married or gay… or both… I could be the answer.

I think the real answer is to visit more, and find out for sure. If I really like it up there, then I'd just have to work on what to do about the mischbucha…

My sister wants to move back to New York. Also an intriguing idea, but that's a whole other situation I won't go into here.

But here's what's exciting about my home town: The Yankees got A-Rod! I haven't been this excited about an off-season trade since they got the Rocket. Or traded Mr. October in the early '80s. Or acquired Tommy John. I mean, the man was so old and washed up, they named a friggin' surgery after him. Maybe that was the idea – first, Yankee star Lou Gehrig has a disease named after him, then, if a player is gonna be famous for having a surgery with his name, he oughta be wearing pinstripes. But I digress.

The Bombers' team – like their payroll, yes – is unstoppable. I hope Steinbrenner keeps spending and adding to the arsenal (Get Maddux!). And since they're coming to play the Dodgers in interleague games this year, I wouldn't have to move back to the Big Apple just to see 'em kick ass in '04.

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