Los Angeles


I spent a few days in Los Angeles last week, and found myself wondering why everybody hates it so much. At some point, I happened to mention, maybe kind of excitedly, that I was in Hollywood waiting to see The Hives (incidentally maybe the best living punk band on the planet) play a free show in a parking lot early on a Thursday night, and somebody gives me some sass about how saying stuff like that might lose me my Mission credentials. …


Los Angeles has street art, dive bars, great food, interesting shopping, warm weather, diversity, and world-class entertainment on weeknights — just like the Mission. Sure, there are a lot of strip malls in between, but even our lovely neighborhood has a few generic (uggo!) storefronts here and there.

Like anything, with LA, you just have to take the time to suss out the good stuff.

One day, I skated out to West Hollywood and ate the most simultaneously horrifying and delightful thing I’ve ever eaten [image] (after having listened to the song over and over since getting Stage Diving to the Oldies like 15 years ago).

At a diner in Los Feliz (near where the above photo of me parkouring into an Uma Thurman mural was taken) I discovered my new favorite painter, a dude named Wayne White who buys up gross old mass-produced “paintings” and spices them up with thought-provoking block-lettered phrases, emblazoned right into the landscape, as if they totally belong there.

But, even more than the specific things I did, I really just found it nice to be down there. Even driving for miles and miles from one place to another, I was charmed by all the little neighborhoods and varying geography and things to see. My trip to LA was entirely pleasant.

The moral of the story is, think positive. There’s stuff to dislike about everyplace; don’t dwell on it. Spend your time looking for the good, because there’s always some good. Lucky for us, the Mission is mostly good, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves elsewhere from time to time too.

P.S. And what’s all that shit about calling it “The 101″? Live and let live!

Photo by Alex.

15 Responses to “Los Angeles”

  1. johnny0 says:

    Yeah, lots of cool microhoods in LA, presuming you can bear getting to them. Just can’t believe the traffic at night though – to malign Arcade Fire, No Cars, No Go. Remember that scene in Swingers where they all drove in the own cars to the party?

    Now, if LA had a subway like this, I’d actually consider moving there…

  2. moon unit says:


    The bay has a lot to gain from exchanges with somewhere as culturally rich and vibrant as LA.

    I’d never live there, but if it hadn’t been built for car culture, it’d be an incredible place.


    thanks for the tourist dollars and the noblesse oblige– without people from san francisco condescending towards los angeles, there would be no record of anything “cool” or “vibrant” ever happening south of san jose. score another one for bay area self-obsessed vacuity, dude! looking forward to your next post on doilies!

  4. Allan Hough says:

    Thanks for reading!

  5. [...] Note that post author La Moussy equates Dolores Park to Echo Park — further proof that the Mission and Los Angeles are two peas in a pod. [...]

  6. Plug1 says:

    eh. i hate to admit it, but LA is growing on me. at least a little bit.

    Plug2 and i are there right now, and thus far have hit Gold Room on Sunset ($5 – beer/shot/tacos), Carroll Ave (highest concentration of Victorians) in Angeleno Heights, Watts Towers, Slauson Swap Meet, docks of Long Beach, The LA River, an indoor tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in The Hills and the Griffith Park Observatory.

    and we have 2 more days to explore!!

    it’s not San Francisco by a long shot, but i hate it far less than i did prior to this trip.

  7. guero says:

    It’s funny how people in LA are completely puzzled by the hate that blows south from the Bay Area. When I decided to move to LA from the City in 1995, everyone here would twist their face in agony and disgust, “Why do you want to move there? ehhh LA?
    Well, I love LA, that’s right I LOVE LA! -Besides the horrendous, horrendous traffic but even then you learn to deal -you just kick back and listen the tunes on KCRW while you sit in traffic on THE 101, THE 405 and THE 10. Just like you get used to the garbage and pee smells on 24 Street. Yeah I still use “THE” before freeways now that I am back in the City but for godssakes, it took my first 2 months in LA to stop using that horrible Bay Area adjective, “HELLA”!!! Now, whenever I hear people saying “hella” or “hecka” I recoil in horror and shame! What is worse is my 8 yo son said it the other day!!!

  8. zinzin says:

    do SF people really hate LA? really? i mean, i know SF-ers are smug about how “cool” and “vibrant” the city is (or seems to be, to them)….but they HATE LA?

    i mean, the traffic & need for cars & vapid hollywood types sort of blow, but LA has a really rich, diverse and deep history. much deeper, i would say – in terms of current, happening now art or culture – than SF could even hope for.

    shit, i’m embarrassed to learn that SF has a hate on for LA. i love our little backwater…but let’s not forget, SF is a small town with a big attitude. LA is a real life big city.

    i just spent 2 weeks in NY. i could go on & on….

  9. [...] The Mission vs. Los Angeles [...]

  10. Katie Ann says:

    I understand the history n shit, but really, driving around – seein the billboards, and girls in short shorts and high heels at 3pm, oh, and paying $8 for a campari and soda during happy hour, no thanks.

  11. johnny0 says:

    I think people are jealous of the weather more than anything else. Pretty nice to be able to eat dinner outside all the time, and have beaches with water above 55 degrees..

    And then there’s To Live and Die in LA. That had a dramatic influence on how I perceived LA — DAMN was that was a cool car chase scene. Made all the better by the Wang Chung soundtrack. Wang Chung is probably the most underappreciated band of the 80s (though David + David gives them a run for their money – pretty sure Boomtown was about LA.) I think it says something that there haven’t been too many songs about San Francisco since the 60s, but I digress on my digression.

  12. zinzin says:

    dude. William Friedkin. gotta love the guy. a million things of note…Cruising is my fave by him. but also the exorcist, boys in the band, french connection, the birthday party…now he does lame TV. he really did capture a certain glimpse of LA in that movie, though i never was in LA till 1989.

    ah well, now that i know about it, i see the LA hate here in SF. just today i floated it out over bloody marys in my own back yard…”gee, i was thinking about a few days in LA”. people practically threw rocks & garbage at me.

    fuck em. i’m still going.

  13. johnny0 says:

    I’m looking forward to the (real) bullet train — no I-5, 2.5 hours to LA — that will keep SF honest.

    But hey, with global warming, we’ll be able to drink in our backyards all the time here! Of course, the snowpack will be gone, we won’t have any water and the coast from LA to SF will look like Baja California.

  14. Psychic Palm Riot says:

    I lived in LA for 7 years in between stints in SF and have been puzzled and a little embarrassed by the SF animosity towards LA. When I encounter it, it’s another moment when SF does seem a bit pretentious. It did take me 2 years to figure out LA, but once I did I loved it. LA is kinda coy that way, not like SF which kinda throws itself at you. Moved back here oh so reluctantly for a job offer when they were few and far between down south. I love SF too, in particular the Mission. It certainly does top LA in a lot of ways, but LA…..there’s more there than meets the eye.

  15. johnny0 says:

    I’m really not surprised by the one-sided animosity — it’s pretty common when you have a “big” thing and a neighboring place that may have a few insecurity issues. But the funny thing is the ‘insecure’ place is usually causing angst somewhere else.

    I really don’t sense NY-SF animosity. Is SF:LA=LA:NY? Or does LA really care about anywhere else?

    But in all seriousness, I think SFvLA (sorry zinzin) really goes back to 1906. In 1900, SF was 3 times the population of LA (300k to 100k) but by 1912 or so it was even. LA got a kick-start when lots of businesses that didn’t feel like rebuilding moved down after the earthquake, and companies establishing a new west coast office chose LA instead of SF.

    But enough demographics. We still have better burritos.

  16. zinzin says:

    dude i love your acronyms, dont get me wrong.

    far as NY/SF…NY loves SF. loves it loves it loves it.

    kind of like you love a cute younger cousin.

  17. Jonathan says:

    I don’t think we hate LA so much as we hate having to drive to get everywhere there. Also, I read in the above comments someone who is disgusted by the adj./adv. “hella,” to which I must say, what the hellz dude? Just as Angelinos can brag about putting an article in front of freeway numbers, we can be proud of saying hella. There is nothing disgusting about it. Bostonians say wicked, we say hella. What can I say? It’s not a bad thing. It’s merely our vernacular.

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