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Courtesy: Chris Goldberg/FlickrWhat New Yorkers sees when they think about LA

10 things New York media said about Los Angeles in 2015

Written by
Seth Kelley

Just like people don't like being called names (especially by people who don't know them), neither do cities. But that doesn't stop New York media from dishing about what life is like on the other side of flyover country (kidding, Midwest—love you).

Reading about what New York has to say about us is part infuriating and part guilty pleasure. We've collected notable published work—some great, some not so much—for a roundup of what New York has written about LA in the past year. Brace yourself.

1. LA is "Blade Runner-ish

This is from a feature in the New York Times Travel section—a repeat offender of getting LA wrong—about Koreatown: "With the influence of three generations of Korean and Latino immigrants, these once-mean streets have become a picturesque and prosperous 'Blade Runner'-ish warren of ethnic culinary hot spots imbued with an East-meets-West sense of fun."

And, just for fun, they threw in some casual racism:

"K-Town never sleeps, given its strong Asian and Latin work ethic and its clubs."

2. LA is unadventurous/probably stuck in traffic right now 

From a New Yorker review of the Broad that is simply dripping with pretension: "The words 'Los Angeles' and 'center' consort oddly, especially since the city’s ever more apocalyptic traffic further dulls the local citizens’ never ardent yen to venture out of their usual ways."

3. LA is a burgeoning arts mecca 

This is from a New York Times Magazine sidebar with the headline "The new making it," about six artists in the LA area. No pull quote here, it's really all about the people (who all seem pretty cool).

4. LA is art itself

The New York Times released their year-end list of art themes, and most of their picks were museums (The Whitney, MoMA) or trends (group shows, Loss, Gains). Los Angeles made the list as an entity (with a little Broad-shade thrown in). 

"The opening of the Broad in September was major West Coast news, though much of the collection is market boilerplate and East Coast-centric."

5. LA is "super-scene"

From a New York Magazine profile about 20-something entrepreneur Erin Yogasundram who moved from New York to LA to operate her business, Shop Jeen: "Los Angeles, she says, is a much better fit for them, given that most of Shop Jeen’s customers and vendors are based there: 'L.A. is super-scene. Everyone knows everyone.'"

6. LA is a work in progress

New York Times on the Sunset Strip's evolution: "The upheaval is a reminder of how neighborhoods here, no matter how famous, are often just works in progress — and how symbols of the past are as likely to be replaced as revered."

7. LA is a let down 

New York Times Travel (again) on the "Dark Side" of LA: "Perhaps because so many travel to Los Angeles with soaring expectations, the city — unwilling to embrace every fresh, new face — feels suffused with melancholy."

8. LA's river is more than a concrete canal 

This New York Times video bucks misconceptions about what people think about the LA River: "Despite its reputation as a concrete canal, the Los Angeles River is green in some spots."

9. LA is basically the set of Mad Max: Fury Road 

This comes from a Sunday edition of the New York Times when they ran two stories about LA—one about how New Yorkers are moving to the West Coast (below) and this one about the California drought with the apocalyptic headline "The End of California?": "The idea that California could have it all—a pool in every suburban backyard, new crops in a drought, wild salmon in rivers now starved of oxygen—is fading fast. There is only so much more 'pop per drop,' as Ms. Marcus, the State Water Resources Control Board chairwoman, said, or neighbor snitching on neighbor, until the urban majority resists and demands a change in allocation."

10. LA is maybe, sort of, actually a place worth living

This piece elicited all sorts of backlash (including this op-ed that is basically one big mic drop). Read and seethe: "New York feels like it's all about 'making it,'' said Julia Price, a musician and former Manhattanite who is in her 20s. 'L.A. feels like it's all about making things.' In New York, she said, she was so busy working to pay the bills that she often toiled from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. as a production assistant for 'Good Morning America,' then from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. as a cocktail waitress. Los Angeles, with its slower pace and cluster of young artists, has proved to be fertile ground for her artistic ambitions." 

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