"Los Angeles is the future" declares the headline of a new article in the NY Post that examines four areas of our vast sprawl full of things to do, places to see, and delicious morsels to eat. It wasn't overnight, they'll grant, but we have "real transit," "truly walkable neighborhoods," and a legit food culture. "New York, watch your back," they caution. We like it!
The four neighborhoods the Post focuses on are Downtown, Venice, Mid-City West, and Hollywood, giving much virtual ink to the merits of each 'hood from culture to comestibles. And bonus: They aren't purely "hipster" parts of town. Instead, the focus is on the true gems that Angelenos themselves may have just recently learned to embrace. Seriously, did you ever expect a New Yorker to say this of our city, in describing Downtown's Handsome Roaster: "It’s one of many cafés across the Los Angeles Basin that is becoming a true community center in a city everyone said wasn’t interested in community."
That's right! We are not dismiss-able any more!
Food, food, and more food is gushed about, planting the seed (one can hope) for helping re-shape L.A. in the outsider's perspective as a real food city. Gone are the days of the micro-portions of "spa" cuisine and bland Chinese Chicken Salads. We're eating at Umamicatessen, Mo-Chica, Spice Table, Picca, Baco Mercat, Superba Snack Bar, Sunny Spot, Ray's and Stark Bar, Hatfield's, Animal, Son of a Gun, Sycamore Kitchen, Fonuts, Jitlada, and even Papaya King. Plus we're chowing down at the Hollywood Farmers' Market, and on delicious authentic (and affordable) Mexican fare Downtown. We're doing all right. Actually, we're doing great.
So why does what this one NY Post story say about L.A. matter? Well, the battle of the big cities has been going on for ages, and while this won't likely bring it to rest, it's nice to be recognized. Of course, according to the Post, at some point in the last decade "Los Angeles stopped giving a damn what you or we or anyone else had to say." Oh. Hmm. Well, maybe we do a little bit. Especially when it means we're part of a "future" less about diet fads and more about accessible, vibrant, urban culture.