Angelenos and Our Abstract Pods

Jun 27, 2012 • L.A. Odes, Local

L.A. versus NYC getting around

We love us some comparisons of L.A. to New York. Here is one about getting around and road rage by Eric Spiegelman:

When you spend time in New York you realize how an Angeleno’s car is so much more than just a way of getting around. It’s a personal biosphere, an environmental bubble, subject to your complete control. 90 degrees outside? 62 degrees inside. New York is a very sweaty place.

New Yorkers don’t leave their office during the day. I think it’s because they’re air conditioned and heated. Angelenos regularly drive to lunch. In your car-slash-environmental travel pod in Los Angeles, you are alone. Other pods are abstractions, “a thing causing me irritation” most of the time. You vent your id at people in their pods in ways you would never vent to a person on a Los Angeles street. New Yorkers vent their ids far less often. People are more often people than an abstraction.

In this way, New York is friendlier than Los Angeles. When one New Yorker irritates another New Yorker, it’s usually in person and then it’s met with the same sort of invective, albeit more eloquent, as when Angelenos vent, unheard, in their cars. Angelenos may be more comfortable, but they’ve forgotten how to be irritated at other people.

Here’s one huge reason why New York is cooler than L.A. in our opinions. Even if no one seems know about it.

Via Maria Popova.