I understand. During the first dot.com bubble, I too ran away to Hollywood, in the emotional way a person bails after a terrible breakup. I was sick of complaining about how the city I’d loved had changed. I was sick of sharing a room with my boyfriend in a house with three other roommates. I heard about a $400-a-month studio in Los Angeles, and I grabbed it. See, San Francisco? I don’t need you! Did I come crawling back? Uh, yeah. I can’t drive, for starters, which made getting to my weekly teaching gig in Pasadena epic. Plus, I missed San Francisco’s familiar, village-like style – the way the neighborhoods all hugged one another, the way it’s so easy to hop around on a bus or streetcar.
But a decade or so later, Los Angeles is becoming the place to be as more of my friends move down there. With new arrivals not just from SF, but from similarly gentrified spots like Manhattan and Brooklyn, our sister city is flush with fresh energy. The free “LA is OK” stickers sitting on the counter at Trouble Coffee are both a harbinger and an understatement (rumor has it Trouble may be opening a Los Angeles outpost) about the number of San Franciscans moving there. How come so many of our friends are leaving the fog for the smog?