Reason #489 Why it Might be Time to Leave LA

always watching the world, even when I don't want him to... 

Fade in

Ext: Los Angeles -- Our neighborhood shops/eateries; Afternoon:

Archer and I are sipping smoothies, heading back home when suddenly a thousand slimy paparazzi dudes start making a run for it, scurrying towards us with cameras slung around their necks, squeaking like rats. More of them soon appear, elbowing normal folk off the sidewalks. Suddenly it's clear who they're after and it's impossible not to pity her. AND ourselves for being caught in a swarm of disgustingness

ARCHER
(confused)
Mommy! Mommy! Wha dis? 
Wha dis?Wha dis doing? 

ME
It's the paparazzi, 
Archer. They're trying 
to take pictures.

ARCHER
Whyyyyyyyy?

ME
Because Lindsay Lohan
just rented a movie 
from Blockbuster and 
apparently that's something 
that will interest people.

ARCHER
No do dis, why?
Wha dis do?

ME
Because dudes make
 a lot of money 
following people around 
and slamming into 
glass windows trying 
to sneak a peek at
their faces. Lame, right?

ARCHER
Bu... why do?

Archer sips his smoothie and pulls my arm the other way. We push through the crowd of spastic paparazzi dudes and their cologne stank and make our way down the street to the nearest crosswalk where it's clear. Where there are no Lindsay Lohans and paparazzi swarming the sidewalks and eventually, back to our street where it's quiet. And then I text Hal and ask him when the hell we're going to get out of this town because sometimes, living here disgusts me and Hal texts me back and says "I know, me too. One day soon we'll leave, I promise." And then I get home and for the ten-thousandth time check Craiglist for rental houses in Portland. 

Fade out.

GGC 

34 comments:

Whit | 5:13 PM

We're thinking back to Seattle ourselves. It's tough though, being part of the machine you want to run away from.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 5:21 PM

Totally. And especially tough when Hal's career is strictly LA... (He's a producer.) I guess for me I see Archer get older and I know that this city is not one for raising children. It's exciting to be here in one's single days. But now? Hollywood isn't a real place. It just isn't. It's just an extension of the set up the street and I can only imagine, for a child, how confusing that must be.

Undomestic Diva | 5:27 PM

Lindsay Lohan? Blech! I just don't get it. I bet she forgets to rewind.

Anonymous | 5:47 PM

Oh no! I'm gone two days and you up and decide to move. ARGH!!!!!!!!
xoxox, felicia

Liz | 6:07 PM

Me, too. I feel like a sell-out for wanting to move but the more I think about having more kids, the less I see myself living in LA.

Ewokmama | 6:09 PM

Come to the SF Bay Area! :D

Fraulein | 7:34 PM

God, that is one cute kid. The Lindsey Lohan paparazzi run-in sounds icky. We don't get that kind of thing here in Beantown.

But it does seem to cost a bazillion bucks to live here, and it only gets worse...sometimes I dream of going someplace where we wouldn't have to sink so much money into the mortgage!

kgirl | 7:58 PM

You should come to Toronto. We have a good film industry, and we blush and turn away when we see celebrities.

Of course, we don't get the likes of LiLo - hockey players are pretty high ranking celebs here.

Jenny | 8:52 PM

Damn, see: I'd love to go see stuff at UCBLA and even seek out some 80s punk haunts , but this is the sorta stuff that turns me off. Maybe ol Hal could work for an independent film company?

Anonymous | 10:10 PM

Another vote for the SF Bay area! :)
Pascale

Sara | 10:46 PM

That face! So sweet. We had to start regulating what kind of news we listen to on the radio when Lucy started saying, "I don't like hearing about the killing." So it's back to Led Zeppelin, which really, I prefer when driving to work.
(Squee for PDX!)

Baby in Broad | 11:40 PM

It was definitely weird being surrounded by all of that when I was a child. I also think it's crazier now than it was 20 years ago. I figured out pretty quickly what was real and what was fake.

Mandy | 6:54 AM

Wow, that must be confusing for him. And hard for you to try to explain/rationalize.
Archer's a smart dude, though. Just like baby in broad said, kids have that innate ability to figure out what's real and what's....not pretty quickly. Still hard for a mommy to have to watch her kid figure it out.

Lindsay | 7:36 AM

Hey Rebecca,
So great to run into you at Target. This post is just like me and my spouse. Something just doesn't feel right about raising a child here. We talk about moving constantly.
Having to explain to Benny what he's seeing here in LA is overwhelming.
Anyways, of course the cool thing about LA is meeting other funky moms like you! Not that I looked anything other then just pure funk yesterday, the bad kind ;)
Lindsay

Don Mills Diva | 7:59 AM

I feel ya. Hubby and I work in the Toronto film industry and every year we have the debate about whether we reaaaallly should move to LA but there is something just a little saner about staying in TO...

uncle franky | 9:07 AM

we said junior high though..right...i need a bit more time to save money...cuz you know i'll be trailing right behind you..muwah

Heather | 9:10 AM

What a strange situation to find yourself in, especially on a pretty regular basis. I dont know if I'd be able to handle it with a little one, how do explain that to someone who's sense of right and wrong is so pure?
And hey, it seems everyone who's anyone is moving to Oregon! What's up with that? Our only brush with fame was when they filmed The Outsiders here around here. People still talk about it, 30 some-odd years later ;)

Anonymous | 10:00 AM

Hey, Nashville's nice :-)
And about a kajillion people have come to this area from LA in the past 15 years or so. You would be welcomed!

WonderSpot | 10:10 AM

Funny - I obsessively check Portland listings, too. Oh, the realestate you can get for 300K!!! Sadly, I don't think I can handle overcast skies for 270 days out of the year.

When I lived in LA I got sick of having to "share" customer service at my favorite stores when celebreties came shopping. If Kate Hudson wants to see her jeans in a different size, guess who's forced to go rummaging the stockroom herself?

EW | 10:35 AM

The hubby and I are TOTALLY considering Portland, after ruling out Seattle (the hubby has a past there and the weather), Idaho (too far out in BFE), and are really google-happy about Portland for the same reasons...we want our kids to be able to ride there bike to the local grocery store, to stake a claim on a piece of property, and to live somewhere where there's a real pumpkin farm (seriously, I want that!). Somewhere chill and low-key for our furture little Archers. Portland just had a good sound to it....and everything opposite of San Diego.

BOSSY | 10:42 AM

Bossy's been around a long time, and this decision sounds as good as *done*.

Maternal Mirth | 11:51 AM

I am sick of LA (after only 3 years). I couldn't go to lunch with Dummy a few weeks back because of the effing paps ... turns out Britany's attorney's are in Dummy's building. I couldn't even get into the parking garage to pick him up. After 20+ minutes of chaos, we just decided to do lunch another day.

The worst part: we already HAVE another house in Scottsdale, AZ. All we'd have to do is pack up and move out. Damn careers!

I hope you get out soon and when you do ... take me with ... please.

Anonymous | 11:53 AM

Not to go all sales pitch on you, But, My husband's a producer and we live in Sierra Madre. It's green, it's walkable, there's no "scene" and definitely no paparrazzi. My son grew up here and it was so nice for me to feel safe about letting him walk down to "town" or over to the hippie canyon store on his own (with friends) when he was 10. He felt all grown up and stuff. (Now, at 14, he takes the Metro to Chinatown or hangs out in Old Town Pasadena -- his world is getting bigger.) We have a volunteer fire dept. and lots of other stuff is run by volunteers. Neighbors know each other cuz most people don't move away. One of the state's lowest crime rates. 20 minutes to Silver Lake, the Ahmanson, Dodger Stadium, 45 minutes to the beach, and no driving necessary to get to a trailhead for hiking. Hubster's commute (Cahuenga & Barham), 30 - 40 minutes. (Mine's not much since I work in Pasadena.) A couple of wireless coffee shops. No hipsters, but regular folks can be fun, too :) And parking!

It is one nice way to live in L.A. without, you know, living in L.A. Bring Archer to Beantown -- 45 N. Baldwin Ave. -- and experience a fun little small town outting. Excellent ice cream! (The coffee's not great, though)

the weirdgirl | 12:24 PM

That sucks, hon. I can understand your dilemma, the business vs. the environment. You can always move back to SF - it's close enough to the LA for business. It just has an outrageous housing market. :(

Amber | 3:17 PM

what about Hwood north? aka vancouver? toronto? montreal? i know those might not help you since they're all in canada, but they all have strong film industries without the celebrity/paparazzi vibe going on at all.

nonlineargirl | 3:39 PM

Maybe things are just too different from the LA I knew as a kid (in the 70s-80s), but I managed to grow up fairly unscarred, despite living in the shadow of a studio back lot.

Then again, growing up I never knew cars (other than my parents') could be older than 10 years.

Memarie Lane | 5:59 PM

I grew up in Palm Springs, where seeing celebrities is very run-of-the-mill (heck, one even worked at my high school). But for some reason, no paparazzi?

Linda | 7:00 PM

Please come to Portland, this is where your "home girl" is, right?
Who cares about the rain? I'ts better than smog, and paparazzi, and you know that when it's beautful, it's really, really beautiful. PLEASE!!!! We need you and Hal and Archer and the "new girl"....

Jaelithe | 9:14 PM

You know, a lot of my favorite people live in the Pacific NW. If you move to Portland I might just have to follow you.

Nicole | 11:19 PM

You have to have an escape plan if you're going to survive LA. I should know. Our escape is in Medford/Ashland. A little place on the river. It's heaven and a great place for the kids to discover "real" nature. Gotta love Oregon!

memememebmc | 6:19 AM

i am on this. like crazy.

Anonymous | 10:34 AM

I've always wondered what life is like for real people in L.A. I would think it could get old, fast. We had a little exposure to the paps a few months ago. (pregnant man craziness) Everything about it was just plain ick!

mothergoosemouse | 9:10 PM

Hey, my in-laws are thinking of selling their place in Portland. ;)

Jenn | 8:30 PM

How 'bout Ventura?