New York Times coverage of Los Angeles has always been willfully clueless, because it makes New Yorkers feel better about themselves to sniff at LA, but lately it's become very troubling in a different way: rather than patting New Yorkers on the back for their smart decision to live in terrible New York, recent stories have suggested that Los Angeles might actually be palatable for young, rich, white New Yorkers. This past weekend, an article in the notoriously trolling Sunday Styles section went ahead and said it, in the worst way possible:
Unlike some of the other Los Angeles publications quoted in the Times story, Curbed LA welcomes transplants. Los Angeles is a young city that was built and made great by non-natives ranging from Charles Lummis, the early booster who walked here from Ohio, to Michael Govan, the DC native who's right now leading a renaissance on the Miracle Mile as head of LACMA. Los Angeles is very full already, but new people bring new energy, new skills, outside perspectives; new Angelenos will help clean up some of the messes the old Angelenos made. However, the New York Times is not suggesting that people who live in New York should move and make new lives in Los Angeles:
The New Yorker is always going to be a nonnative species in Los Angeles, which has its own status codes, its own rhythms, its own body language. It's suggesting that New Yorkers—the particular "creative class" breed who have helped make New York completely unaffordable and insufferable, incidentally—invade Los Angeles.
If barrel-aged rye cocktails in a temperate location aren't enticing enough, the Times offers this real estate fairytale:
For $600 less than the $1,850 a month [fashion stylist Christina] Turner was paying for her grim junior one-bedroom in Greenpoint, she found a charming two-bedroom 1920s bungalow in Echo Park with a gated yard, cactuses, a barbecue, a separate work studio and a garage. For $1,250 a month, the New York Times says, you can rent a two-bedroom bungalow with a yard, studio, and garage in one of Los Angeles's most popular neighborhoods. To anyone who has ever lived in Los Angeles or outside of their own cocoon of delusional superiority, this is absurd on its face.
$1250 two bedrooms in echo park? Is the NY Times reprinting an article from 1997? http://t.co/kLmZ4xS5Ht— Luke Mines (@lukemines) May 2, 2015
uhhhh i call 100% bullshit on the lady who has a two BR+studio bungalow in echo park for $1250 http://t.co/ga5qrjudUM— Josh Fruhlinger (@jfruh) May 3, 2015
@mattdpearce I call shenanigans on that 2bd Echo Park bungalow with a separate work studio for $1250.— Robin Benway (@robinbenway) May 2, 2015
@mattdpearce How on earth did the one person find a 2BR in Echo Park for $1250? Is this just boosterism?— Dan Pecchenino (@danwritesthings) May 2, 2015
A 2BR bungalow in Echo Park is $1250? I'm sorry, the grass may be greener in LA, but not that green. http://t.co/WC0VgrhpJr— Jesse Ashlock (@jesseashlock) May 4, 2015
@CurbedLA we need a curbed special report on that silver lake 2 bedroom cottage for $1250— Hillel Aron (@hillelaron) May 2, 2015
And confirmed: in an Instagram comment yesterday, a friend of Turner's roommate (DUH) posted "My friend lives above that girl--$1250 is her half of the rent. Apparently NYT never asked her for any clarification." The Times clarified the roommate situation in an update this morning.
Hahaha the girl who pays $1250 for a bungalow in echo park in the NYT story? That's for HER HALF of the rent. https://t.co/qclaHluF3l— Doree Shafrir (@doreeshafrir) May 3, 2015
So New Yorkers, we know it still sounds pretty good, but paradise in Los Angeles is not completely dirt cheap. It's $2,500 a month. And Bar Stella is pretty packed with beards already.
· How the New York Times Gets Los Angeles Hilariously Wrong: the Bingo Game [Curbed LA]
· New York Isn't Cool Anymore; Los Angeles Is Still Cool, Though [Curbed LA]