By Gordon Hughes
There is an old saying—I think it was Neil Simon who said it—“When it’s 27 degrees and freezing in New York, it’s 75 in Los Angeles, and when it’s 98 degrees and 100 percent humidity in New York, it’s 75 in Los Angeles.
“There are 7.5 million interesting people in New York City, out of nine million; there are 75 interesting people in Los Angeles.”
Well, that may have been a bit of overstating. But if you pick up Michael Minichiello’s new book West Village Originals, you begin to see just how it plays out. The book is just the tip of the cultural iceberg for New York City. Now, individuals do have a choice of great weather versus amazing culture. Therein lies the great distinction between left and right. That’s coasts I’m talking about, not politics.
My wife and I are once again visiting Palm Springs, and yesterday we attended the polo matches. I was seated next to a really nice fellow who thought it was hysterical when his brother, who lives in Gotham, sent him an email saying it was 32 degrees and snowing. My fellow polo attendee sent back a photo of the match being played in 83-degree weather with a brilliant sapphire sky and emerald green polo field and laughed like crazy. His brother responded in return with an email saying he had just finished reading the New York Times cover to cover and was getting ready to take a brisk walk to Broadway to see Company, which would be followed by meeting friends at Sardi’s for a post-theatre dinner and stimulating conversation. Well, I guess both were having a good time, but the point is: bad weather does not deter New Yorkers. Not ever.
For us, dining Italian is something we all take for granted in NYC.
Try doing that in Palm Springs. There is no Gene’s like the one on West 11th Street in the Village.
The one epicurean delight on the left coast is Mexican food. (A recent ban on the importation of avocados from Mexico has been lifted. I should point out that 90 percent of our avocados come from Mexico.) Guacamole is the iconic premier festive food made from avocados—hence, the slogan about Angelenos being “guac rocks”.
Both coasts have had to deal/live with COVID now. The difference is, in New York the protocols are consistent while in California there is no consistency. Thus, the population of the Bear Flag Republic is confused, frantic, cranky, and on the edge of another revolt.
New Yorkers are organized in their battle with COVID. The pandemic hit us hard two years ago and we beat it back. It hit us again last December and we handled it again. The numbers have dropped and New York is moving ahead, while in Los Angles protocols are up in the air. But at least they have the winning Super Bowl Rams in Los Angeles.
By the way, as of this writing it’s 75 degrees in Los Angeles.