Friday, June 29, 2012

Creating A Home In Tinsel Town

I have lived in Los Angeles for nearly a year now, and have yet to see a "real" celebrity out and about. I guess I'm not going to the right places. However, I may have one-upped that experience when on Monday I was having my usual Monday night dinner, wine, ice cream and The Bachelorette-watching party with lady friends. Suddenly, this commercial came on:

And I sat up, looked closer and said "I know her! I know that girl!" Well, know may be a strong word. She is a friend of a friend who I met at a film opening this month. The chances of her seeing me on the street or... in a commercial, I guess... and saying "I know her!" are not high. But, I have met her, so I went with it.

This week I was having happy hour cocktails with a friend (the same one who knows the woman in the commercial above - her husband is a TV writer and he was in an independent film with the actress in said commercial, so they are in this world) and some friends of her's were sitting a few tables down. We chatted for a little bit. After we walked away, I asked Whitney why they looked so familiar and she said they were in some commercials together and that the husband was a walk-on in The Office from time to time.

So, there you go. Those are the sorts of people I've been meeting on Wednesday afternoon happy hours.

I had a moment of finally feeling that I have a home here the other day: for the first time since moving here I was out in the neighborhood, having breakfast with Alfred at one of my favorite breakfast joints, and we ran into friends, totally unplanned. Our paths crossed as Alfred and I were leaving and Megan and James were coming in. I felt a wash of joy. I know people here! We go to the same places! To another person here I am not just another random person in the room! I remember one day just a few months before I left Minneapolis, I ran into professors at Target, friends at a bar, classmates on the bus. I felt so connected to the community and the other people who loved the city. I wondered how I could leave that for a city as huge and notorious as Los Angeles.

To be honest, LA is just a mega-conglomeration of small neighborhoods and especially now that I have a car, I'm getting used to the nuances. There is a place for everyone here, full of people like you. You just need to find them and an apartment you can afford to rent. There are about 4 "hipster" neighborhoods with subtle differences between the types (for example, do they ride bikes or mopeds?). There are 10ish beach cities full of different types of surfers and vagabonds and girls in heels and long skirts. There's Beverly Hills and Compton. A hundred ethnic enclaves. I seem to have located a place in the midst of this, or at least I've begun to.

So here I am. Staying. Who would'a thought?