Ok, so I'm an L.A. native, which makes me an anomaly in a city known for its nomadic tendencies.
But it does qualify me as an observer of what comes and goes in this town that thinks of itself as a trendsetter.
There is a lot to love here. But it's not what you think.
I love superficiality.
That's why I moved to the Hollywood Hills.
Paris Hilton lived around the corner from me during her out-on-the-town days, when she palled around with several noteworthy ladies, including Britney Spears who was famously sans panties. (The Fox news.com headline read: Britney Spears Parties With Paris Hilton, Leaves Underwear at Home). While some residents began to protest all the noise and shenanigans going on at Chez Hilton, I wanted to cheer the neighbor who lofted a huge banner welcoming the celebrity heiress home after her stay in the slammer.
Down the block, A&E filmed a reality show that I'll bet few of you ever saw. "Sons of Hollywood" featured the unknown son of Rod Stewart and the unknown offspring of Aaron Spelling. The conceit of the show was that both were living with their manager, David Weintraub, while hoping to break into the big time. They didn't. It was canceled after 12 episodes. But the producers of the show once invited me to stop by for an on-camera party on the home's roof. I liked the idea. My wife was not wild about it.
When we moved in, the house next to us functioned as a porn studio. I never got an invite to a wrap party. But I did have the dubious pleasure of seeing some of the "stars" take sponge baths on the street during breaks in the filming. She wasn't wild about that either.
Just down the hill from me on the famed stretch of asphalt known as the Sunset Strip, all sorts of superficial things happen every day.
Women in hardly any clothes line up to convince a skinny bouncer to let them enter the still uber-popular Skybar. (Incidentally, the bar is on the ground floor next to the pool, hardly the lofty perch implied by its name.)
I once witnessed the clumsiest and least successful attempt by a male to get beyond the club's velvet rope. He pulled up in a long limousine. When the driver opened the door, he stumbled out, fell on his face and proceeded to vomit. I was surprised he didn't get in. Originality and all that.
I love this stuff because it so perfectly lines up with the stereotype of L.A. You probably wouldn't find much of this in Utica -- or at least no one there would admit to it.
Where else can a billboard hang over a busy freeway featuring a blind butler in top hat and tails poised to smash rodents with a huge sledge hammer? Before the political correctness police got to it, the sign declared: "We live to kill....bugs"
Here are a few of my other favorite things about L.A.:
--Lady Gaga shoes
--Mega billboards with Supergraphics
--Cal Worthington and his dog, Spot
--Charlie Sheen's goddesses
--Erick Estrada sightings
These didn't make the list:
--Smart cars with dumb drivers on smart phones
--Prius drivers in the fast lane
--Neighbors who talk to me
--The TMZ tour bus
--Ashton Kutcher's 7 million twitter friends