For to listen while you read:
Do I like it in Los Angeles? Yes, I do. Yes, yes, yes. I could rhapsodize for thousands of words about it: the weather, the mood, the exotic-to-me architecture and flora, the way our apartment (which is not tiny by most standards, but which is miles smaller than our Maryland house) has inspired me to winnow out our possessions, the interesting people, the food (OH THE FOOD, cheap street food of numerous nationalities that is awesome and all within walking distance), etc etc etc. But if I end up hating it within a month, I'm going to look very silly, so instead I'll just tell you one detail and one amusing story and then I'll GBTW.
On the (looooong) drive from LAX to the San Fernando Valley, where we now live, it seemed like every flower in Los Angeles was blooming at the same time. And there are these enormous purple trees everywhere, big tall actual trees that appear to have purple leaves. I still don't know what they are, but their flowers are my most favorite shade of purple, a lavender that's slightly bolder than a pastel, and the ground beneath these trees is generally just painted with the petals. It's hard for me to understand how seasons work in this climate, so I don't know if the blooms I'm seeing are May flowers or all-the-time flowers or what, but it felt like a welcome, that everywhere I looked I saw bright, fresh, beautiful color.
I was leaving our apartment a couple of days ago and waiting to turn left, and on the sidewalk was a man walking a little pug dog. He was dressed normally, in a polo shirt and khaki shorts, and he was speaking and gesturing very emphatically, his fingers squinched together in that way that usually means a) someone has fucked up and you're having to get across to them just how stupid they are or b) the speaker is Italian. It was pretty early in the morning and I didn't see any devices in or near his ear, and it looked for all the world as if he was trying to communicate some essential point to his dog. If he was a homeless guy, he was the cleanest and best-dressed homeless guy I've ever seen. I giggled at him and turned left and went to Lowe's.
Not that people here are naturally going to be more eccentric than they are on the East Coast, but I'm actually in a city now, and it's kind of nice to think that I'll have my share of eccentric on the street every day. Free entertainment. So far (a week in, okay) I love living in the valley; we're in a blue-collar-ish neighborhood, and that's 100% okay with me, because it means the prices are lower and the traffic is mild and the people are friendly but aloof. Matt's work is 5 miles from our apartment. Anything sophisticated we need is not at all far away. I'm trying not to be too enthused, because then the other shoe will drop and I'll hate it, but at the moment I'm happy fit to bust.