Opinion

Opinion newsletter: A guide for Angelenos roughing it in New York

Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, The Times’ rain-soaked letters editor. It is Saturday, May 16, and here’s a look at the last week in Opinion, including some moving tips for those fed up by the wet weather.


People have been moving from New York to Los Angeles for more than a century, spawning an entire journalistic genre devoted to the bemused "discovery" of civilized corners of our Wild West metropolis. But – and this might qualify as a trend alert – some hardy Angelenos are now looking east.

Ann Friedman reports on the increasing number of Los Angeles residents who find that charming city on the East Coast livable enough for them to put down roots:

After months of fruitless job-hunting in Los Angeles, Kerensa Cadenas landed her dream job. There was just one catch: It was in New York, that East Coast city often stereotyped as a taco-less wasteland without height restrictions. “I'm excited for my new job,” says Cadenas, a writer who is moving across the country this month after spending the past several years in L.A. She's nervous about the lifestyle change, but, she says, “If I can find a gourmet grocery store where attractive strangers hang out at 2 p.m. on a weekday, that might help.” She landed an apartment in Brooklyn, which she's heard is similar to the Eastside of Los Angeles.

Unlikely though it may seem, Cadenas is part of a trend: Angelenos have always loved visiting New York, but lately they have embraced the city as a place to live. According to Census data, between 2008 and 2012 almost as many Angelenos moved to New York as New Yorkers moved to Los Angeles.

Southern Californians are overcoming their fears of subway germs, and reversing the American directive to go west. They're finding that New York is more than a capitalist prison that runs on the fumes of the finance industry and nostalgia for CBGB. It now offers many of the lifestyle amenities that their hometown has boasted for decades. Not too long ago, Angelenos thought of New York as a veritable food desert; as recently as the 1990s, poppy-seed bagels were considered the lone culinary standout. These days, however, New Yorkers can sidle up to the juice bar 3 Roots in Greenpoint for liquid kale and wheatgrass, or stop by Sun in Bloom in Park Slope for a raw-food lunch.

Nikka Graff Lanzarone, an Angeleno who moved to New York after college, has even discovered an In-N-Out Burger replacement called Shake Shack. She notes that it's a close, if more expensive, second to her childhood favorite.

Perhaps most shocking to Californians who haven't traveled east in awhile: America's largest metropolis has finally acquired some Mexican restaurants. It's possible to book a table at Cosme, a trendy establishment whose head chef relocated from Mexico City, just a few weeks in advance.

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Speaking of leaving Los Angeles behind, here’s another installment in the drought-inspired punditry genre: The End of California as We Know It. Vanity Fair

A lot of people who probably won’t ever be president are still running, and – who else? --  Ralph Nader wrote an op-ed article explaining why you can’t keep a long-shot candidate down. L.A. Times

Jonah Goldberg thought Mark Halperin’s grilling of Ted Cruz was unfair, which he said reflects a media double-standard for Republican candidates who talk about their life stories. L.A. Times

The Times editorial board coined a term for the reform that’s needed at the County Sheriff’s Department: de-Tanakafication. It explained why the federal indictment of ex-Undersheriff Paul Tanaka is a good thing. L.A. Times

Wondering why positive train control wasn’t active on the tracks in Philadelphia where an Amtrak train derailed? Over the years, experts from among The Times’ letter writers and the railroad industry have explained why. L.A. Times

Questions? Comments? Contributions? Email paul.thornton@latimes.com to share any feedback you have about this newsletter, or if you just feel like writing to us.


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