Considerable delights

Maltman palms

“For all its considerable delights, Southern California always seems faintly on the cusp of an apocalypse. There are palm trees, year-round gardens and splendid weather — it was 81 degrees and sunny on Sunday — but there are also mudslides, gang shootings, wildfires and earthquakes.”

If I turned in this kind of writing to any of the publications I write for, they’d slap it back to me for a rewrite faster than you can say “year-round gardens.” (What exactly is a year-round garden? Do some gardens cease to exist during part of the year?) But in The New York Times, this writing can pass as the first paragraph of a front-page story. On what, you might ask? You’d think you’d be able to tell from the first two sentences. But does it really matter? Just be sure to read the part where it says LA’s on the cusp of the apocalypse. Is that near the 405?

I hope for writer Adam Nagourney’s sake that these consistent anti-LA musings under his byline are actually the work of a crabby editor stuck behind a desk in New York—a place we know is completely free of gang violence, fires and earthquakes. These ridiculous LA clichés are so tired they’re about to take some Ambien, go sleepwalking in the middle of the night and accidentally cancel my New York Times subscription.

That said, yesterday’s weather was pretty freaking splendid.

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  • Abby

    I’m so happy you wrote about this! It makes sense that it was the same writer of the Pacific Standard Time article, the condescending tone and lack of reporting seemed familiar. And the Hugh Grant mention? Amazing. 

  • Matt

    “Some conventional wisdom is being established by residents who have
    become particularly attuned in recent days to the patterns of police
    patrols.”  How does any editor let that clunky, convoluted  sentence get published?  Horrible.

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