Shankha International
Shankha International in Bengali

Spring-00 Issue

Many people come from all over to make beautiful San Francisco their home. We all know how great SF is, but after eight years of living in charming San Francisco, I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles.

You're probably wondering why LA? Well, affordable rent, parking, and warm weather. Plus, I was tired of being a starving artist-type, felt like I was growing stagnant, and my friend offered me a cool job. LA didn't seem like such a bad idea, so I left San Francisco with visions of a violet sunset dancing in my head.

Los Angeles is a whole different ball game. It can be very cheesy. You know what I am talking about: roller-bladers in their bikinis, and beach blonde bimbos with boob-jobs. Plus, the art of photography is diminished to head shots, the art of film geared towards main-stream America, and the art of writing focused on prime-time sit-coms. In San Francisco the original and the offbeat are revered. In LA, it is just the opposite. To San Franciscan's, Los Angeles can seem downright generic. On the surface it appears that everyone is trying to look alike, drive the best cars, and get state-of-the-art collagen implants. At first, I really disliked LA. But since I was already here, and making money, I decided to stick it out for a while, and save up. I did the social thing, went to bars, clubs, restaurants, but always with a scowl on my face (the restaurants in LA didn't compare.) I was always bringing up San Francisco in all my conversations (which got old really fast). And speaking of food, there are neither Taquerias (nor liquor stores on every corner).

Unlike SF whose beauty is visible, LA's beauty is hidden. After I finally decided to give LA half-a-chance, I started discovering a lot of wonderful things about this city. I discovered a huge and thriving community of starving artists, who in San Francisco always have a home, but in LA on the surface seem quite ostracized. I discovered there is a large underground S&M scene, (unlike the very loudly (&proudly) publicized scene in SF). The gay scene here is huge. The culture is alive and well after you get past the whole Hollywood thing, and there are many excellent restaurants here. LA has a lot of the things that SF has; though not as apparent.

After being here for one full year, Los Angeles has started to grow on me. The roller-bladers in their bikinis, and all the plastic looking face-lifts still bug me. But, I love that I can wear my strapless dresses and sandals to a club in the middle of January. I love my garage where I park my ever-so-humble car, and my huge apartment that I pay so little for. As for the beautiful red and violet sunsets, well, the smog causes themů.