Beverly Hills Bubble
Is there such a thing as the Beverly Hills Bubble?
When I arrived back in Los Angeles after the Christmas holidays—after spending an extended stay in the Calgary airport on my return due to ‘holiday flight interruptions’—you would think the first thing I would have noticed when I finally landed at LAX were the warm winter winds and the palm trees gently swaying amid a sunshiny azure blue sky: a quintessential California winter day.
Well, you would be wrong.
You see, when I departed LAX the first leg of my WestJet ‘two-day-trek’ to the great white north was delayed by several hours. Normally, I would be irritated and stressed about the delay. But as I took a good look around, I noticed that Terminal 2 at LAX had been completely renovated since my trip the year prior. Last year, there was one kiosk in the whole terminal where you could only buy, basically… prison food. So, when I realized that several new boutiques, restaurants and bars were now at my disposal, I landed at Barney’s Beanery and indulged in some tacos and wine, chatting with other stranded passengers until my WestJet flight actually departed for Calgary. I felt grateful that the spiffy newly-renovated terminal had been a comfy distraction from my delayed flight.
Then, after spending 12 days surrounded by the beauty of what is a Manitoba winter, with the crisp cold air and the clean white snow making the merriment of the season come alive before your eyes— a picturesque Christmas postcard of beauty—I was once again sidelined in an airport on my return, the new International Terminal in Calgary to be precise.
Not only is the Calgary International terminal large, boasting of many restaurants, bars and tiny little shops…but it’s also clean. Clean as a whistle. Pristine! You could actually eat off of the floor; seriously! So when I finally landed back at LAX, back in Terminal 2 – the newly renovated terminal, one which seemed like a revamped miracle only two weeks prior—all I noticed when I disembarked the plane was filth: garbage strewn about, mobs of people everywhere, more garbage, and miserable unhappy people breathing in an air that would not be described as odorless. Compared to the clean airports of Canada, Terminal 2 looked like a dump; an old dump, one that needed a renovation. It likely would have not struck me as odd, had I not been marveling at its beauty and improvements only two weeks prior.
As I got in my Uber to head to my home, I started to really take in the scenery around me: the massive freeways, the run down stores, the dilapidated buildings, the un-manicured lawns, the worn out street signs, not to fail to mention the homeless people hanging out in the middle of the busy streets looking for handouts or trying to sell you oranges. Compared to the ‘Sunny Manitoba’ snow-kissed countryside, I felt like I was heading into a poverty stricken war zone.
As we continued our drive down the increasingly noticeably dilapidated La Cienega Boulevard, with the majority of business having bars on their windows, I remember saying to my Uber driver, ‘God, LA is an ugly city. It’s a dirty, ugly city.’ Pondering those thoughts, I felt the aching of my heart, sad having left my mom standing in tears at the little Brandon airport as she hugged me good-bye at four a.m. earlier that morning. I began to wonder what the hell I was doing living so far from my family, in this ‘dirty-cesspool-of-a city’, one I proudly defended for years as ‘my city’.
Then, just as the Uber car crossed over Olympic and Wilshire, suddenly the topography changed as dramatically as if a fairy had used her magic wand to cast a beauty spell on everything that fell within its magical range: The grass was cut, the houses were pretty, the sidewalks were clean, the cars were nice, the bars were gone from the restaurant windows. Ahh… I was home! I was back in Beverly Hills! HOME AT LAST!
Then later, after some soul searching and once the homesick aching finally dissipated, I realized that living, working, and playing in my comfy 3 mile radius had made me rather oblivious to life outside of my Beverly Hills Bubble. I basically existed in a beautiful Beverly Hills bubble of life, kind of like living in Stephen King’s Under the Dome, except this was a dome that no one wanted to escape.
I guess Los Angeles really is a city of neighborhoods, and each one has its own type of beauty and qualities which draw people to live there: Santa Monica – beach lovers, West Hollywood – lifestyle acceptance; Los Feliz- artsy fartsy folks (and the scary Scientology center); Venice – hippy dippy granola peeps … well, you get the picture. When I moved to LA I had one friend, and she lived in Beverly Hills, in the heart of the Beverly Hills Bubble. And, as I lived with her for a while, I began to feel comfortable in my new neighborhood to the point that I have never left it. So… here I am and here I be, so Beverly Hills Bubble – you are stuck with me.
Being stuck in the Beverly Hills Bubble isn’t a bad thing—it’s definitely more of an expensive thing— but the people who live in the Beverly Hills Bubble, eventually acclimate to this so-called life. So how do you know when you have become acclimated to life inside the Beverly Hills Bubble?
You know you are part of the Beverly Hills Bubble when…
- Going to an event or dinner West of the 405 or East of La Brea feels so far, it makes you wonder if you should pack an overnight bag.
- You don’t even notice the Bentleys, Ferraris or Maseratis. Now, a 1998 Honda del Sol on the other hand, makes you look.
- Most men you know have a manicurist.
- Being offered champagne when you are shopping in high-end boutiques isn’t a treat, it’s a requirement.
- House wine at $18 a glass seems reasonable.
- You are shocked that McDonalds doesn’t have a Gluten Free menu.
- When you see a 65-year old man with a 20 something girl, you automatically assume they are dating.
- Buying a $1600 Missoni dress on a 75% off sale doesn’t mean you spent 400 dollars, it means you saved $1200! (My personal favorite of this list!)
- A studio apartment without a parking stall at $2400 a month seems like a deal, after all you are in walking distance to Fred’s at Barneys.
- Children need to take tests to get into pre-school, and as a parent you stress that your child will act like a normal three year old and fuck it up.
- Beverly Hills has 2 hour free parking garages, so you make sure you don’t go over two hours free when you are buying your $300 dollar pair of blue jeans. Because having to pay a dollar for parking, would really piss you off.
- You know a few words in Farsi.
- You know not to call Hymie the plumber on a Saturday.
- Christian Louboutin, Brunello Cucinelli, Zadig and Voltaire…. are words that easily roll off your tongue.
- Yes it is true, a designer bag is a must have, a total necessity.
- You CAN spot a knock-off bag, no matter how good, and you sneer at the thought of carrying one.
- You ‘I heart Organic’ and Whole Foods Beverly Hills feels like home to you.
- Running into celebrities at Whole Foods is so normal; you don’t even give it a second thought or give them a second glance. Okay maybe a glance, but it’s not a tweet-worthy moment.
- It would be weird to go out to dinner at Craig’s and not run into someone famous; if you didn’t you would worry that something was SERIOUSLY OFF in the universe.
- Of course you read your horoscope, and visit your psychic regularly.
- You are shocked to find out that not everyone has a therapist.
- You have a list of ‘ists’ in your rolodex: Internist, Gastroenterologist, Dentist, Therapist, Facialist, Dermatologist… and they grow yearly.
- You think big, puffy, bloated, collagen filled lips are the new normal.
- Your hairdresser knows where all the bones are buried.
- Beverly Hills housewives really are so busy that they need a nanny for each kid and an assistant to keep track of the nannies.
- Beverly Hills is a smoke-free city, so going to clubs in Hollywood make you feel like you have licked an ashtray when you leave. You forget that people still smoke, and are appalled when they do.
- You feel safe walking anywhere at night in the Beverly Hills Bubble, but anywhere east of La Cienega, you definitely would Uber to after dark.
- And lastly, you know you live in the Beverly Hills Bubble, when… you think your life is normal.
Below is the PODCAST for those who can’t or don’t or won’t read, or trapped on the 405, this is for you!