The following, by Peter Plagens, an expatriate L.A. artist, was first published in L.A. Style. 1986 by Peter Plagens.
Say what you will about New York (that no matter how bad your neighborhood is, you can take comfort in the fact that someone else's is worse), it has not only circles of artists, but circles of circles, and more circles within these circles. While artists in L.A. talk constantly about the vicissitudes of being an "L.A. artist," hardly anybody in New York talks about being a "New York artist." They talk about being an artist , or, if pride enters into it, about being a better artist than you, Jack. What community spirit there is goes out to the community of artists everywhere, not just the aesthetic boosters in the Shadow Chamber of Commerce. . . .
I miss Barragan's, Roarke's, Little Tokyo, the Pasadena Freeway, Lake Hollywood, sliding-glass doors and almost any Ralphs. I miss sun and space and, however misguided, the idea that the future will come to me if I'm just here to welcome it.