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Home Truths About Life in Two Big Cities

June 03, 1990

So, Stephen Klein--the Californian--says, "the secret of being a Californian in New York is deciding how much craziness you're going to let into your life." Isn't that sort of like asking Zsa Zsa to define good citizenship?

Where else but in California are words like random, drive-by or freeway used as descriptive adjectives for murder? Then again, book and lunch are only used as verbs.

You say people out in New York consider Californians as "quaint, uneducated hicks?"

What other drought-stricken part of the Earth hoses down parking lots? And I guess it's normal to pay to recycle cans of beer and soda from the East and Midwest, but toss the wine bottles of Napa Valley. But, as only a tanned Californian can say with a straight face--"lighten up."

One learns how to live in California. Here are my three rules:

* Never walk when you can ride. This applies in every situation--especially on slow escalators.

* No matter where you live, the food is always better only 30 minutes away by car. Note: 30 minutes by car, in California, means the distance you can drive between 3 and 3:30 a.m. on a week night with no traffic.

* It is imperative to "have a nice day." This is because there is absolutely nothing to do at night.

Yes, New Yorkers have a lot to learn out here. Most still think "escrow" is a fancy name for snails. As soon as an Italian restaurant or Jewish deli opens with real food, we'll get together and talk--and talk, and talk. . . .


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