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Why Stay in L.A.? : Voices . . .

April 04, 1993

We've often played the game of "If you didn't live here, where would you live?" Places mentioned range from Grindelwald, an Alpine village in Switzerland to Aspen, Colorado. . . . But we keep coming back to L.A.

Twenty-five years ago, I was fired by CBS and I was offered jobs in Philadelphia, Washington and New York. But I had aimed all my life, from the age of 11, to be in Los Angeles. As a schoolboy in World War II Britain, my every image of comfort and romance came from this place called Hollywood, from its motion pictures and its music. I've been following a dream. It hasn't yet become a nightmare.

--Michael Jackson, radio talk-show host

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The reason I stay is because of my business and I build up my business so hard, I don't just want to leave it. But some of my customers, they are still here and I don't want to leave them. I like the weather and the food, all kinds of food.

When things are good I share with my customers and when things are bad I want to share with the city also. I like to say, "Please stay here, why leave the city, things are going to get better, if there is help it will go up faster, nothing is going to stay bad forever."

--Dina Yanee Chaiprasert, hair salon owner

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I plan to someday buy some property (in East L. A.) and build my home. Since I was 6 years old, all I would do is go to the gym, come right home and go to school. Growing up in East Los Angeles it would be rough sometimes, seeing your friends get in trouble or getting shot. You would have to watch your back because anything could happen in East L. A. I experienced all that. But I never had trouble with all the gangs. I would make friends with everybody.

--Oscar De La Hoya, professional boxer

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