Where I live is culturally neutral. If I lived in New Orleans I’d have to embrace the local culture because it’s so good. In California you can be your own person.

Richard Thompson, in the Financial Times.


After listening to an interesting interview with Richard Florida on the “personal economics” of location, I’m not sure this is 100% why I feel so comfortable in L.A. I suspect it’s more a perfect stew of things—the autonomy/anonymity provided by a large metropolis, the proximity to likeminded souls, the insane cultural diversity and, hey, let’s not forget about the exceptional quality of Western light. But yeah, Chicago? Seattle? Portland? (Which would be a strong contender, except for that pesky light thing.) All distinctive. And maybe a little oppressive, because of it.

Warrants thought, anyway. Or maybe I’m just nuts, and really like thinking about shit like this.


“Cultural neutrality” is just the phrase I’ve been looking for. It’s one of the reasons Atlanta has really grown on me as I’ve been able to compare it to other cities.