I read a book, while I was living in Chicago. Though I'm quite sure it was in the year 2005, it could have been some time in 2006. I was struggling with the possibility that I had to move back to my homeland of the greater Los Angeles area. The majority of my time was spent in hotels, couches, or my LDR's bed and the majority of that was spent in California. I was merely paying rent in The Windy City for a room for my things to gather dust in.
So, this book... I searched Amazon and Good Reads, but am coming up empty due to the hundreds of NFT guides and picture books. Anyway, I believe it is called "Los Angeles" or at least the chapter is called "Los Angeles." I must have liked it a lot, because I photo copied page 39 out of it:
It's something about the weather. What was once the stuff of the farmer's almanac is now a television channel all its own, a subject that requires constant monitoring, anxiety, and anticipation. The chance of rain, the allergy index, the brush fire equation, the rise and fall of the tides, El Niño/La Niña, brush fires, mud slides, apocalyptic disaster, indexes for humidity, for wind chill. Add to the weirdness that these phenomena bring the notion that people choose to live in Los Angeles because of the weather. The weather is one of the city's selling points, one of the prime quality-of-life advertisements for living here. The weather is described as perfect, consistently sunny and bright. Furthering the mixed message is the psychological fact that a lot of people who live in L.A. are obsessed with repetition, dependability, the sameness of their routines. They are creatures of habit who can't bear it when things are out of their control, when they have to adjust. When you stop to look carefully, a lot of people in Los Angeles are prone to temper tantrums when they don't get their way. Despite their age and or seeming success, they behave like children. A certain tolerance for this behavior appears one to be one of the underlying organizational factors, one of the personality principles of the city. It occurs to me that these folks might look at weather phenomena as the temper tantrums of the gods, as something they relate to on a primal level (given that they aspire to one day become one of the gods), and so when weather happens, it in fact impresses them, stuns them, and then calms them. The potential scale of a disaster is one of the few things that makes an impression - Los Angeles is very much about size and comparison.
Now that I think about it, I think that perhaps it was my old roommate Brian's book that I borrowed... maybe he can help me solve the mystery of who wrote it?