Everyone Is Moving To L.A. Because Of Uber
At least that’s what a handful of millennial artists and expats in London have told me. As generalizing as it is, it makes sense if you think about it.
Listen to people in the creative community in London and they’ll tell you experimental safe havens like Hackney Wick and Old Street have completely transformed (via gentrification, but let’s hang up our notions about that word for a moment), and emerging hotspots on the outskirts of the city, such as Dalston are becoming trendy, sterile, cash-rich meccas stifling the very grittiness that brought them to life.
I can agree with that. Judgement aside, I’ve lived in, and traveled to, London over the past decade and saw places like London Bridge and Soho go from dark, exhilarating corners of the city to bright and shiny tourist centers.
There aren’t many secrets left in this town. But it’s ok, we all get it. It’s a natural progression for reasons I won’t go into here.
But apparently word is everyone is going to L.A. now.
Why? Because Uber suddenly makes L.A. accessible to the artists and creatives that hate car culture and everything that goes along with it (added costs, disjointed populations, and perhaps a general malaise that keeps the city from becoming a community like its counterparts).
It’s hard to ‘plug in’ to L.A. like you can with Paris or London or NYC. And guess what — NYC’s creative people are moving to L.A., too, for the same reasons. Both older and younger millennials I’ve talked to in New York say they’re over the city and how the charming hustle has morphed into something else altogether. As an L.A. native who studied in NYC, I can somewhat understand (although not completely).
Now, Uber is basically L.A.’s proxy metro system in a city that’s simply not made for efficient public transit. That creates connectivity. It creates accessibility. It creates the missing dimension that one could argue separates L.A. from other towns. As anecdotal as this all is, it still holds some logic.
When I asked London-based American artist Susan Supercharged why anyone with creative ambitions would leave a thriving hub like London for the vast expanse of suburbia that is L.A., she told me, “That’s always the way it is, right? L.A. might be like that now, but it’s always the artists that go there first and transform everything.” Just like they did with London.