(Sunday, July 22nd, 2012)

Living In The Future


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“Marty, I can see the future.”

Since moving across country I’ve noticed some trends happening in California that I have never seen before, which comes as no surprise. While living in Orlando I had always heard about new west coast trends. I just caught wind of them late, like 3-5 years too late, when the supposed “new” trends had already been trumped by newer trends (and since I didn’t know the trends had been duped by better trends at the time, my friends and I still pursued those second-hand trends with new enthusiasm and excitement. Imagine our embarrassment).

Now that I live in Los Angeles, one of the trend-setting meccas of the world, I sometimes feel like I’m living in the future (even though according to Eastern Standard Time I technically reside three hours in the past). I often find myself wanting to call my friends back home to say, “Guess what? In two years [blah, blah, blah] will be happening in Orlando.” But I never do because it’s donned on me that I might sound like an arrogant asshole.

So here’s a list (and not a phone call) of what’s working its way to you Orlando. Brace yourself America. The future is now.

Movie Seating
Maybe because movie theaters actually sell-out in this city, but theaters now require you to reserve your seat before going into find it. Gone are the days of juggling buttery popcorn and gallon-sized sodas while screaming the name of your loved one in the dark. Seats are now purchased up front, when you buy your ticket.
The Good: You no longer have to look lost once entering a theater.
The Bad: There’s still going to be the asshole that takes someone else’s seat, and consequently the uncomfortable confrontation that happens after this realization.

"The middle seat, please."

No Floridians, I’m not talking about beer. I know you all are quite aware of the unspoken rule to bring you’re own alcohol to front-yard parties and bar-b-ques. In Los Angeles, B.Y.O.B. means you must bring your own bag to the grocery store. If you don’t, you must pay the price (which ranges between ten cents and a dollar per bag).
The Good: Every frugal person recycles or is tormented by lack of forethought.
The Bad: There are no more free poop bags for the puppy.

Kale Salad
Green, leafy lettuce that was once considered a garnish is now the hottest trend in LA at the moment. Everybody is eating Kale, no matter what economic status. Hurry up Floridians, plant your gardens.
The Good: Kale is cheap.
The Bad: I miss spinach.

The Car Pool Lane
Even with a somewhat decent public transportation service, most people in LA drive their cars… alone. To encourage car-pooling and in an effort to save the environment, the city has created a lane on the highway dedicated to those cars with two or more people. This may not sound like a big deal until you’re stuck on the 110 drooling at the wide open space that is the car pool lane. Tickets for illegally using the car pool lane are $250+.
The Good: Parties of two or more can cruise past stand-still traffic screaming “suckas!” and no one can do a thing about it.
The Bad: It’s one less lane for single-riders to use, which means at least twenty minutes more of sitting on the highway.

It’s just like choosing deli meat, minus the slicing.

Medical Marijuana
Being born in Florida, I have been brainwashed for 33 years to think marijuana is bad, illegal, and even arrest worthy. Though a lot of people use it in the South, it’s considered risky business. So it’s very strange to move to a city where it’s not only legal, it’s offered in many friendly ways, including cookies and lollipops. Do you prefer brownies? The bud-tenders offer that too. What about weed that makes you feel active and more focused? Or sleepy and tired? All these forms of pot are available as long as you have a card prescribed by a doctor, which literally takes $65 and less than an hour of your time. Marijuana used responsibly? Who’d thunk it? But it’s happening, at least it’s happening here, which makes me feel like it should be happening everywhere.
The Good: Jail time is no longer a consequence of puffing.
The Bad: Occasionally you’ll smell pot in the elevator or walking down the street, which will make you giggle and feel the need to tell on somebody.

Homemade Ding Dongs
Remember the cup cake trend that started in LA like six years ago (and arrived in Orlando just last year)? Ding Dongs are the new cup cakes. All bakeries should jump on this trend now!  Chocolate cake + delicious icing + hard outer chocolate shell = heaven + $5 out of my weekly budget. Enough said already.
The Good: Ding Dongs are so big, you can share with friends.
The Bad: Every time you say, “I’m wanna Ding Dong,” or “I’m gonna eat a Ding Dong,” some fool will back it up with, “That’s what she said.”

Boutique Trucks
Since the food truck business model has worked for many small business owners, other retailers are jumping on the bad wagon. Clothing designers, homemade soap distributors, thrift store good-finders and others are all turning to mobile store fronts to hustle goods.
The Good: You no longer have to go to the store, the store comes to you.
The Bad: At any time your favorite truck can move to a different city, leaving you, the customer, helpless and in dire need of product.

Doggie Booties
Thanks to lack of pet restrictions in most downtown LA apartments, large-breed dogs are taking over the streets. Gone are the days of carrying toy dogs in a back pack or small purse. Owners are making their dogs walk again (and sometimes run right next to them). In order to keep the sidewalk scum on the sidewalk, many owners are dressing their dogs in booties.
The Good: You don’t have to worry about your dog stepping on glass or in urine, or even worse, glass sitting in urine.
The Bad: Putting the booties on your dog can be challenging, and then taking them off can be sickening. No one wants to see the filth we bring into our homes each day.

And you though pet clothes looked ridiculous.

Pedestrians Rule the Roads
Now this is an idea that you might think already exists, but sadly I don’t think it does. Florida, and specifically the city Orlando, have one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities in the nation. As a former road warrior myself, I used to think that with my driving privileges comes unspoken rights, two rights being: available, free parking and the Trump Rule, ie. if my car is bigger than you (or your car) I win. I should have the right of way. It doesn’t work like that in this city. Parking is a perk that costs at least $5, and pedestrians rule the roads. If  you even as much as  stop abrubtly in a pedestrian walkway thanks to a red light, passerbys will shake their head and ogle with disgust.
The Good: More people live!
The Bad: It makes traffic hell.

6 Responses to “Living In The Future”

  1. Awesome post. You must keep me updated on every/all trend via email! I did have one of these already on my blog (thank god): http://www.thedailycity.com/2012/01/fashion-truck-bazaar.html

  2. Heather van Etten says:

    Ok, so I need a boutique truck and ding dongs. Got it. Thanks for the updates!

  3. What about circle glasses? I called that one 3 or 4 years ago when I saw it was the only direction sunglasses could go without becoming face-shields… now I’m seeing the trendy europeans wearing them all over Peru… I imagine the LA-types have them too?

  4. Ha, I feel like such a trend-setter! I’ve been enjoying kale for months. I have migrated toward a more vegetarian diet (with the exception of an occasional dive into chicken wings – yeah, I know, how unhealthy can I get?) and have found several great recipes for kale. It’s great roasted, a very healthy, tasty snack! I still love spinach too. Gosh, paying for a movie seat and booties on my dogs? With all the sand they drag into the RV, it might be a great idea, but I think till I got them on one dog, the other would have removed hers.

    Thanks for a great blog, Jana. I’m overdue for “Reflections from an RV”.

  5. Hello Fellow Orlando-an who also moved to West Coast, yeah what’s with the non-mouth-friendly stiff and sour kale? I joined the ‘salad club’ at work (cool idea that no one would ever do back home, except you guys and started by Heather). It’s kinda icky when its raw right? As for BYOB, I felt like a criminal without my reusable bag in line at Trader Joes the other night but made a quick save by buying a (really cool, well designed) one right at checkout (whew, dodged the judgey eyeballs). Good blog Jana. Love reading your insights. Gonna have to find me a ding dong and quick. There has to be one up here in SF….

  6. Sandyman says:

    haha…loved this post, Jana!! Brian and I have the same type discussion almost monthly ever since living out here. It’s a totally different world…but a fun one that we love! 🙂

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