Life in Los Angeles: New Beginnings

Four years ago today I was seated behind the steering wheel of a large moving truck, driving through the middle of the country on my way to a new life in Chicago. Today, exactly four years later, I am busy packing and cleaning and finishing up my very last day in Topanga, as I prepare for a new life in Santa Monica. Tomorrow morning we officially move into our new house.

I keep thinking that I detect the faintest whiff of fall. The slightest crisp in the air, a rustle of leaves. These must be sense memories though. They can’t be real, not here in Los Angeles at the end of August. But what I do know is real is the undeniable sense of something beginning. Dozens of fall memories settle over me, first days of high school and college and new jobs and new cities all overlapping until I can’t remember a time when life wasn’t about something new.

Tomorrow morning we officially begin living in Los Angeles. Tomorrow will forever mark the start of my second tenure in Los Angeles, these last three months in Topanga some strange interim between an old life in Chicago and this new one in California. While our stay here in Topanga has been really incredible, both Greg and I know that it’s not where we would be happy in the long run. We’re so excited to be moving to Santa Monica, to be back amongst sidewalks and parks and cafes, and just blocks from the beach.

I was in Venice last night to meet a friend, and as I drove down Main Street in Santa Monica past people on bikes with boogie boards and wet towels in the baskets and then down Abbott Kinney in Venice with its chic clientele cruising the shops, I was floored with gratitude for being back in this city. I was already in love with Los Angeles four years ago when I left it. Being in Chicago for all that time just anchored my heart even more firmly to this place.

Anyway, get ready for a new era of Life in Los Angeles. I know I am.



  • Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Claire, I am living vicariously through your descriptions of Santa Monica — it sounds so incredible. Can’t wait to hear about all your new adventures!

  • Posted September 1, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I remember when I read about your impending move to Chicago. I was in another apartment, in another ‘era’ of my life, reading late at night and thinking, “Wow, she’s really going for it – despite all, Claire is packing up and going.” I was so thrilled and anxious on your behalf and am so delighted by how it’s all turned out. Now I can picture the Santa Monica streets it’s even better. 🙂 It’s late at night (again) as I type this in Australia and I can feel new beginnings everywhere…Bring them on!

  • Chris
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    How exciting for you all! As Kathryn said…I am living vicariously through your descriptions of Santa Monica! Sounds like a great place to live! Good luck with the move!!

  • Lyssa
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Reading your blog makes me so homesick!

  • Posted September 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    so fascinating to read of you returning here and loving this city, as i “wind down” my time here and plan for a move (in 2013) to the east bay area of san francisco. i can see why you would love los angeles. it suits you, and you have a family, and a network, so it makes it easier to deal with what happens here. i, however, am ready to leave this city. i came here looking for fame, and found myself. the city by the bay is calling to me. i feel that is where i belong, just as you felt, those years in chicago, that this is where you belong. i am glad that we are both finding out where we belong…

  • jo
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Yay – Life in LA II!

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