Jewish Journal


Coming to America?

by Elliot Steingart

June 13, 2012 | 11:46 am

Aviv, one of my best friends, must decide this summer if he and his girlfriend, Moria will stay in Tel-Aviv where he’s lived the last two years or move to the U.S.

Aviv planned an entire trip to show Moria around America. Their stop in LA was my chance to not only show them a great time, but convince them to stay for good.

Vivo’s one of the nicest and most loyal friends I have. I knew he was a good friend when freshman year at UC Santa Cruz he gave me a ride to the airport. I knew he was a best friend when he picked me up from the airport. Plus he loved hockey and laughed at what I found funny. Only Vivo and I would obsess over our neighbor Anna Peters simply because her last name was Peters.

If I could convince my work partners to offer discount tickets on my company’s website and persuade my girlfriend to give me all her quarters so I could do laundry, I surely could convince both Aviv and Moria to quit their jobs and move across the globe to Los Feliz.

It would take a two pronged approach where I would first win over Aviv and then slowly coerce Moria. I wouldn’t meet Moria until Saturday night so Vivo, our buddy Todd, and I could all have a night in Los Feliz. Friday would be an easy going night where we could reconnect and hit a few of the local spots on Vermont. Aviv crashed on my two person love seat, the perfect sized couch for a small point guard.

I awoke early Saturday morning feeling motivated to step up my game. I turned on the Xbox to play NHL 09, a favorite video game of ours.

“Want some action?” I asked.

“Sure, whatever you want,” responded Vivo.

“Best of 3. Loser buys breakfast.”

The first two games of the “Breakfast Classic” were tied at the end of regulation. I won the first in overtime. He won the second. Game three would decide who would buy the breakfast burritos. Mike Richards on a great feed from Jeff Carter put it stickside past Marty Brodeur to end it once and for all! I enjoyed my breakfast more than usual and took Vivo to my favorite store, “Bling Circus,” where we tried on vintage baseball hats for a half an hour. We complimented each other’s taste in fashion like teenage girls at an H & M.

Because Vivo had not spent much time in Los Feliz, I took him to the driving range where after shanking most of our drives to the bordering neighborhood of Silverlake, we agreed to a putt putt challenge, the inagural “Griffith Open.” Each hole was worth a $1 in the first round. During the second round we would average the best overall score with the winner receiving a free lunch. Another close contest would end on the 10th and final hole, a self-made par 3. Aviv overshot his initial putt. I undershot. His next putt was towards Silverlake. Mine found the hole. Lunch was better than usual as we enjoyed a 20 ounce schooner of Newcastle and an order of chicken wings.

I felt like I was doing my best to convince him to move back aside from taking all of his money. We drove back from the course listening to KDAY’s back in the mix weekend while wearing our new LA Raiders and Golden State Warriors snapbacks. It felt like we were best friends from 1993.

“You have to wear your snapback tonight,” I told Vivo.

My girlfriend came by with a whole picnic ready for “Nightmare on Elm Street” at Hollywood Forever, a quintessential Los Angeles summer experience.

This was my time to make a favorable impression on Moria whom I embraced with a warm hug.

“What do you think of Aviv’s new hat?” I asked her.

“It’s ugly,” she said.

“I think it’s pretty cool.”

In the cab I needed to get to work. “So, what do you think of LA so far?”

“It’s nice. It’s not what I expected,” Moria said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The houses aren’t that big.”

“Aviv said you were staying in a mansion in Beverly Hills?”

“Yes, it’s nice. I just thought it would be bigger.”

Due to the massive crowd at the cemetery we placed our blanket on the cement where Vivo and I put our arms around our girlfriends, enjoying white wine, green olives, and buffalo mozzarella. Moria settled back into Vivo’s lap falling asleep as Freddie first appeared on the big screen. Though spooky, I empathized with Freddie since we both have very long nails.

After the film, Moria and Aviv came back with my girlfriend and me. We sat around my kitchen table and talked like grownups. Moria told us how family is important to her and talked about her father and how she liked Los Angeles more than San Francisco.

“I want to live in a big house,” she said.

“There are lots of big houses in LA,” my girlfriend added. “Some of the houses in Bel Air go on for miles.”

“I want to have a big family,” she replied.

“How many kids?”


I found out the same time as Vivo that he’s going to be having four kids. The Brady Bunch seemed to like LA. Why couldn’t the Levys?

Before their flight Vivo drove back over to Los Feliz with Moria to say goodbye. We met at Coffee Bean and drove up the Griffith Observatory, my last ditch effort to show Moria the best views of the city of Los Angeles. “This can be yours,” I said. “You can be a star.”

“I don’t want to be a star,” she said laughing.

Does anyone know a real estate agent? We need to find them a big house quickly.


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Elliot Steingart is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer who hosts a monthly comedy show, “Melgard Mondays” at Melgard Public House. Steingart has written jokes for...

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