Friday, October 25, 2013

My 5 Favorite Things About Los Angeles (and 5 Least Favorite)

Once I moved back to LA after living in Boston I wanted to share my favorite, and least favorite, things about both cities. It quickly became apparent that what I didn’t like about Boston were things I liked about LA and vice versa. Which can only mean one thing, we need to build a new city from the ground up that encompasses the best of both worlds.  We’ll call it Bosangeles or Angelton!

But until that day comes, let’s explore all Los Angeles has to offer…and what it lacks…

My 5 Favorite Things about Los Angeles

1. Weather – Duh. The reason I couldn’t live in Boston is one of the reasons I love LA. The weather is pleasant at worst and perfect the rest of the year. Of course, I use to think that it got cold here until I lived in Boston and learned what cold really meant. One January I was visiting LA, soaking up the delightful, sunny, 60 degree day and to my amazement there were people walking around in puffy coats! Puffy coats! I immediately snapped a photo to send to my Boston friends and we all had a good laugh. I will readily admit, however, that it use to be me in that coat and probably will be again this winter. But living in a place where it regularly reached the teens really opened my eyes to how great we have it.

Santa Monica

2. Food – Lots of cities around the world have great food and LA is definitely one of them. You can find Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, and everything in between, any time of day. Boston had a few dining holes that needed filing ie: sushi. But in LA, you can always find your favorite dish and it’s good to boot! I also love the old restaurants that have been around forever and are so good that they continue to be in business. Musso and Franks, the Apple Pan, Pacific Dining Car, El Chollo, and Lawry’s are just a few delicious favorites.  

3. You can do or be anything you want – This may sound cheesy but it’s true. If America is the land of opportunity, Los Angeles should be its capital. There is room for everyone and everything in this city. You can be actor, lawyer, drag queen, surfer, travel specialist =), dog walker, beach bum, doctor….you get the picture. There is a place and a community for whatever you want to do and whoever you want to be. A an old coworker of mine moved from Oklahoma to LA, an unlikely transplant, but he and his family were able to locate like minded people to spend their time with. Also, from a more practical point of view, there is lots of job opportunity here. LA is home to hundreds of companies and industries.

Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica

4. There is always something to do - Because this city is home to many diverse cultures and people, there is always something to do. Go to the theatre, ride the ferris wheel, watch an improve show, hang out at the beach or visit a museum. The possibilities are endless. I acknowledge the fact that this is not unique to LA, many cities offer a variety of entertainment, but it's another reason to love LA.

Ferris Wheel, Santa Monica Pier

Walt Disney Concert Hall

5. Proximately to other destinations – LA is close to so many other great cities. If you get sick of LA you can be in San Diego or Santa Barbara in just a few hours. You can drive North to go skiing or East to gamble in Las Vegas. Even within LA there are soothing escapes. Go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, take a scenic drive along Pacific Coast Highway or camping, yes camping, in Malibu!

Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Barbara

Lake Tahoe

(6.) Cars - Los Angelinos are always in their cars, therefore, we have become a car centric culture. And because there are so many rich people here, you see awesome cars every where you go. I maybe saw 3 Ferraris a year in Boston. In LA I probably see half a dozen each day. And, dear lord, do we love our vanity plates! I happen to love the variety of vanity plates you see in LA. I myself have one,as do most of my friends. We even have several museums dedicated to cars!

Super Car Sunday, Topanga Mall

The Petersen Automotive Museum

My 5 Least Favorite Things About LA

1. Traffic – Another duh. Do I really need to get into it? LA is home to the most congested freeway intersection in the world. It once took me a solid 55 minutes to drive the 5 miles from my apartment in West LA to Beverly Hills. Traffic is to LA as Weather is to Boston. On the East Coast I would start my day by looking at the weather. How cold will it be today? How humid? Will it snow or rain? In LA I start my day by checking the traffic. Should I take the coast or the freeway? The 405 is jammed, should I try Sepulveda? Have you ever seen that Saturday Night Live episode of The Californians? “I skipped Wilshire and took Beverly over to Santa Monica and took that all the way up” Yep, that’s how we really talk.


2. Lack of Public Transpiration – It seriously boggles my mind that LA doesn’t have a good public transportation system. All the other major cities in the world have one, why not us? And we really have no excuse. LA is younger then Paris, London, or NY, we had advantages they didn’t when our city was being built, yet somehow, we didn’t get the memo. Granted, we are vastly larger, but still. I frigging hate that I have to drive everywhere. If you’re lucky and happen to live and work near the Metro, kudos to you. But for the majority of us, that isn’t an option. Believe it or not, LA has the second largest bus system in the US, but with all the traffic, it’s not terribly helpful. And yes, there is a metro rail, but it doesn’t cover nearly enough ground. Taxis aren’t a great solution either. LA is huge so depending on where you live and where you want to go, taxi fees can get very expensive.

3. Everyone thinks you’re a Kardashian – Yes. There are plenty of superficial, cayenne pepper cleansing, juice press guzzling, small dog toting, botox injected, bleach blonds in LA. But we’re not all like that! I cannot begin to tell you how many people on the East Coast asked if I have Chihuahua, if my friends are celebrities, or if live on the beach and surf every day. No, no, and no. I have never stepped foot in a Pink Berry, never taken a drumstick workout class (sadly, that’s a real thing), or injected chemicals into my face. I’m just a normal girl, who lives in a normal apartment, with a normal car (with a vanity plate of course) and no, I’m not blond or a size zero.  Side note: We also hate The Kardashians and wish they would to another city far, far away.
4. Everyone thinks they’re a Kardashian – I may only be speaking for a small population  but this is my blog and this happens to be one thing that I don’t like about LA. I just didn’t realize it until I left and came back but all the good looking, wealthy people in Los Angeles sort of made me feel bad about myself. The moment I got back to LA I left the pressure to dress up, be thin and pretty, live in the right city, and drive the right car. There are just so many attractive, rich people here; it can really get inside your head. I know it’s silly and I know I should be better than that, but some days I feel like a real frump.

5. Pollution and Earthquakes – Technically I don’t think you can really blame LA for either of these issues but we sure are associated with them. It’s not our fault we happen to live atop the San Andreas fault. So is the rest of California. And pollution? Well that was caused by poor emissions regulations.
Seriously though, too many cars on the road is LA’s fault, if we had better public transportation, there would be less of them polluting the air. Pollution has gotten much better since cars have become cleaner but there are still those days when you can’t see more than a few miles out. The air looks dingy and grimy and you swear its seeping into your pores. Earthquakes are a way of life in the Golden State, they are scary, some are very damaging, and we are all waiting to fall into the Pacific Ocean when the “The Big One” hits.

I must end this post with this: Like most Los Angelinos, I have a love/hate relationship with LA. I missed it when I was gone and I complained about the traffic when I got home, but in the end - I love LA.  

PS. If you are curious about Boston stacked up read My 5 Favorite Things About Boston (and 5 Least Favorite)
If you liked this post, or just want to share your thoughts about Los Angeles, please leave a comment!


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