Los Angeles, California

Bladerunner Meets The Rose Parade

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What's it like to live in Los Angeles?

Does Anyone Actually Like Living in L.A. right now?

I'd say with LA, it takes awhile to "break the ice" with the city. It's easy to see it as vapid, sprawling, etc. But if you dig a bit, you can find your niche. I've traveled a fair amount, and ultimately came to the conclusion that LA gives you access to almost anything compared to most other cities - diverse international cuisine (from street food to high end), the arts, hiking trails, music, etc. There are densely-populated more walkable neighborhoods and there are the quiet ones.

What is it like living in LA?

My work days involve driving through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica because it's faster than the freeways and it takes at least 45 minutes to get home but I know how to get around traffic.

I can skateboard through downtown, the Arts District, and Little Tokyo, and an Uber back home is $3. My coffee costs more. The other day I got all the way to the Always Sunny building just because.

I can buy one macaroon for $2.50 from Bottega Louie or pupusas on the street for $1 each. I can wait in line at Shake Shack or eat like a proper gentleman at In-N-Out. Denny's is garbage, Norms is life. Have you even heard of Dino's? KBBQ, SGV Chinese food, sushi, elote, asada, Papa Christo's, danger dogs, Mendocino, Lucy's, Langer's, Lemonade, Lawry's, Urth, Stinking Rose, Caveman Kitchen, Happy Taco, King Taco, El Flaming Taco, paleteros, "Tamales! Tamales!"

Bars? Everywhere. Upscale, hipster, lounge, club, dive, trap, sports, sake, beer, whiskey, single, dance, group, arcade…

Groceries aren't taxed. Costco, Trader Joe's, Smart and Final, Numero Uno, Vallarta, Ralphs, Vons, Northgate- you probably live near one of those, which is super convenient. You can at least host people if you can't afford to go out.

I freeze to death at 50° but once it's February and hits 75° I run shirtless across Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. I'll get fresh Poké for lunch then hit up the craft breweries in South Bay.

Nature? Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon, Angeles Forest, Kenneth Hahn, Lake Balboa, Silverlake, Elysian, Echo, top of Reseda, even fucking Barnsdall is serene.

Snow? Big Bear. Snow Valley. Mammoth.

Culture? Getty, Getty Villa, LACMA, Gene Autry, Petersen, MOCA, Broad, Jurassitech, Expo Park, the rest of Museum Row, Watts Towers, alleys full of street art across the whole city…

Colleges? UCLA, USC, CSUN (Matadors!), CSULA, CSUDH, LMU, MSM, Pierce, Valley, Santa Monica, LACC, Pasadena, Glendale…

Amusement? Disneyland, Knotts, Universal, Six Flags, Sherman Oaks Castle Park, The Grove, the Zoo, the observatory, Hollywood and Highland, LA Live…

Live stage? UCB, ZJU, The Improv, Flappers, VPAC, Magic Castle, Jimmy Kimmel, The Price Is Right, nearly every sitcom on TV…

Style? Rodeo Drive, Slauson Swap Meet, The Farmers Market, Arts District, MacArthur Park, Melrose, Fairfax, Fashion District, Crenshaw, Abott Kinney, the Galleria, PDC…

Conventions? E3, AX, Stan Lee's Comic Con, car shows, fitness expos, career summits, Adult Con, Reptile Expo, Tattoo Expo, League of Legends world championships…

Sports? Dodgers are life. Fuck you if you say anything against them. Lakers, Kings, Clippers, Galaxy, that new football club. Trojans, Bruins. Rams are a thing, kind of, but not really. Chargers are a joke. The Angels aren't Los Angeles.

Want to blackout for just a weekend? Vegas is a 5 hour drive away. So iS TJ. Jumbo's is down the street though.

Need to get away? SF, Portland, and Seattle are $50 roundtrip from LAX if you play it right.

What is it like living in LA?

My work days involve driving through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica because it's faster than the freeways and it takes at least 45 minutes to get home but I know how to get around traffic.

I can skateboard through downtown, the Arts District, and Little Tokyo, and an Uber back home is $3. My coffee costs more. The other day I got all the way to the Always Sunny building just because.

I can buy one macaroon for $2.50 from Bottega Louie or pupusas on the street for $1 each. I can wait in line at Shake Shack or eat like a proper gentleman at In-N-Out. Denny's is garbage, Norms is life. Have you even heard of Dino's? KBBQ, SGV Chinese food, sushi, elote, asada, Papa Christo's, danger dogs, Mendocino, Lucy's, Langer's, Lemonade, Lawry's, Urth, Stinking Rose, Caveman Kitchen, Happy Taco, King Taco, El Flaming Taco, paleteros, "Tamales! Tamales!"

Bars? Everywhere. Upscale, hipster, lounge, club, dive, trap, sports, sake, beer, whiskey, single, dance, group, arcade…

Groceries aren't taxed. Costco, Trader Joe's, Smart and Final, Numero Uno, Vallarta, Ralphs, Vons, Northgate- you probably live near one of those, which is super convenient. You can at least host people if you can't afford to go out.

I freeze to death at 50° but once it's February and hits 75° I run shirtless across Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. I'll get fresh Poké for lunch then hit up the craft breweries in South Bay.

Nature? Griffith Park, Runyon Canyon, Angeles Forest, Kenneth Hahn, Lake Balboa, Silverlake, Elysian, Echo, top of Reseda, even fucking Barnsdall is serene.

Snow? Big Bear. Snow Valley. Mammoth.

Culture? Getty, Getty Villa, LACMA, Gene Autry, Petersen, MOCA, Broad, Jurassitech, Expo Park, the rest of Museum Row, Watts Towers, alleys full of street art across the whole city…

Colleges? UCLA, USC, CSUN (Matadors!), CSULA, CSUDH, LMU, MSM, Pierce, Valley, Santa Monica, LACC, Pasadena, Glendale…

Amusement? Disneyland, Knotts, Universal, Six Flags, Sherman Oaks Castle Park, The Grove, the Zoo, the observatory, Hollywood and Highland, LA Live…

Live stage? UCB, ZJU, The Improv, Flappers, VPAC, Magic Castle, Jimmy Kimmel, The Price Is Right, nearly every sitcom on TV…

Style? Rodeo Drive, Slauson Swap Meet, The Farmers Market, Arts District, MacArthur Park, Melrose, Fairfax, Fashion District, Crenshaw, Abott Kinney, the Galleria, PDC…

Conventions? E3, AX, Stan Lee's Comic Con, car shows, fitness expos, career summits, Adult Con, Reptile Expo, Tattoo Expo, League of Legends world championships…

Sports? Dodgers are life. Fuck you if you say anything against them. Lakers, Kings, Clippers, Galaxy, that new football club. Trojans, Bruins. Rams are a thing, kind of, but not really. Chargers are a joke. The Angels aren't Los Angeles.

Want to blackout for just a weekend? Vegas is a 5 hour drive away. So iS TJ. Jumbo's is down the street though.

Need to get away? SF, Portland, and Seattle are $50 roundtrip from LAX if you play it right.

Broke? $1.75 can get you nearly anywhere on Metro. Go run, or bike. Cic La Via is free. Someone will try to steal your bike if you leave it outside.

There's so much goddamn music it's impossible to do everything. Coachella, FYF, Hard, Roxy, Viper Room, Troubadour, Spaceland, Echo… I'm not even close to listing even 5% of venues. Go wander across York between Fig and Eagle Rock. One of the best live shows I've been to was Kitten at a house party.

What is it like to live in Los Angeles?

I've lived in Los Angeles for over 15 years. I moved here from Seattle, where I lived for a decade. Previously, I toured the east coast of the United States with an acting troupe. Prior to that, I attended college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was born in rural Oklahoma.

I genuinely love Los Angeles and I'll get to the reasons shortly, but first, there are some things you need to know that will bear on the answer(s) to your question.
(1) Los Angeles County covers approximately 4,750 square miles with a population of over 10 million people. It has a widely diverse ethnic population.
(2) Given that population, area and diversity, it is nearly impossible to characterize "Los Angeles" as a monolith.
(3) When people say "Los Angeles," they are referring to a dense collection of neighborhoods and individually incorporated areas. These are contiguous, with nothing separating them except inconspicuous signs marking the boundaries. A tourist might travel from North Hollywood (where I live) through Burbank and into Glendale without ever realizing he or she had visited three different cities.

Because of this, locals rarely refer to "Los Angeles" when discussing the nature and character of their locales. We might say "I like living in Toluca Lake, but the commute to my job in Northridge is killing me." We tend to think of LA as two neighborhoods - where we live, and where we work - separated by one or more freeways.

Okay, now that those basic concepts are out of the way, on to how I feel about living here. Standard disclaimer: my opinions on this admittedly subjective topic are my own. For everything I tell you, someone will say "That's not true!"

There is nothing truer than the cliche that people move here for the weather. It is generally spectacular. Although it does get uncomfortably warm in the summer (the valley can hit three digits, Fahrenheit) and can be quite chilly at night, most of the year is shirtsleeve-pleasant. You most definitely will not need your snow shovel, or even a heavy coat.

You will need a car. Mass transit is growing here in service area and capability, but for now, if you move to LA, you will be severely limited without your own source of transportation. Remember the freeways I mentioned earlier? If you are like most citizens, you will spend a lot of time on them. When I first moved here, the freeways scared the hell out of me. The speed limits are a sort of suggestion, and in my experience, if you try to adhere to them, you will piss off a lot of people. I liken it to a high-stakes ballet in which, if someone missteps, you're all screwed. That said, it's amazing how quickly you get use to it. Even the surface streets are packed, compared to most cities. Making a left turn without a left-turn arrow is a special experience that you have to have to fully appreciate.

People will say that living in LA is expensive, and that is generally true, based on what it costs to live in smaller U.S. cities. That said, it's all relative. If you move here from Evansville, you're going to experience some sticker shock, but if you're coming down from the Bay area, or across the country from New York, you're apt to be pleasantly surprised.

Horace Greeley famously wrote "Go West, young man," and all these many years later, Los Angeles is still a place where an enterprising individual can make a buck. There are a lot of wealthy people here, with a lot of disposable income, and they will pay you to do things for them. When I first got here, I temped for several years, making something along the lines of 12 or 14 dollars an hours. After that, I became a (rather successful) self-styled computer consultant, a job which gave me flexible hours and let me pay my bills on less than 40 hours a week. By the time I left that career to become a full time voice actor, clients were paying me $92.00 an hour and were glad for the chance. I've never felt that the pay-to-cost of living ratio here is burdensome, as I understand it is for some of the people who live in New York.

Living in Los Angeles 2022 | Pros and Cons after living in LA for almost 2 years