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11 Things I Stopped Doing When I Moved From San Francisco to Los Angeles

Los Angeles
by Julia Kitlinski-Hong Oct 16, 2016

1. I stopped taking public transportation.

In San Francisco, I did not own a car. The public transportation system was very efficient, and having a car was more of a headache than not. When I moved to Los Angeles, the opposite was true- a car was a necessity. Buses and the Metro existed, but since the city was so spread out it took twice as long to get anywhere with public transportation. Driving everywhere was more convenient, but also a lot more isolating.

2. I stopped eating mediocre Mexican food.

In Los Angeles, the Mexican population is larger due to the closer proximity to the Mexican border. In San Francisco, Mexican cuisine is widely available but it’s not as diverse as it is down south. From late night taco stand runs to family-owned restaurants, there was no shortage of options when craving Mexican food.

3. I stopped not caring about my appearance.

In San Francisco, I had my trusty down coat and a warm fleece that was on me at all times to ward off the chill. Clothes were less about fashion and more about practicality. In Los Angeles, physical appearance was much more important, and so I made sure to put extra effort into getting ready every morning and looking less like a bum.

4. I stopped paying for a gym membership.

It is preferable to join a gym in San Francisco, due to the chilly weather, but in Los Angeles the opposite is true. With abundant sunshine year-round, I saved money and instead took advantage of the ample seaside paths near Santa Monica, and the nearby mountain trails of Griffith Park.

5. I stopped being star struck whenever I saw a celebrity.

In Los Angeles, there is a good chance that you will see a celebrity in the supermarket, at your local coffee shop or eating next to you at your favorite restaurant. At first, it was exciting to see movie and TV stars, but after awhile it became less of a big deal because I saw them so often.

6. I stopped being indifferent to rain.

Los Angeles is mostly made up of a desert climate, and therefore people tend to freak out more when it rains. Traffic becomes even more of a mess, and it seems like people forget how to drive. In San Francisco, rain was usually not a big deal and was expected especially during the winter months.

7. I stopped avoiding the drive-thru.

In Los Angeles, fast food chains are a lot more abundant than in San Francisco, and the drive-thru is a welcomed convenience since you spend most of your time in the car. In San Francisco, the opposite is true where eating at a restaurant is preferred to the drive-thru.

In-N-Out, Tommy’s and Donut Hole became common places to stop for a quick breakfast or a late night snack. When I first came to Los Angles, I was confused when they asked me if I wanted my meal “in car” or “to go” when going through the drive-thru. I quickly learned it meant they could give me an open container for eating it in the car or in a bag for later. Only in L.A.

8. I stopped paying a ridiculous amount for rent.

The rent in San Francisco is insanely expensive, and I could not even afford a one-bedroom room apartment. Instead, I shared a three-bedroom place with three other people, which was definitely very cozy. In Los Angeles, rent was a lot more affordable, where I could rent my own place at a reasonable price, and best of all avoid the morning bathroom shuffle.

9. I stopped wearing my jacket in the summer.

San Francisco summers are notoriously cold and foggy, so it was good to be able to wear short sleeves during the warmer months. Los Angeles does deal with a little bit of overcast weather in the late spring to early summer in the form of June Gloom. This weather pattern brings with it low lying clouds and drizzle that can put a damper on any mood. Though thankfully it usually burns off around mid-morning to early afternoon.

10. I stopped avoiding theme parks due to the high admission prices.

In San Francisco, theme parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain are far away and not worth getting a yearly pass to. Near Los Angeles, there are plenty of worthwhile theme parks due to the entertainment industry, and the spread-out nature of the city. From Disneyland, California Adventure, Universal Studios and Knotts’ Berry Farm, being a frequent theme park visitor was something I embraced eagerly.

11. I stopped trying to be on time.

Los Angeles traffic is notoriously bad, and I always had to factor in generous travel time to make sure I would be able to get somewhere on time. Even when I gave myself plenty of time, it did not guarantee that I would make it on time, especially when there was an accident.

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