Photo: Colin Heinrich
You NEED a car to get around.
I like traveling on my own time. I like being able to jump in my car at 11PM to go to CVS, which is down the street, because I ran out of toilet paper. I don’t have to look up the train schedule and wonder if it’s sketchy to walk down the dark street alone, or whether I can carry back the bulk 48 roll package by myself. I don’t have to watch my stuff for 20 minutes on some creepy platform, then shuffle everything awkwardly into a train while everybody glares at me for taking up more room than a teacup pig.
I love driving. Sometimes, I want to be able to cruise down the road with my arm out the window, without the stench of a homeless man’s urine staining the seat beside me. San Francisco, Boston and New York might each have their advantages, but being reliant on public transportation is not one of them.
There are no seasons.
You will never be caught in a snow storm (and there’s rarely any bad weather at all). Growing up, I spent 3 years in Chicago, 2 years in Silicon Valley, then another 7 years in Massachusetts. Snow, hail, tornadoes, rolling fog, thunderstorms, sub-zero temperatures and extreme humidity, I’ve experienced just about every extreme weather the world can conjure up.
Sure as a child, snowstorms meant staying home from school and building snowmen. But I’m not six years old anymore, and you know what’s not fun? Waking up at 6 AM to dig your car out from the snow so you can get to work on time, or driving in those conditions because you needed food.
Unless hell froze over, it is unlikely that Los Angeles will experience anything of the like anytime soon. And I am completely okay with that. I’ll take my balmy, 65 degree February morning. If I want to see snow, I’ll go find it.
The LA metro area is super spread out.
…which means there are tons of different landscapes and terrains. You can paddle-board in the marina, hike in the mountains and end up in the desert all within a day. The unique landscape of Los Angeles makes it possible for me to enjoy the beach in the morning, then head to Palos Verdes or Malibu for a noon-time hike and then head east to spend the rest of your day in Palm Springs. And if I ever did want to get a little frosty? It’s just a few-hours drive to Big Bear, which means a one-day ski trip is totally doable.
Sure, we have to deal with traffic when we visit our friends in the other part of the city, but unless you’re driving in the middle of rush hour down the highways, you should know how to get around it. Traffic is a visitor’s game. The rest of us use Waze.
People care about their looks, and are thus vapid and shallow.
Since when does caring about your appearances automatically make you unsubstantial as a person? Yes, people here go to great lengths to make themselves attractive (there is no denying Hollywood’s influence), but that simply means tons of health, beauty and fitness trends start here.
I have more options to eat than the local McDonalds, and if I want to take a fitness class that combines Karate with Spin Class, then I’m gonna go ahead and book that 12:30. I’ve met a ton of beautiful people, who happen to be some of the most driven, intelligent and hard-working people in LA.
So sure, we care about our looks. We primp and preen and drink our kale like the rest of the US drinks their 64 oz. Cokes. But last I heard, nobody prided their own hometown on how unattractive it is, so who’s really doing something wrong?
There is no Los Angeles culture.
Los Angeles is new. The history of our land may not have established itself here, but if there is one city that is a cultural representation of the U.S., it would be LA. We are the true melting pot of all cultures, of all art styles, of all cuisines, and you will undoubtedly find a part of Los Angeles that makes you feel like you belong.
From Little Tokyo to Little Ethiopia and Tehrangeles, there’s such a rampant propagation of new culture that the lack of any one specific one is hardly a negative. More than anywhere else that you can fit into a stereotype and denigrate from afar, Los Angeles culture is every culture. And it’s not going anywhere, like it or not.