When I decided to move from New York to Los Angeles 10 years ago, some of my East Coast buddies insisted I was making a huge mistake. They claimed L.A. was a superficial city lacking good restaurants, interesting neighborhoods, an appreciation for arts and culture — and a bunch of other total nonsense. My experiences over the past decade have proven them all completely and utterly wrong.
A city as diverse, artistic, and world-renowned as Los Angeles has naturally seen it all. And based on that experience, over time it’s constructed its own vibe, its own slow chill, its own wisdom. We could all learn a few things from the City of Angels — these 12 lessons are just a start.
Los Angeles has a long-standing love affair with cars, one that goes back to the 1920s and later exploded in the 1950s with kitschy roadside signs, drive-in movie theaters and restaurants, and even drive-through dairies. As such, we treat our highways (yes, even the ones with ten lanes) with utmost reverence, adding a royal “The” before the route number: “The quickest way is to take the 110 to the 10.”
Take a trip back to the city’s 18th-century beginnings at downtown’s El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, commemorating the Spanish settlement that ultimately became Los Angeles. While most people are drawn to the hustle, bustle, and bright colors of Olvera Street’s open-air market, or to the celebratory music and dancing in the nearby plaza, it’s also worth checking out the quieter side of history. My pick is the rustic Avila Adobe, the oldest home in L.A. — join a guided tour or wander at your leisure to take in the restored living quarters and shady courtyard.