I’ve moved a few times; from Brazil to Connecticut, from Connecticut to NYC, to a million different residence halls, but one thing I’ve never done is pack my crap up to move across the country, carrying only things that could fit in a medium-sized carry on.
It’s been six months since the cross-country move, and I find myself combing through the jumbled cultures of different areas throughout the city, and sharing experiences with various groups of people, analyzing every step of the way.
What Los Angeles is most famous for is its glitz and glam, its beautiful people, and for being the home of production lots that make magic appear on TV screens. What it’s not known for are things only newbie Angelenos and natives would notice, including overly strict J-walking laws, horrendous parking regulations, and random small-town looking donut shops everywhere.
Here are some other fun “LA insider quirks” I’ve gathered from my six month experience in LA.
It actually gets cold here
Somehow, your blood thins and makes 60º F feel like 20ºF. When it’s below 50º, fuggetaboutit, you might as well break out your snow suit. I’ve had nights of shivers, despite putting on four pairs of socks because as an outsider, I made the mistake of thinking it never got chilly in paradise. I was wrong, and my semi-permanent goosebumps proved it.
People don’t “connect” not because they suck
even though sometimes they do
But Angelenos get a pass for this overall lack of genuine friendships because of the ridiculous physical distance that one must trek to get from place to place. Let’s say you meet someone new, they seem cool, but are they cool enough for you to sit in traffic for a full hour and a half to go across town for a drink? Prolly not if we’re being honest with ourselves.
There’s also little reason why groups of people would ever need to come together, since everyone has their personal car bubbles to hide in after a long day at work.
Tap water is terrible
LA public water pretty much tastes like chalk, or a funky version of Horchata, which is already gross to begin with if you ask me. As a constantly parched person, water is the first thing on my mind during most activities. The fact that LA’s water taste like your 2nd grade classroom chalkboard isn’t ideal, but I’ve been doing just fine with a nifty water filter.
Sun really does make you a happier person
Most countries have a similar philosophy; the more sun you’re exposed to, the dumber or lazier you are. I used to agree, alongside the other cold and bitter stressed city types. If you’re raised in a colder climate, you’ll most likely think that cold weather made you tough, which made you better. LIE ALERT.
Since living in Los Angeles, I’ve been able to see both sides of the grass, and although sometimes slightly burnt and dry on this side, I can confidently proclaim that you can live in good weather and still get sh*t done.
You don’t NEED a car
I was gullible enough to believe the masses when they told me I needed a car to make it in Los Angeles; I really fell for it! Trust me, not only do I save a crap ton of money on parking, tickets, gas, insurance, and monthly car payments, but I have the freedom of going wherever, whenever while not having to worry about where to leave my car, love you Uber! Nothing makes a gypsy soul happier than freedom.
Home to Silicon Beach
As a former employee of a co-working space on Park Ave South, I love the concept of coffee, clean work spaces, and being surrounded by creative entrepreneurs; all things I thought I could only find in NYC or San Francisco. Much to my surprise, I moved to Los Angeles just in time to experience the phenomenon of the “Silicon Beach” boom. In other words, a cluster and growth of massive companies (that weren’t even thought up ten years ago) who are now dominating youth culture via their laid back Venice Beach offices. Think Snapchat, Google, Buzzfeed, all walking distance from the beach. Silicon Beach is basically setting the bold statement that it’s totally possible to rule the world in flip flops, shorts, and a beach glow.
Might I add that as an entrepreneur who’s gone to hundreds of meetings in Manhattan (not the beach), I noticed an immediate difference. People invest in ideas in the West, without exactly knowing the consequences, whereas NYC is more conservative with investments, making it a hostile city for a creative professional… not to mention stops innovative thinking before it even starts. No wonder all of our favorite gadgets and gizmos came from the West Coast.
Grocery stores here are BAE
Los Angeles puts the super in supermarket with their endless amount of options, not only in food, home goods, but even booze!
In LA based grocery stores, or pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, you can buy booze until 2AM, crazy right?! As someone who enjoys wine and cheese nights, it’s very much appreciated.
Apartments here are amazing, even when they’re crappy
Moving from New York City to Los Angeles is almost like finishing a marathon and running straight into a full spa treatment, only instead, you find an apartment with decent rent for an average sized space. Although the price points for apartments are pretty much the same, the space you get isn’t even comparable. What you pay in NYC for a measly fifth floor studio, side note: walk-up, in a semi-dangerous neighborhood, you can get a two bedroom apartment with a living room, decent outdoor space in a central location in Los Angeles.
It’s so good it almost doesn’t feel real
If Disney World, were a city, it’d be LA. Ok, certain parts excluded, but it’s still pretty great.
Of course, some people may love talking about superficial things, and they take their kale salads way too seriously, but this place has got something for everyone, and I’ve finally found my piece in it.