Los Angeles is a city that is made up of positives and negatives, black and white, good and bad, ups and downs. After living in LA for eight months I have come to appreciate the good and the bad that the city has to offer because that is what makes LA amazing, alluring, beautiful, and well, bad ass. To accept this double-edged sword that is Los Angeles is to become a part of the city. So if you ever dream about visiting LA or moving to the Golden State, be prepared for these five “the good and the bad” of Los Angeles:
Good: The weather is always beautiful.
As I drove to work one morning in January, I heard about a massive snowstorm hitting the eastern part of the United States. It was seventy-two degrees in Los Angeles that day. The weather in Los Angeles is always beautiful, even in the winter. It doesn’t even get cold enough to warrant a real need to turn on one’s heater. Los Angeles does not receive snow, it is not plagued with tornados or hurricanes, and it’s citizens do not worry about never-ending rains or monsoons. Although it is exceptionally warm most days of the year there is most always a cool breeze especially in the mornings and evenings and it rarely goes above 100 degrees (unless you live deep in the valley). The beach is never out of season and the sun is (most) always shining. So yes, the weather is always beautiful in Los Angeles…Jealous?
Bad: The weather is always beautiful.
Since the weather is most always beautiful, people in Los Angeles are unable to truly enjoy the beauty of a cold winter. Snow? That exists? Cuddling next to a chimney fireplace–yeah, right. Rain boots can only be used three times a year in Los Angeles. Peacoats and furry boots are never really needed (although UGGs are unfortunately worn in the summer) because it is never cold enough for either and most days one can not wear tall boots without sweating around 2 p.m. And Los Angeles never receives frightening thunderstorms that knock people out into a deep Sleeping Beauty-like slumber. None of this happens in Los Angeles because the weather is always beautiful.
Good: There is so much to do.
Los Angeles is a city that never stops moving. Every night of the week there are hundreds of music, cultural, nightlife, or career events. Take your pick in Los Angeles! Do you want to do a bar crawl in Downtown Los Angeles? Which free concert, of the fifteen being held on the weekend, will we choose from? Free movie screening at the Americana? A festival in Chinatown? Another one in Long Beach? A march, a parade, must I go on? One can never get bored in Los Angeles with so many things to do.
(Katy Perry concert)
Bad: There is so much to do.
There is so much to do in LA and sometimes this can become overwhelming. How will one ever choose? This isn’t like those smaller metros where everyone “in the know” hangs out at the same five bars. There are thousands of daytime events and nightlife venues and you must choose to go to one or maybe two. Because this isn’t like 6th street in Austin, Texas, or Bourbon Street, in New Orleans, where you can just walk or drive easily to all the major events or nightlife venues. Los Angeles has tons of neighborhoods and each neighborhood has it’s own events every day of the week. And what if you choose the event that didn’t live up to your expectations? Well, it’s past ten p.m. and the other events are hopping and you’re not getting into that club without waiting in line for an hour. So how do you choose? Call your friend? Sure, go ahead. Then call ten more. Each person will tell you about a different great event and from there you must coordinate with three other friends and decide, where do we go?
Good: Los Angeles has a high volume of single men and women.
Los Angeles is a great place if you’re single. It’s a party and cultural center that has a niche for every type of person and as a single guy or girl you can always have fun. Looking to date? 55.8 percent of Los Angeles is single, the fourth highest percentage of all the major metros in the U.S. Your chances of running into someone who is available is very high. Tinder and other dating apps are very popular in Los Angeles and I’ve known people who have two to three dates per week through them.
Bad: Los Angeles has a high volume of single men and women.
Sure, there is a high volume of single men and women in Los Angeles. Good luck running into a single man or woman that you might be interested in. Remember how I mentioned that there is so much to do in Los Angeles? Now take that 55.8% of single men and women and spread them across all the amazing events in Los Angeles, let’s say on a Saturday night, and what do you have? A lower chance of meeting a single man or women that you would actually date. Due to the large distances in Los Angeles, the many opportunities, the multiple neighborhoods, it is very difficult to meet a prospective date while out and about. That’s why Tinder is such a popular dating app in LA. However, unlike the cute and sweet Tinder dating experiences you hear about in other parts of the country, the same cannot be said for LA. Tinder is a nightmare. It take a thousand swipes left (a “no” on the site) to even find someone that might be worth swiping right for (an open invitation to connect). Then you get on the date and you discover the person is using a head shot from 5 years ago or alas, they are a starving actor or actress who wants to go dutch on the date. What happened to the good ol’ days when you could meet someone at a grocery store? For most single men and women of LA, that is a fairy tale.
Good: Los Angeles is close to so many beaches.
Beach life is an integral part of Los Angeles. Along the coast of LA is a practically endless chain of beaches that meld into one another giving those that live here miles of (mostly) white sandy beaches to enjoy. Each beach has a different aspect: Venice is weird and artsy while Santa Monica is young with professionals sipping their drinks at the beach bar. Long Beach has kite surfing, Marina del Rey has paddle boarding, and Newport has a slew of bars right off the beach. The beaches are open year round and every week there are volleyball games, surfers, paddle boarders, fisherman, artists, and sunbathers enjoying the ocean. How many cities in the United States can sport so many beautiful beaches at such a close proximity to the city?
Bad: Los Angeles is close to so many beaches.
Most people in LA have jobs and families and homes that aren’t near the beach. Angelenos, just like everyone else in the U.S., work 9-5 pm during the week and the only time they can go to the beach are on the weekends. Well, guess what? Everyone in Los Angeles had that same idea. The beaches are great but many weekends it can be a nightmare getting to them. And good luck finding parking near the beach or parking at all and if you do, get ready to pay $10-$20 to park. $5 parking can be found four blocks from the beach. Leaving the beach is almost as difficult as getting there as well. Sitting in traffic for an hour was not how I planned my relaxing beach day… And during the week when work is dragging, you remember how close you are to a beach and it’s depressing because you’re stuck at work and the beach is right there…
Good: There is a wide selection of homemade delicious food.
People from all over the world move to Los Angeles and they bring their culture and their food. And surprise, Los Angeles reaps the benefits. If you love hole-in-the-walls, unique restaurants with their own taste and feel, this SoCal city is for you! LA is a foodie heaven with homemade dishes that are healthy and delicious. With large populations of people from almost every part of the world, Los Angeles has surprisingly created small districts where these different types of foods can be found. Take for instance, Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Armenia, etc. Even more, Los Angeles features a great system of taco trucks that offer anything from hamburgers, to Thai food, to barbecue, to Italian sandwiches. Food with great taste, delicious substance, and homemade ingredients–it doesn’t get better than that.
Bad: There is a wide selection of homemade delicious food.
There is a wide selection of homemade delicious food and unfortunately it does not run cheap. Eating out at a restaurant, when it’s not happy hour or during a lunch special, will cost at the very very least $10.00 for a good plate of food (we aren’t talking appetizers or salad here). Most of the time a meal ticket for just one person runs close to $17.00 which includes drinks and taxes. And although Los Angeles sports a wide diversity of delicious food in restaurants and taco trucks it lacks in fast food selections. McDonalds, Burger King, In-and-Out, Del Taco, and Taco Bell are the main fast food staples in Los Angeles. There are only three Chic fi la’s in Los Angeles, zero Taco Buenos, three Sonics, three Arby’s…I can’t even go on; it’s depressing. Oh, and did I mention that most of the fast food restaurants don’t even sport a drive-thru? Why? Because there is no room in Los Angeles for that. I am not one to advocate for fast food but on those evenings where I don’t have time to cook or I don’t want to search for fifteen minutes for a parking spot and have to walk a half a mile just to pick up a to-go order from a place with delicious homemade food and then sit in traffic for another twenty minutes until I get home, well, a fast food restaurant (that isn’t McDonald’s or T-bell) with a drive-thru would be great.
Although I’ve presented just a few of “the good and the bad” of LA, there is one positive aspect of the city that does not have a negative to it: the people. Angelenos are amazingly helpful individuals. I made friends within only a few months of living in the city. Those at work offered their help to me, connected me with opportunities, and are always looking to help me succeed. More times than not, I have been overwhelmingly surprised by just how much people in LA will lend a helping hand to others.
So it’s not the weather or the beaches that are the true attraction of LA, it’s the people.