Los Angeles gets a bad rap when it comes to a place to live, but I honestly think it is one of the best places in the world to call home. Take it from someone who has lived in three other countries and traveled extensively around the world.
What are some of the negative impressions about Los Angeles in no particular order:
- Housing is expensive.
- Public transportation barely exist.
- It is a crime-ridden city.
- It is a cultural wasteland.
- The city is a parking lot.
These are some of the few but main complaints about our fair city. Now let me tell you my experience of living in Los Angeles.
Firstly, I am from the U.K. I was born in a town in South Wales and moved to London in my late teens. Talk about an expensive city, especially as it relates to housing. I remember having to share rentals with at least two other roommates if not three in order to afford the place. We rarely if ever went out to eat because it was expensive. Food in Los Angeles is much more affordable than the U.K. and I have never had more than one roommate since living here.
In my world travels I have seen much worse traffic than here in L.A. Have you driven around London or Paris lately for instance? Talk about parking lots. And forget parking. Completely unaffordable. Parking is a breeze here. Unless you drive Downtown you are going to find free parking when you visit businesses. Yes, the meters are becoming expensive, but I almost always have a way to avoid them by finding nearby street parking. Something you are rarely going to find in other major metropolises
Other major cities have great transportation systems, as does London. However, I remember using that system to go to work and being jammed like a sardine into the Tube. And forget the buses. You could stand in the pouring rain and watch five packed buses drive by before one would stop to let a couple of people board. Here in L.A. you are in the comfort of your own car listening to your choice of music or podcast or whatever. And Los Angeles is investing heavily in its metro system. Unfortunately it is difficult to coax people out of their cars and onto the trains. When they solve the “first mile-last mile” problem (getting people to and from the trains) then this might change.
I am often asked whether a particular area is safe or not. In my 40 years here I have not experienced any personal danger. I lived in Israel and was robbed in my own apartment there. My father was held up at gunpoint 60 years go outside our house in South Wales.
Our entertainment scene is up there with the best of them we have over 225 theaters, over 100 museums, art galleries and a world-class philharmonic and opera companies. And L.A.’s dining scene is one of the few cities in the world rated by the Michelin guide making it among the best in the world. A common boast about the uniqueness of Los Angeles is that it is one of the few cities in the world where you can ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon.
For a city that has the reputation that people don’t walk here, there are miles of parks and hiking trails, including Griffith Park, the largest park in the country.
Yes, Los Angeles does have its earthquakes, but in general the building codes here are stringent. Other than the discomfort of the temblors you shouldn’t worry too much.
And, of course, there’s the weather. There are few places in the world that have our weather. The average number of sunny or partly sunny days is 292 with an average high of 74 degrees.
Visitors to Los Angeles rarely get to see its beauty. They generally visit all the usual tourist attractions which really don’t capture the essence of the city. The spectacular views from the hills, a drive along the Pacific Ocean in Malibu when the water is at its bluest. L.A. is described as 72 suburbs in search of a city, but your suburb is your little part of the city, with your favorite restaurants, coffee shop, supermarket, dry cleaner, etc. You don’t feel that as a tourist.
I love Paris and New York, and there are many exciting cities around the world, but the place I feel is the best to live is Los Angeles.
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