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It seems true that LA is so huge that there is a very high degree of variability in types of places to live and play. This video ( YouTube - LA or MEXICO? Take a Guess. Muds bean Muds.) will make you think LA is all gang land, but it isn't--people say this is only true in south central and east LA. There are plenty of nice areas, some even affordable.
LA, though, only slightly beats New York and San Francisco in value you get for dollars earned (which will be less than those cities).
And, in 2007, LA was the most polluted city, across all metrics. This year (2008), Philadelphia beat it as the most polluted by short-term particle pollution. LA is still #1 Most Polluted by long-term particle pollution (PM2.5) and smog (ground-level ozone). This is mitigated somewhat near the coast by off-shore breezes 10 or 11 months out of the year. But if you look at the graphs and maps available, it's still not insignificant, I think, just because of the volume of vehicles...
As of 2005, the concentration of benzene was at least 0.3 ppb in almost all sites in the entire LA basin. The 8-sample-station annual average of benzene was 0.57 ppb. The WHO's acceptable level is 0. (Benzene causes cancer.) PM2.5 particle pollution (diesel exhaust, carbon, and arsenic and other metals) is the worst while you're driving in a car, according to studies. And air conditioners filter very little (2 to 15%) of the worst kind (PM @ 1 micrometer). So if you commute (average commute is, I believe, 22 minutes and up), you'll get the worst of the pollution. PM2.5 or smaller is associated with respiratory problems, and weakens your body's ability to deal with bacteria and infections.
Surprisingly, perhaps, it ranks average for sprawl (there are quite a few mini-city-centers).
So it's not the nastiest because of crime (and maybe gangs), but it IS generally the nastiest in terms of air quality and associated health effects. It's shear size might mean it has the nastiest central city core, too.
Oh, and no U.S.A. city has made the Top 25 in the 2 recent lists I've seen of the world's most livable cities (with the exception of Honolulu at #12 or so in one of them). If I were you, I'd move to Paris, or Zurich, or Munich, or Sydney, or Tokyo or ... you get the idea
Originally Posted by Clinton167
I've been reading some of the threads and I'm starting to get this image of L.A where I'm jumped by a gangster two or three times a day, my car is broken into weekly and then eventually stolen, and there are homeless people sleeping outside my apartment (a tiny box that I'm paying >$1200 for) and in between the awful dry heat and mudslides and earthquakes, I'm also having to deal with some of the rudest people I'll ever meet!
When I write this, I'm sort of laughing, but also genuinely wondering if it's true....I live in London, which also has a reputation of being wayyy overpriced ($6.50 for a Starbucks), dirty and crime ridden (NB the recent knife crime craziness.) But I manage just fine here. It's pleasant.
I know there's already a "what do love you about LA" thread, but what about a "myth vs reality" thread? I'm just intrigued to know how bad it really is...I sort of want to last longer than a few weeks before I give up and move back to Oregon
Yeah, Hollywood and LA's past history with gangs are a big reason why LA gets a bad rap. I was born and raised on Brazil, in Compton. For you that don't know it is a well known Blood block. It was a rough street and during my time in the gang I saw alot. In the summer of 98' my mom got a job offer in Dallas. Even though I did not want to go I wasn't going to let her make the trip alone. I'll never forget the first time we drove through South Dallas. I used to think Compton was the toughest place on the planet, man was I wrong. We moved into a house on Dixon Circle St. I will never forget turning on that street for the very first time and seeing nothing but red. I thought I was on Brazil again. However, the first real big difference I saw were the houses. Down here you know your in the gutta because the houses are broken down shacks and the lawns are a foot tall. Even the houses in the hood in LA looked half way decent unlike the ghettos in South Dallas. Another big difference was the ages of *****s on the streets here. In LA you would mostly see O' G's on the blocks. Down here you see 13 and 14 year old homies, strapped, posted on the blocks. I made friends with the homies on the block and met another Blood by the name of Red Eye. He told me that he had moved from Compton 2 years ago and grew up on Piru. I told him that i too was a Blood and grew up on Brazil. What a ****ing small world! The homies informed me that even though there were not as many Bloods and crabs in Dallas as LA, that the ones here were just as violent.
Also, unlike LA, Bloods here outnumbered the crabs about 4 to 1. Coming from South Central where we were outnumbered about 4 to 1 this was good to hear.
The next 10 years would be some of the craziest of my life. I've known and seen more people get killed here than in the whole time I lived in LA. South Dallas, particularlly the Fair Park area near where I lived is bad! No ifs ands or butts about it. Most of South Dallas is bad as well. The overall crime out here is no joke as well. In LA something like 70% of the crime is gang-related. In Dallas maybe 30-40% is gang-related, the rest isn't. That means the other 70-60% of crime is coming from elsewhere. Since I moved here in 98' i have had 2 cars stolen, houses broken into on numerous occassions, been robbed at gunpoint, and shot a couple of times. This is coming from someone who grew up on one of the most notorious Blood blocks in Compton. Now I'm not denying my lifestyle and the environment that I grew up in had anything to do with this, I'm just saying there are just as bad and alot worse places out there than the typical crime spots such as South Central LA, and South Dallas is one of em!
My closest homie Red Eye died 2 years ago and thats when I knew it was time to make a big change in my life. Currently I'm out of the gang, living in Arlington, TX and trying to get my life on track. I guess at this point I'm just lucky I'm not in prison or dead. At the age of 28 I look back and wonder how I ever bought into this ****. Killing someone because they wear blue or red. Noone ever told me why we do it, I didn't give a ****, I just did it. I could blame others or the fact I didnt have a dad around but the simple truth is I was tooo weak. Too weak to say no. Too weak too be different. Too weak to be a leader and not a follower. And don't let them tell you theres no way out because if they really got love for you they'll understand. **** that **** u see on TV! I share this with everyone out there that is going through this right now. Get out while you can and make something of your life. Don't wait till your 28 like me, and your best friend is in the ground. The way we was raised is bull**** and that's a fact. I still wear my colors from time to time not to do dirt but outta respect for the ones I've lost over the years. So no matter if your on Brazil in Compton, or Dixon Circle in South Dallas, you can make it out. I'm living proof of that.
I saw a job advertised in a local paper last week. I thought it looked like an interesting job. The only thing that got me was that they wanted a bilingual person: Spanish/Mandarin. No mention of English at all. (Except the ad was in English so I guess they really wanted a tri-lingual person. Duh.)
I happen to like all the variety in LA. I just wish I could speak more languages beyond English.