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Old 06-05-2012, 10:28 PM
PDF PDF started this thread
 
11,386 posts, read 11,052,436 times
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I just got back from Los Angeles yesterday and want to get my thoughts out. After a few years of thinking about Los Angeles and wondering what it's like, I finally took the step and visited the city, as I could very well be moving there this year.

I would say I had a mixed reaction, but I was more impressed than not. Going by the posts on here and just the general way L.A. is viewed, you would think it's horrible!

I have the choice right now to move elsewhere, but Los Angeles is in contention primarily because I want to pursue screenwriting. I haven't officially decided yet, but I will soon enough.

I don't drive, and I was told that is a big no-no here. Especially if you want to work in the movie business.

While I was only there for a week, I feel like I got a good sample of what Los Angeles is all about. Some of the things I had always heard about the city rang true and some didn't.

It is very spread out, but I just loved the feel of it all. I expected it to be spread out in a very bad way, but in a way I sort of liked it. As I mentioned, I love urbanity and big cities (NYC, DC, etc.) where you can walk everywhere and everything is built-up to be walkable.

To my surprise, I found most of central LA to be a dump. Didn't like downtown, Hollywood, WeHo, etc. They were OK, but I wouldn't be able to live in those areas or appreciate them much. I can definitely see how this is one of those aspects where people contribute their dislike of LA to.

Loved Westwood and Santa Monica, to me that is where the city shines. The westside. I also went to Pasadena, liked there too. Unusual because in other cities, I would prefer the downtown and Hollywood-type neighborhoods.

Rode the bus and train everywhere. I can most certainly see how it is not the best for someone to live without a car here, but definitely do-able and in no way a stretch like some people claim. The only downside is most of the transit not running past 12-1 AM, but that's typical in any city not named New York.

And I did find LA's light rail to be a good system, better than that of some other light rail systems out there. Loved the Expo line, I suppose it will be an awesome day when the rest of the line is complete.

Met some interesting people too. Overall I would say while I didn't fall in love with Los Angeles, I started to really come to like it and that was something I didn't expect to happen.

I just have to admit I was expecting an entirely different city based on what I gathered through here, media, and everything else. At the end of the day my visual picture of Los Angeles prior to visiting isn't all that different to the one I have now, but it helped so much by going on a vacation there. It's the little things.

Sorry if I rambled on, just had a bunch of thoughts.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,549 posts, read 4,343,136 times
Reputation: 2282
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
I just got back from Los Angeles yesterday and want to get my thoughts out. After a few years of thinking about Los Angeles and wondering what it's like, I finally took the step and visited the city, as I could very well be moving there this year.

I would say I had a mixed reaction, but I was more impressed than not. Going by the posts on here and just the general way L.A. is viewed, you would think it's horrible!

I have the choice right now to move elsewhere, but Los Angeles is in contention primarily because I want to pursue screenwriting. I haven't officially decided yet, but I will soon enough.

I don't drive, and I was told that is a big no-no here. Especially if you want to work in the movie business.

While I was only there for a week, I feel like I got a good sample of what Los Angeles is all about. Some of the things I had always heard about the city rang true and some didn't.

It is very spread out, but I just loved the feel of it all. I expected it to be spread out in a very bad way, but in a way I sort of liked it. As I mentioned, I love urbanity and big cities (NYC, DC, etc.) where you can walk everywhere and everything is built-up to be walkable.

To my surprise, I found most of central LA to be a dump. Didn't like downtown, Hollywood, WeHo, etc. They were OK, but I wouldn't be able to live in those areas or appreciate them much. I can definitely see how this is one of those aspects where people contribute their dislike of LA to.

Loved Westwood and Santa Monica, to me that is where the city shines. The westside. I also went to Pasadena, liked there too. Unusual because in other cities, I would prefer the downtown and Hollywood-type neighborhoods.

Rode the bus and train everywhere. I can most certainly see how it is not the best for someone to live without a car here, but definitely do-able and in no way a stretch like some people claim. The only downside is most of the transit not running past 12-1 AM, but that's typical in any city not named New York.

And I did find LA's light rail to be a good system, better than that of some other light rail systems out there. Loved the Expo line, I suppose it will be an awesome day when the rest of the line is complete.

Met some interesting people too. Overall I would say while I didn't fall in love with Los Angeles, I started to really come to like it and that was something I didn't expect to happen.

I just have to admit I was expecting an entirely different city based on what I gathered through here, media, and everything else. At the end of the day my visual picture of Los Angeles prior to visiting isn't all that different to the one I have now, but it helped so much by going on a vacation there. It's the little things.

Sorry if I rambled on, just had a bunch of thoughts.
Great post! I, too, am thinking of moving to LA. I am currently in NYC and was apprehensive after reading the horror stories of the "sprawl" and how public transportation was a nightmare. I don't drive either. I am not expecting LA to be anything like NYC (and I don't want it to be-I am leaving NYC for a reason lol) but I am happy to hear that it's not as bad as I am imagining.

I do expect to get my license and have a car while living there, just nice to know that I have options either way.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
1,115 posts, read 1,608,742 times
Reputation: 868
The thing is, once you get to LA, you'll WANT to drive, especially on weekends when traffic is light and it's easy to get places. I say this because you'll realize that unlike other cities where "fun" is centered inside the city itself, Southern California is vast and has a whole lot going on outside it's cities, such as: the mountains, beaches (of your choice, could be Santa Barbara for example), Vegas, wine tasting vineyards, camping. Public transportation is not going to get you to these places efficiently. What I'm guessing is that the more urban cities like NY, DC, Boston don't have these options, so most fun and liesure is centered inside the city.

The way I see it, the people who think they can get by out here without a car have not thought their weekends through. Weekends are why you need a car. Now if you're not into any of this outdoor stuff, then disregard.

LA (and Socal in general) can be a great place if you position yourself accordingly.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,563,026 times
Reputation: 3999
Quote:
Originally Posted by subPrimeTime View Post
The thing is, once you get to LA, you'll WANT to drive, especially on weekends when traffic is light and it's easy to get places. I say this because you'll realize that unlike other cities where "fun" is centered inside the city itself, Southern California is vast and has a whole lot going on outside it's cities, such as: the mountains, beaches (of your choice, could be Santa Barbara for example), Vegas, wine tasting vineyards, camping. Public transportation is not going to get you to these places efficiently. What I'm guessing is that the more urban cities like NY, DC, Boston don't have these options, so most fun and liesure is centered inside the city.

The way I see it, the people who think they can get by out here without a car have not thought their weekends through. Weekends are why you need a car. Now if you're not into any of this outdoor stuff, then disregard.

LA (and Socal in general) can be a great place if you position yourself accordingly.
False.

Also, for those that do not own a car, Zip Car is a great option for getting to beaches/mountains/Santa Barbara (Amtrak takes you there too)/Vineyards.

Those who insist you have to own a car in Los Angeles haven't thought things through
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:46 PM
 
1,714 posts, read 3,264,822 times
Reputation: 1137
Even if you are not into mountains and beaches, there are many, many, many interesting places and businesses in SoCal that cannot be reached without a car. Trains and buses can only take you so far.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: La La Land
1,603 posts, read 2,093,163 times
Reputation: 2760
Quote:
Originally Posted by genjy View Post
Even if you are not into mountains and beaches, there are many, many, many interesting places and businesses in SoCal that cannot be reached without a car. Trains and buses can only take you so far.
ZIP CAR or rentals for the occasional road trip! All the convenience without the hassle and cost of ownership and parking!



OP, agree with you completely except we fell in love with LA!!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:23 PM
 
218 posts, read 319,830 times
Reputation: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by quixotic59 View Post
ZIP CAR or rentals for the occasional road trip! All the convenience without the hassle and cost of ownership and parking!



OP, agree with you completely except we fell in love with LA!!!
10 days to go and I will be in LA!!! Woo hooo!!!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Declezville, CA
16,630 posts, read 34,721,182 times
Reputation: 16980
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
Going by the posts on here and just the general way L.A. is viewed, you would think it's horrible!
NEVER allow the endless legions of C-D negative Nellies to cloud your perception of L.A. Good on ya for not doing that.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: LBC
4,155 posts, read 4,653,512 times
Reputation: 3543
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
I just got back from Los Angeles yesterday and want to get my thoughts out. After a few years of thinking about Los Angeles and wondering what it's like, I finally took the step and visited the city, as I could very well be moving there this year.

I would say I had a mixed reaction, but I was more impressed than not. Going by the posts on here and just the general way L.A. is viewed, you would think it's horrible!

I have the choice right now to move elsewhere, but Los Angeles is in contention primarily because I want to pursue screenwriting. I haven't officially decided yet, but I will soon enough.

I don't drive, and I was told that is a big no-no here. Especially if you want to work in the movie business.

While I was only there for a week, I feel like I got a good sample of what Los Angeles is all about. Some of the things I had always heard about the city rang true and some didn't.

It is very spread out, but I just loved the feel of it all. I expected it to be spread out in a very bad way, but in a way I sort of liked it. As I mentioned, I love urbanity and big cities (NYC, DC, etc.) where you can walk everywhere and everything is built-up to be walkable.

To my surprise, I found most of central LA to be a dump. Didn't like downtown, Hollywood, WeHo, etc. They were OK, but I wouldn't be able to live in those areas or appreciate them much. I can definitely see how this is one of those aspects where people contribute their dislike of LA to.

Loved Westwood and Santa Monica, to me that is where the city shines. The westside. I also went to Pasadena, liked there too. Unusual because in other cities, I would prefer the downtown and Hollywood-type neighborhoods.

Rode the bus and train everywhere. I can most certainly see how it is not the best for someone to live without a car here, but definitely do-able and in no way a stretch like some people claim. The only downside is most of the transit not running past 12-1 AM, but that's typical in any city not named New York.

And I did find LA's light rail to be a good system, better than that of some other light rail systems out there. Loved the Expo line, I suppose it will be an awesome day when the rest of the line is complete.

Met some interesting people too. Overall I would say while I didn't fall in love with Los Angeles, I started to really come to like it and that was something I didn't expect to happen.
I just have to admit I was expecting an entirely different city based on what I gathered through here, media, and everything else. At the end of the day my visual picture of Los Angeles prior to visiting isn't all that different to the one I have now, but it helped so much by going on a vacation there. It's the little things.

Sorry if I rambled on, just had a bunch of thoughts.
1) I suspect this view would change the more you become familiar with these areas;
2) I also suspect this appreciation would deepen with time.

As others have noted, the geographic context in which LA is situated is what allows for a more rewarding experience than cities in the east and mid-west, at least to those who take advantage of it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:58 PM
 
491 posts, read 2,092,941 times
Reputation: 535
The car thing is up to you, but it will certainly hinder you if you expect to be going on appointments for your screenwriting concern. There isn't a bus stop on every corner like in east coast cities, and the buses are slow - and expensive. You'll meet people who live all over the area, and how are you going to visit them? And what about trips to other cities in California? You CAN possibly live here without a car, but it WILL definitely restrict your behavior and activities.

I'm glad you liked it here.
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