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Old 06-06-2008, 10:53 AM
Location: Nashville, TN
152 posts, read 288,658 times
Reputation: 65


To compare grocery prices go to http://www.vons.com. They are a grocery chain out here (part of Safeway stores).
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:10 AM
Location: Nashville, TN
152 posts, read 288,658 times
Reputation: 65
I'm a little surprised you aren't considering either Culver City or Santa Monica. Both are nice areas and may have more of what you're looking for. A lot of downtown LA businesses have moved to Culver City and therefore there is a lot of work in the area. Rents are still reasonible there.
Santa Monica is at the beach and they have rent control. I'm sure BRinSM can tell you more about the area.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:26 AM
48 posts, read 90,310 times
Reputation: 40
It’s a really long reply – sorry.

1) I love outdoorsy things such as hiking, camping, frisbee, the beach, anything to do with sports or water sports, just generally being outside in the sunshine. …would like to be in an environment where there are things aplenty to do that are relatively cheap or free.

In LA, you have to pay for those things. But take a drive out of LA and could find them. If you go to a beach like Venice there's paid parking which varies on the time of day season. I like to get to the beach early so I pay as little as $7 to park for the day.

[quote]2) Nice weather! [/quote]

Everyone raves about our weather and the eternal sun. Hope you don't like Spring and Fall 'cause you only get Summer and Winter. (Although I like to joke that there are five seasons: Riot, Earthquake, Mudslide, Fire and Awards.) True it doesn't rain here much but when it does, the streets will flood, particularly in places like Sun Valley or Orange, and everyone will forget how to operate their cars. When Summer comes it is a dry heat, as everyone will point out to you repeatedly, and although that's a plus if you've experienced 120% humidity it will affect the skin. Lotion and moisturizers will be your new best friends.

3) Friendlier people/atmosphere: People in London are so private!

Being a car culture which is still learning to use the HOV lanes, people here tend to wake up alone, commute alone, spend much of their days alone with only the passing of co-workers and friends and all this doesn't make us very friendly. People are nice here but its best to come off as selfish for your own protection. The wealthier you are the nicer people will be to you. Our customer service is… Well, cashiers at the grocery store will be kind to you, ask you if you need assistance but once you're in the parking lot… it’s a whole other ballgame.

[quote]4) Just generally less stress: London is SO STRESSFUL! … Insert story about the train… insert story about rude lady at Harrod's [/quote]

Sounds like LA. Exactly like LA. I take the train into work which isn't easy because LA doesn't really have mass transit. It is nothing in comparison to London or New York. Put it this way, we have three trains for the entire city and outlying areas. Three.

I think someone made the suggestion earlier, try San Diego. San Diego definitely has more of what you're looking for. Its got the nice weather, the nice people, the outdoorsy fun and a slightly better cost of living (note the slightly).

This is still part of 4). Driving is STRESSFUL!!!!!!! And DAMN is it crowded!

Personally, I don't really mind the long commutes. In traffic you do move sometimes at 80 mph and there's the radio to listen to. So in some ways I kind of enjoy the traffic jams. If it were just a simple slow moving crowd it would be down right relaxing.

What I hate is the rudeness of other drivers. There will be a 2 foot space between you and the car in front of you and someone will try to squeeze through. You'll honk before they kill you, and then they flip you the bird despite that they are clearly wrong. Example 2: One time I was driving down a road, not a freeway just through the neighborhood, behind a woman going 45 mph (in a 35) with her hazard lights on, talking on her cell, painting her nails and driving in the middle of the road on the lane marker. When the driver next to me honked she flipped us both off. That's the sort of thing that makes LA traffic hell, the other drivers, not the long commute which you will have.

Also, I've done some research on some other websites to estimate the salary that we both would need to get to have a similar style of living that we have grown accustomed to. I have regularly come across the $55-65K range per year per person.

Woodland Hills and Agoura are very expensive neighborhoods as is WeHo. Woodland Hills and Agoura will have some beautiful scenery though. WeHo is more metropolitan while still not (you can walk to places) but you'll run into traffic due to the Strip and Hollywood types. (note: It was a community started by gays and should be known simply because, hey that is an issue for some people and some may not care for their Halloween parade.) Speaking as someone who lives by one of the "posh" neighborhoods, the paparazzi are a problem not just for celebs but those of trying to get to our day jobs. NoHo (North Hollywood) is cheaper and more reasonable. I managed to get a 2 bedroom there for $1200 a month 5 years ago. Now I have a 2 bedroom for $2200 a month. Mind you rents will change not just on square footage but also your neighborhood. Your neighborhood will obviously also effect your viewpoint of LA. Someone who lives in Koreatown has totally different perspective than say Santa Monica which very sheltered. (Don't live in Koreatown – Its fun but dangerous.) Its like the difference between… Little Hampton and Hove if that makes sense. They're near each other, sort of, yet worlds apart.

Now, as someone who works as a secretary, and has a very good job, I would love to make 60K a year. I'm near that point but the cost of living is still very high. LA is very expense to live in. We have income tax, sales tax and property taxes. The average home is 500K. Gas is over $4 and although I too have checked out websites to estimate pay rates, they just don't tell you the reality – bosses here, like everywhere, will try to pay you much less than that. An entertainment job will definitely try and ********* as far as benefits and hours unless you're high up the ladder. Corporate & legal jobs provide much better benefits and hours.

Are the weekends hell? Do you have to pay for the beaches/parking that are close to those areas? Anything else you can tell me?

Weekends oddly tend have nice weather. The week can be dreary and miserable then come the weekend it'll be sunny. You will pay for beach parking. Oh and as far as earthquakes go, totally overblown. We do get them but you get used to them and just think you're having a dizzy spell. Actually, I've know some people who moved here and thought they had problems with their equilibrium because we do have very small tremors (1.0) a lot that go unnoticed and all it does is make you feel dizzy.

Like I said before if a relaxed, outdoorsy attitude with nice weather is what you're looking for definitely look into San Diego and the outlying areas there. I think you'll find it much more to your liking.

Hope it was helpful.

/and as for movies you can pay upwards of $10 if say you're going to the Arclight and want to reserve your seat and/or go to a 21+ viewing.

Last edited by Ryn; 06-06-2008 at 11:31 AM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:32 AM
21 posts, read 81,131 times
Reputation: 19
Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
I say that as your description of how you found life in London leads me to believe that you are not at all cut out for city life. Your perceptions of London may seem very real to you, but do not at all match my own from many years of living in London, nor of anyone else at all who I came into contact with while I was living and working there. (I am not from London originally but grew up in small town Wales, and my wife - who I met in London, is from a medium-sized German city). Like many others, we found London to be a beautiful, vibrant, safe and enjoyable city in which to live - although I accept those on very low incomes may not fare so well.

While LA life may also suit many, I think that if you let London get to you like that then many of these factors - weather aside (but factor higher pollution in its place) - will seem even more exaggerated in LA.

It would be interesting to hear the views of Americans - or Brits - who have lived successfully and happily in both cities though. Are there any on this forum?

I have lived in both London and L.A. (still live near L.A.) so I can compare. I completely agree with your advice. I am the opposite of the OP; I LOVED London (would live there again if I could afford it) and have grown to hate L.A. with a passion.

Anyways, if the OP does not like London for the reasons stated, it is quite confusing to me that she'd consider L.A. That would be the last city I'd pick to move to if I hated stress, crappy people, and an exhaustive commute.

The number one thing I can guarantee is that if you think driving in London is stressful, then L.A. is definitely not for you. Part of the reason I loved London was the incredible convenience of the Tube! Our public transportation systems are useless, in my opinion. Unlike London, where you can take the Tube, exit, and your destination is right outside the stop or nearby, in L.A. you pretty much need a car to get where you're going even after taking the bus. At least in London, you can walk for miles comfortably, and it's a normal thing to do. London may not be built for driving, but L.A. is built TOO MUCH for driving. Traffic in L.A. is horrendous and getting worse. I have finally wised up and must live where I work now, because my former commute killed a part of my soul. Our underground system (lol) doesn't cover much area and I don't know anyone who relies on it for daily use), and if using the buslines, you will have to connect several and will take a long time to get anywhere. We do have plenty of sidestreets, but you will eventually have to get back on a main road or a highway. And most everyone, after commuting long enough, has figured out their own "sidestreet escape route", so even those are becoming congested too because there's only so many. Certainly, there are times when the highways are relatively open, and you can get almost anywhere in about 20 minutes, but the glory of L.A. is that you never know when to leave to arrive somewhere, because you might get there early, or there might suddenly be unbelievable traffic. You just never know, but the odds are on traffic.

The paragraph where the OP described getting pushed around at Victoria station? Just imagine that in a car. People here drive insanely, fast, and don't give a crap about you (I'm used to it because I learned to drive here, but I can't imagine how transplants must feel the first time they drive here.) It is ideal (mandatory in my opinion) to have a car in L.A., and then again, the commute on the freeways will turn you into an angry, exhausted person. It's not natural to spend that much time in your car just to get places. Also, the air quality is bad here (London's isn't great either).

Londoners are more closed off outwardly, but they are great fun when you get to know them, and generally are quite witty and charming, so I didn't have the same impression of them as you did. But who knows, maybe I just met the nice ones. People in the States might smile more and be more open for conversation, but in L.A., it is also chock full of wannabes, industry jerks, and thousands of people who have moved here because they're convinced it is the answer to all of their dreams. As such, the people here are hard to deal with as well.

It is ridiculously expensive to live in L.A. I got gas today and it was $4.61. If you want a more comfortable lifestyle without being broke, this isn't the city to move to. Jobs are not great out here in my opinion; it's mainly industry jobs, which are usually not permanent and they can replace you quickly without warning. Can't really name companies that are regularly hiring. It's best to find a company you like, and check the job listings on their page. Try Craigslist as well. But, so many people apply online and hardly get responses, let alone hired. There's just too many people here to compete with.

I would consider looking at different states. I visited a friend in Denver, Colorado recently and was impressed by that city. The people seemed friendly enough, it was quite affordable, cute neighborhoods and housing, and plenty of outdoor activities as you requested (except for the beach). They get lots of cold weather obviously, but they also get plenty of sunshine. I also agree that Charleston, SC might be a great fit for your warm weather/beaches/friendly people criteria. If you are intent on SoCal, try San Diego, definitely! I love it there. I just really think L.A. wouldn't be the right move for you want. Good luck, wherever you end up!

Last edited by coastalcat; 06-07-2008 at 03:41 AM..
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:49 AM
113 posts, read 1,273,095 times
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Hi, I'm an American married to a brit and we are also moving from the UK (just outside London) to L.A. I have lived in the UK for over a year now and knew right away this was not the place for us, coming from So. California we haved missed everything from good weather, food, shopping, etc. I have read all the comments and there is some truth to most of them but some are exaggerated as well. I am a native Angeleno and have lived in several areas both in and around LA and I would recommend trying an area like Pasadena which is close to LA, lots of good shopping and restaurants but is a bit pricey but not as bad as West LA or beaches but still close enough to go to the beaches and other fun places in LA on the weekends. Also would agree that San Diego is a great place and there are many nice beach towns close by but they are quite pricey. I would strongly recommend trying to live close to work I think that makes all the difference in quality of life.

Southern California is a great place to live, but you really do need to research as much as possible and as much as you can get good information on these sites the best thing is to experience it first hand, maybe plan a nice trip and visit different towns, all the best of luck to you
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:20 AM
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 13,800,305 times
Reputation: 3759
Originally Posted by Ziuliia View Post
Wow, you are great women! If you want I have very good friend In LA! I can help you to find a nice place to live, for really good price, nice community
Smells like a scam to me.
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