Ahhh…Los Angeles, California. I don’t live in L.A. and never have lived in L.A. I can only give you comments from an outside point of view and from someone who has visited and has some family and friends in the area.
To me, Los Angeles represents the absolute best and absolute worst that the United States has to offer. On one hand, it has stunning and diverse scenery (i.e. beaches, mountains, etc.), great weather, diverse culture, beautiful women (I think L.A. has the best-looking girls of any), nice architecture, LAX (in my opinion, THE best airport in the world for the combination of diversity, frequency of movement and spotting) plenty to do and lots and lots of other things that make it worth while. On the flipside, L.A. is home to incredible poverty (I read that it had one of the widest poverty gaps in the nation), horrible traffic, lousy public transportation, racial tension that’s more apparent there than in other major cities, urban sprawl, pollution, lack of community spirit, shallow/superficial attitudes (I don’t know of many other places where an 18 year old girl will date a 32 year old guy…well, actually, I can think of a few more now, but we’re talking about L.A. here), among other things.
The thing about L.A. is that because it is so vast and so diverse, that you can be in part of the city and never really get to experience the bad things of it. You don’t HAVE to go to or through Watts, Echo Park and other not so nice neighborhoods and probably avoid the problems of these neighborhoods altogether. Take that how you’d like; it may be good or bad, depending on your point of view. Good in the sense that you don’t see the ills, but bad in that you’re probably rarely aware that they exist.
L.A. is, in my opinion, the most ethnically diverse city in the country, if not the world. There was another post on here that outlined the ethnic tensions of the city. This is true and they are more pronounced there than in other cities, BUT be aware that L.A. has the highest interracial marriage rate of any western city. That itself is not a bad thing.
People were talking about how expensive L.A. is, and judging by the figures people have been posting up, I’d probably agree with them. It seems to be about as expensive as NYC now, maybe a bit more.
Overall, I like L.A. I wouldn’t move there now, but I’d much prefer to live there than the vast majority of cities of the U.S., or even the world. One thing that really strikes me is the lack of community spirit in general. Maybe it has to do with the fact that there are a thousand cities within the metropolitan area and it is simply too vast. But still...Also, the fact that the NFL doesn’t have a team there is disturbing.