General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

What's it like to really know LA?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) May 13th, 2013

I’m not from LA, so what’s it like really knowing the place? The best eats. From being a kid, to sports, to just chilling at a park. What makes LA home?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

The city and county of Los Angeles is so big, spread out and diverse there is no way to give a single answer. You just about have to have a car in order to have the real L.A. experience.

It is possible to live there without a car, but you would be mostly limited to your own neighborhood unless you could afford a taxi.

dabbler's avatar

It would mean at least that you are an accomplished driver.
When I lived there and when I visit it always seems like the next activity is an hour away by car.
There is a huge variety of aspects to LA, all spread apart.
The city limits extend from the ocean to the edge of the Angeles National Forest (10,000 foot mountains). There are very rich sections and dirt poor sections.
Keeping up with what’s new in LA is the same challenge as anywhere else, but it will take a car to get to it.

zenvelo's avatar

I think it is damn near impossible to know the entirety of the City of LA. I went to school with lots of people from LA; people from West LA know very little about the Valley, or East LA, or even the beach communities south of Santa Monica.

The “downtown” is a mystery that no one goes to unless they have peculiar business to take care of. East and South Central LA are an intricate web of ethnic enclaves. And yes, you need a car, but people who live there rarely get off a freeway to explore a neighborhood.

jaytkay's avatar

As mentioned above, LA and the LA metro area are so immense and diverse that there is no single world that is “the” LA. People live there for decades without knowing anything about the lives of most of their fellow Angelenos. Big cities are like that.

There are many, many different LAs.

That being said, I lived there for five years. I love LA.

LA has beaches. Go to Venice Beach and Santa Monica and Malibu first. For a more laid back local feel, go down to Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach.

LA has mountains. Right in the city limits you can climb hills and scramble around canyons. Drive an hour and you can camp on a mountain top and watch the sun set over the Pacific.

LA has Hollywood. You can see movies weeks before they open in other cities. You might run into starts. You probably will run into stars without knowing, because they’re walking the dog or lugging kids around, dressed in t-shirts and sunglasses and not wearing makeup.

LA has great weather. I love bicycling and 12 months of biking weather was a great blessing for me. I hate hot weather and I never owned an air conditioner there (but I lived by the ocean, lots of nearby places like Pasadena are different.)

LA has money. One of the great advantages of living in a city is the opportunity. You can always find work. Not always your dream job, but to pay the rent you can find something while you work on your dream.

tinyfaery's avatar

Not until you drive through Downtown L.A., north bound on the 101, close to sunset on a warm summer night, top down on the convertible, L.A. Woman by the The Doors playing loud, Hollywood sign to your right, Capitol Records and the KTLA antenna to the left, will you ever feel the soul of Los Angeles.

And you will never be an Angelino until you take that same drive through bumper to bumper traffic, 5 days a week.

SuperMouse's avatar

I grew up in the LA area. I spent a lot of time in the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood, the Miracle Mile, the west side, etc. I drove the freeways regularly from Ventura County to LA, to Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

To know LA is to know driving and freeways. I admit that the SNL skit The Californians always makes me laugh because there really is a lot of talk about routes and the time it takes to get from one place to another.

I grew up in an upper-middle class suburb with lots of kids whose parents were in the motion picture industry. My grandfather was an executive at one of the major studios. So to grow up there for me was to hear a lot about the film industry. The other big employers when I came of age were the aerospace companies such as Northrop and Rockwell. Those are long gone now. There was always lots of money and I could have gotten any drug I wanted with no more then one call. I was not the average child in my city as my dad was a teacher so we were a lower middle class family in an upper middle class area.

The weather was almost always nice and we spent a ton of time outside. When I grew up and had my own kids we spent a lot of time at the beach (we went at least three times a week during the nicest months), and we did a lot of hiking.

One thing I loved about living there was being surrounded by mountains. It was pretty cool being able to see a mountain out of almost every window in the house.

I have been living outside the state for about six years and I miss the weather more than anything, with the mountains being a close second.

I agree with those who say the city is so big and sprawling that it would be very tough to know the whole thing.

The biggest deal for me about being from the LA area is the reaction I get when people find out that is where I am from. I am always surprised at how impressed some people are when for me it was just life. When I was in my 20’s I drank free all night in Buffalo because every time a bartender saw my California ID the drinks were on the house. In the end, aside from the weather, life isn’t much different now that I live in the Midwest.

jaytkay's avatar

@SuperMouse life isn’t much different now that I live in the Midwest

Except people don’t call expressways “The”.

So Cal folks will get the joke

Brian1946's avatar

Hey So Cal homies, wouldn’t it be a trip if the OP was actually asking about Louisiana? ;-o

jaytkay's avatar

Hey So Cal homies, wouldn’t it be a trip if the OP was actually asking about Louisiana?

I lived in Gretna for a while. In a cheap apartment by Lapalco.

SuperMouse's avatar

@jaytkay my husband teases me about that all the time! That and the fact that they don’t even call the freeway freeway, they call it an interstate!

I didn’t think about it until I left, but it occurs to me that every freeway in California is called The (insert freeway number or name here) except PCH which is plain old PCH.

zenvelo's avatar

@SuperMouse except the Hollywood Freeway, the Ventura Freeway, the Golden State, The Harbor, the Pasadena.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther