“LA is a city of day bags.”

A woman told me this last night. She said you have to be very strategic about how you plan your day here.

“Snacks in the car, always.”

Carry clothes for different weather: in the afternoon it’s hot, but at night you need a jacket. You can’t just stop home to change; that could involve two hours of traffic.

So you plot your course strategically.

“I lived in LA for 10 years and hated the first 5. Eventually, I realized LA is a city where people socialize in private. They create/recreate themselves and build private palaces. Once you have access to those places the city opens up. I’ve come to love it. Even so, I still prefer NY where we socialize in public at restaurants, parks, and museums. Each city has its own kind of loneliness. In LA it is the loneliness of a quiet house. In NY it is the loneliness of the crowd.” From Raul G.

Like any big city, Los Angeles has multitudes.

I learned about East LA and West LA and how they are different.

The East LA of Hollywood and the West LA of Venice Beach.

Perhaps like Manhattan and Brooklyn?

I don’t go to Red Hook often, and some people in East LA don’t go to the beach very often. My friend Alexis told me, “I go to the beach once a year. I’m much more likely to drive to the desert than drive to the beach.”

The traffic is real, and it is unfortunate.

“Don’t plan to drive anywhere major between 3-7 pm. It’s why we do dinner at 8pm, or have happy hour at 4pm.”

Someone told me to go get a coffee at Grand Central Market, then walk to The Last Bookstore. “You like books? You will love that place. And it is great for an Instagram.”

When I ask this question about what life is like, which is one of my favorite questions to ask when I meet people in any city that I don’t live, people are quick to tell me that life in Los Angeles it is slower or “more chill” than New York.

Someone from Chicago said, “There’s a lot going on, but it seems tucked away and in pockets. It feels like there are so many people, but also very quiet.”

Someone else: “It is very easy to be sober here. I haven’t drank in three years.”

There are super-healthy people in LA who enjoy green juice, wheatgrass, kale salads, and cocaine.

There is underemployment or a healthy labor market.

A business owner told me about hiring for retail positions at $13/hr.

“We had great people with Master’s degrees and international internships apply. These are smart, brilliant people.”

Transplants from New York are fast to note the weather, which does seem delightful.


“I do so many more social things as physical activities.” This Sunday she’s meeting a friend for coffee and going for a hike.

I have never gone hiking with friends after meeting for coffee.

My favorite answer to my question about what life in LA is like was this:

“Nobody criticizes your dreams here. People come to Los Angeles with big ideas and big hopes. That’s normal.”

I like the idea of a place where big ideas and great dreams are table-stakes.

If you’ve lived in LA or spent time here, what did I miss? What is life like in Los Angeles?


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