Anyone living in California? Is living there really that sweet?

I want to choose a place I'm gonna live in and I'm thinking about California. Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, San Clemente, something like that (OC). I'm from Europe and I've been to the East Coast of the US (6 months or so) so is California similar to PA, NJ, NY etc.? Are things more expensive in CA?

And is it true that:

- the weather is beautiful all the time there (I mean almost lol)

- the cities are really nice with stuff like palms near streets, many cool mediterranean style houses etc.

- there are many skateparks and concerts

- there are a lot of nice chicks and the people are nice

Any other opinions, suggestions, drawbacks or good stuff?

Thanks for reading this that was long haha and for answering

6 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    To answer your questions:

    -It's nothing like the east coast.

    -Things are very expensive here.

    -Weather is wonderful here. 340+ days of sunshine. People whine when it gets below 60F.

    -Some cities are really nice. Within each cities, you have nice sections, and not-so-nice sections (which they call "ghetto").

    -Yes, there are many skate parks and concerts.

    -Lots of nice chicks. Most people are nice, but you come across some snobby ones, rude ones, whatever.

    For a number of reasons, we get a bunch of questions asking what it’s really like in Los Angeles.

    First of all, I'll tell you what it's NOT like: It's not like anything on TV. People watch shows on TV and think that’s what it’s like out here. The “Real OC”, Newport Beach, The Hills, etc. Ever wonder why people in those shows never have to pay bills, do laundry, and are NEVER stuck in traffic? Because it’s FAKE. And the news doesn’t help either, since they know that sex and sensationalism sells. News flash: There aren’t running gun battles in the street. There aren’t shootouts every day. Also, you don’t see celebrities just walking down the street, all glammed up, or sipping a cappuccino at Starbucks waiting to sign autographs. We don't go surfing during lunch hour.

    Some sections are REALLY nice, others are “ghetto”. Too many people have this vision in their head that LA is one or the other (either Beverly Hills or Compton). In fact, most of it is working class and middle class stiffs working to pay the bills.

    You NEED a car to live in Southern California. We don’t have an effective public transportation like New York or San Francisco. One reason is that LA is larger in area than either of those, without a central hub where everything is. Back in the 1960’s, we might have done it. But by the time local governments got their act together, it was much more difficult to make a working public transit system. Also, unlike NY, we have earthquakes, which make it a little more difficult to build underground.

    The freeway traffic is probably the worst thing about living here. The 405 is the worst. Know why they call it the 405? Because you go 4 o' 5 miles per hour, and it takes 4 o' 5 hours to get where you're going. Freeway Traffic is bad from 6-10 AM and bad from 3-7 PM. I don't know why they call it rush hour. It's more than an hour, and nobody's rushing, that's for sure.

    The gangs are the cause of many rumors. Keep in mind that there are gangs in any large town, in every part of the country. In LA, the gangs aren't really downtown, they are in South LA, East LA, and north Long Beach (an extension of the South LA gangs, actually). And here's the deal: Mostly, they just kill each other.

    Gas is expensive in California. It’s about 20-30 cents above the national average.

    Yes, gas and real estate are very expensive in SoCal. However, this would be the best time to BUY a house because it's a buyer's market right now. There are a lot of foreclosures, and too many houses on the market.

    Yep, freeways are a drag, it's smoggy in summer, and expensive to live here. Yet, if it's so bad, why do we have thousands and thousands of people moving here?

    Weather, Activities, Plenty of jobs, Beaches, mountains, deserts all within driving distance, and plenty of opportunity for those who have the skills and tenacity.

    In colder parts of the country, people keep their cars in their garages all winter. Kids get snow toys for Christmas. Here, kids get BIKES, scooters, and skateboards. 10 AM Christmas morning, the streets are FULL of kids on their new bikes, scooters, etc.

    The job market is good here, mainly because there are SO many people here that it creates its own job market. Then there are MANY industries, including tourism, entertainment, shipping, manufacturing, etc. It’s an incredible economy.

    However, it is not for everyone. Every time someone posts this question, you get the LA haters who post their bile and venom. A lot of them don’t know what they are talking about. Some people never even visit, and hate it on principle and stereotypes. Some actually visited once, and found out it wasn’t like it was on TV, and it certainly wasn’t Mayberry. And some actually lived here, and couldn’t deal with the expense, the traffic, or the somewhat impersonal nature of living in a large metropolis. To those I would say “good luck” to you wherever you are, but please don’t spew your hatred in this forum.

    As for lifestyle, it’s rather casual. You work during the week, and then go do something fun on the weekend, so that you can impress your coworkers around the water cooler on Monday.

    To summarize, LA a HUGE metropolis that really defies easy description. I live in one of the nicer suburbs, but the commute is no fun, often 1-2 hours each way each day. However, 340+ days of sunshine really helps. Yeah, it's expensive. Mrs. Obviousman and I both have to work to pay the mortgage. But is it worth it? You bet!

  • 1 decade ago

    Im from Cali..have lived in San Clemente among other cities in orange County. Weather wise, cant ask for a better place to live. There is so much to do, I cant imagine eevr being bored here. There are skateparks in almost eevry city, some have more than one. Concerts everywhere all the time. The people are nice, yes. I have traveled a lot and in no way is California like the East coast. Its just sooo different. So. Cal has a LOT of planned communities so lots of cookie-cutter homes, etc. We dont have all the old, interesting buildings and homes. Being from Cali I find the east coast appealing cause its something different. But people here are really chill, like to go to the beach, BBQ, football games, hang out.

  • 1 decade ago

    The East Coast is completely different than the West Coast. The weather here is probably about as nice as you have heard. Housing will be fairly expensive depending on where you live and if you don't mind having roommates. Houses vary, newer ones are Spanish/Mediterranean style while older ones are less contemporary. The layouts of the cities also vary, where the richer neighborhoods will have well maintained landscapes while the latter wont. Since there are several major cities in So. Cal, concerts with good headliners are not uncommon. If you are in OC you have the choice of hitting the concerts in LA or San Diego with no more than a 2 hour commute. I cant imagine living anywhere else.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    California isn't that great. TV lies to you! DON'T believe the TV.

    I have lived there all my life and trust me, you can do better.

    Of course California is more expensive than anywhere else. You can be living in a BIG 5bd 4ba home in Raleigh, NC for $320,000 and for the same price in California, that's not even enough for a house!

    It's beautiful depending on where you live in CA. Where I live it's nice!

    If your vision of the city is like what you see on TV, then no!

    There are skateparks and concerts are based on if the artist goes on tour or not.

    There are lots of chicks and chickens here! You won't believe it!

    Opinion, suggestions, etc: Move elsewhere. You can do better than California!!! I really love Washington, Texas, and North Carolina A LOT!

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  • 1 decade ago

    - the weather is beautiful all the time there (I mean almost lol)

    --> yes thats the best part of being in California. From coolest to warmest - San Francisco->San Diego ->Los Angeles

    However note that Cali has become quite warm in the last few years. Summers are hot - sometimes in the 90s. So its more a desert type climate these days. Winters can be cold (50) some years.

    - the cities are really nice with stuff like palms near streets, many cool mediterranean style houses etc.

    -->Yes but most constructions are old unless you move to a new city like Irvine in Orange county.

    - there are many skateparks and concerts

    -->Yes

    - there are a lot of nice chicks and the people are nice

    -->Yes people are good, bother their own business, very cosmpolitan crowd so people don't have an air about themselves (like the East coast folks).

    Any other opinions, suggestions, drawbacks or good stuff?

    --> Avoid some 'rough' cities. Your best bet is places like San Clemente or Orange County.

    -->Traffic is pathetic. I stopped driving after all the frustration of being stuck in bumper2bumper traffic. Be prepared for overcrowded parking lots and rash drivers (however not as bad as NY/Chicago for example).

    -->Beach cities are good

    -->Housing is damn expensive.

    Thats it!

    Source(s): Lived in LA
  • Muppet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Don't believe what you see in the movies or on TV.

    I could do without all of the air pollution. I live on the coast and I cannot see the mountains 50 miles away most of the year. There is a brown cloud over the area at least 9 months out of the year.

    If you have money and can afford to live in a nice part of Southern Cal than it is nice and yes, there are palm tree lined streets with Mediterranean style houses.

    If you don't have money than you would think you are in a Third World country. Parts of the area are dirty with litter and there is graffiti almost everywhere you go in the numerous poor parts of town. Look up Watts, Hollywood (yes, Hollywood is not glamorous), South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Compton, etc, etc to see how struggling people live. Southern California also has more homeless people than anywhere else in the U.S.

    The West Coast is nothing at all like the East Coast. It is generally more expensive here, although New York City does cost more.

    Lots of skateparks and cool concerts. If you are under 21 you won't be able to go into 99% of the clubs where bands are playing though.

    The people in the beach towns are nicer and more laid back than the people inland.

    Huntington Beach is filled with very territorial guys that like to get into fights over surf and skate spots or if you look in the general area of where their girlfriend might be standing. My best friend grew up in HB and has numerous stories on the idiot guys that live there.

    Since you seem young I would recommend Balboa/the Peninsula in Newport Beach over Costa Mesa or San Clemente. Balboa has lots of 20-somethings that live there. San Clemente shuts down at 10pm and it's also a bit removed from life since it's bordered by an extremely large Marine Corps training base. If you are a light sleeper than you will be able to hear them firing howitzers in the distance. Costa Mesa has some cool clubs, so it does have a younger scene.

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