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What is it like to live in Los Angeles, California?

My dream area to live would be a suburb area in Los Angeles, California. After college in Massachusetts, I plan on living there forever. What is it like to live there? I'm from a very small town in Virginia, so what would it be like for me? The pros and cons.

15 Answers

  • Ronald
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good afternoon Preppy Guy27,

    I just got back from my walk at Venice Beach. I really enjoy watching these huge high flying pelicans dive straight down into the water and come up with a fish.

    What would Los Angeles be like for you? I can give you some insight because my wife was born and raised in Wytheville, Virginia. I bet it is smaller than your town (smile)? Your question is totally impossible to answer without writing a book with a million pages.

    Los Angeles is a city in which you can be and do whatever you want. The only thing we all have in common is the weather and the traffic. When you compare it to any other city, Los Angeles is great. What city or where in the world can a person swim in the ocean and go snowboarding in the same day? What other city offers a ditch digger the opportunity to become a movie star almost overnight?

    The traffic will never improve. Too many people love Los Angeles. People here are about the same as any other city EXCEPT they can play the game like a Hollywood script. You will notice they drive expensive cars, even the college students. Many are for REAL, some are keeping up with the Jones, and MANY have the coins by any means POSSIBLE. You will see more Bentleys, Jaguars, Lamborghini, BMW, Lotus, Maserati, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, and Roll Royce riding down Hollywood Blvd and/or at UCLA (a college) in one day than you would see in a lifetime in Virginia.

    Los Angeles is a big city. You must know who you are dealing with. You cannot befriend just anybody. That goes double for Hollywood. Some of these free loaders can smile, befriend, and play you like an extra finely tuned cello.

    Life can be just like the movies in Los Angeles with or without all the drama. We have some of the best colleges and universities in the world. For children and families, Los Angeles has the La Brea Tar pits right in the middle of the city. These tar pits are still active today. A child can see fossils, with his own eyes, not just read about prehistoric animals in the books. Los Angeles has its own Griffith Park Observatory. A child can see the solar system right in the middle of Los Angeles. A child can see and learn about flowers, ancient peoples, and exhibits worth billions by visiting the many museums right in the city. I could write much, much, more about family activities. Life is good in Los Angeles.

    If you want to see celebrities, you can go to clubs and places where they eat and shop. I usually see celebrities every time we go to “The Grove” (an outdoor mall). They also film a lot of movies around Los Angeles. They film movies in my neighborhood.

    There are hundreds of nice jazz clubs and eating places in Los Angeles. A person could not visit them all in a lifetime. Bruce Willis served me drinks (smile, before he made it big) at a Los Angeles bar. After he became a star, he shut down a whole freeway in order to make a movie. What a city? Yes, Hollywood/Los Angeles is a place where dreams come true.

    After a night on the town, you can stop for a mouthwatering hot dog, a great taco, a delicious hamburger, a real pastrami drip, or a world famous ham steak and egg breakfast at three (3) in the morning, we have it all in Los Angeles.

    The Greek, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Ford Theater are just a few of the best outdoor theaters with world class entertainment.

    Indoors and outdoors, there is LAlive with the Nokia Theater, the sports centers, and the Congo Room.

    What else is Los Angeles like? The cons: People come here with sky high dreams with hopes of landing the sky high job. They enjoy the good life by walking around Hollywood and watching others drive new hot cars and living in beautiful homes high atop the hills. Their dreams become even larger than life. They stay and stay, yet their dreams never go away. They become part of the low life. They become the down and out, the homeless, without realizing what they have become. But they still have the dream of making it big in L.A. At night Los Angeles opens up her arms to the many homeless.

    In closing, I have enclosed a website with a 1972 top hit song which I believe answers another side of your question. It explains another side of Los Angeles better than my writings. The song is based on the true story of an English singer named Albert Hammond. He moves to California to pursue a career in Los Angeles/Hollywood. He does not have any success and deteriorates in the process. Follow the lyrics.

    I wish you and your family a beautiful day. Peace, from Los Angeles (City of the Angels).

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Work as a Writer
  • blah
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    A lot of people think the same as you. I've lived in Texas and I've live here in California so I got a bit of what you have going on right now. Its really not as great as you think. First, it is pretty expensive. where I live is a nice neighborhood and its 1700$ a month and this is just an apartment. Unless you move in to a bad neighborhood you won't find Mich cheaper places to live. People in la are usually very weird or rude and I can almost guarantee you'll get into a car accident within your first year of living there. Cali drivers are terrible but LA drivers are worse. Everyone's always in a rush. Its hard to find work and well yeah.

  • roupe
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    It appears California, Texas, and a couple of different local states are in a steady method of changing inhabitants. I've lived in CA and TX. Here is my take. LA has higher climate than most all of TX, however the CA fee of residing is outrageous. Don't believe condominium commercials. When you call, you're going to discover the actual price is just a few hundred greater than marketed. Condominium premiums fluctuate wildly, so expect that you may get a $200/month increase whilst you renew your lease. For the duration of the housing boom, rental rents doubled in a number of years. Yep, they sure did. Then they fell, then they went up again. In case your mixed sales isn't within the six figures, you're going to are living like slash middle type. Even at six figures, you will not are living just about as good as in TX. You trade climate for a financial savings account, going out to dinner, entertainment, and so on. Pay concentration to that savings account. And recall to take a further 8% or so out of your month-to-month income to pay state taxes, which TX doesn't have. So far, you'll be paying $800+ more monthly to reside in LA(that's being conservative). Unless you may have an excellent revenue, do not anticipate to purchase a home until a dump is your idea of a home. If you haven't been to LA and suppose you would work in LA and live manner external of it, assess out the space making use of MapQuest or an identical and see just how many miles you'd without a doubt need to power. A map of l. A. Is deceiving - the subject is huge. After which assume plenty of site visitors to sluggish you down. LA used to have ordinarily friendly, easy going humans. Not so any more because people from all over have moved to LA and the culture has emerge as rougher and ruder. On prime of it, LA has a number of illegal immigrants - more than Texas). In some areas, you are going to be subject to prejudice and the attitude that you're an interloper; it can be very to your face. So walk around, go into various shops and quick food locations within the area you're enthusiastic about living in and notice for those who get an perspective before you're making any choice about dwelling there. Myself, i am headed again to TX.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    The climate is mild, it's very mild at the coast. You don't have to worry about extremes like snow, ice, and high humidity. But LA is prone to floods, wildfires and earthquakes. You gotta be making a good lump of dough to make ends meet there. It's can be difficult but it is possible if millions of people financially thrive there. LA is safe depending on where you are. There are areas you should avoid due to high crime. I highly suggest Orange County, but it is very expensive there! Traffic is described in one word...terrible! The freeways creep slower than snails! You gotta be patient to live in LA. Southern California is very diverse, family friendly and there's certainly lots to do! So Los Angeles does have it's pros and cons like any other US city. Good luck! If you're just patient, financially stable, and flexible. You will love LA! It's great place to live!

    Source(s): Southern California native
  • 8 years ago

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

    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 and Orange County are one or the other (either Beverly Hills or Compton). They either think it is a fairy tale fantasy or an apocalyptic ghetto. In fact, most of it is working class and middle class stiffs working to pay the bills. Like me.

    The variety of food here is incredible. New Yorkers come here and complain that the pizza is terrible (it’s not as good as NY Pizza), but the Mexican food is GREAT here. That more than makes up for it.

    The weather here is incredible. 340+ days of sunshine makes up for a lot of traffic.

    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. Hollywood is 8 miles north of downtown, and 38 miles north of Disneyland. Average commute is 20-30 miles..

    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. 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. If you want to rent, figure on $1200 per month for a 1BR in a decent neighborhood. You need to make about $30,000 per year in order to do that. You can't do it on minimum wage.

    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, year-round activities, jobs, beaches, mountains, and deserts all within driving distance, and plenty of opportunity for those who have the skills and tenacity.

    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. It’s just the lifestyle here: People want their own private space. It’s sort of “you do your thing, I’ll do mine”. To those hateful souls I would say “good luck” to you wherever you are, but please don’t spew your hatred in this forum.

    To summarize, it’s 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? Absolutely!

  • 8 years ago

    LA sucks. Its dirty, gang problems, lots and lots of crime, the worlds worst drivers, constant traffic and is very very run down. Also, there arent any "suburbs" really in LA. Your best bet is Between Thousand Oaks and Burbank which is North of LA. Theyre nice but a little expensive. If you want to go further north then you get smaller towns, Ventura County mostly. South of LA you still have big cities like Orange County which is hit or miss

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I wouldn't live there. A lot of problems with gang activity... for some reason California can't seem to figure out how to help these kids so they don't resort to gangs.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago


  • It's like Detroit with sunshine.

    Seriously, it's going to be a LOT more expensive than your small town in Virginia, and you may see things which will boggle your mind.

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