Los Angeles rolls out the red carpet for the stars and stars-to-be each year, as scores move to the City of Angels seeking fame, fortune and artistic fulfillment. But as you might suspect of a city that’s home to almost 4 million, Los Angeles contains multitudes, offering a variety of experiences and atmospheres. If you’re thinking about making the move, here’s what you need to know about living in Los Angeles.
1. There’s a neighborhood for everyone.
No matter where you’re from, there’s a neighborhood in Los Angeles that will remind you of your hometown. Angelino Heights, with its concentration of Victorian-style homes, has a similar look and feel to San Francisco; while Westwood, thanks to the influence of the University of California at Los Angeles, passes as a major college town. Each neighborhood has its own distinct flavor: Echo Park and its hip, artistic residents seem a universe away from the manicured lawns of Larchmont. With a little investigation, any new resident can find their perfect atmosphere somewhere in the city.
2. Downtown is back and better than ever.
Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings moved to the new Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles in 1999, the once-neglected area has sprung to life with restaurants, bars, shopping and everything else a major metropolitan center is supposed to have. With factories and other older buildings being refurbished and turned into stunning lofts and condos, real estate in the downtown sector is some of the most sought-after in the city.
3. Traffic is bad, but can be beaten.
Although Los Angeles celebrates perfect weather during any season, the city does come with its downsides. A big one? Travel demands planning. It is possible to adapt to the infamous LA traffic, but it takes some purposeful decision-making about where you want to live in the city and where you plan to spend the majority of your time. And if you prefer to avoid the traffic all together, Discover Los Angeles praises the public transportation system as one of the best in the country. Never fear: there’s always a way to efficently get from point a to point b in this buzzing city.
4. The public transit is ever-expanding.
Los Angeles’ light rail system has been in a major growth phase for the past decade. The tracks connect suburbs as far apart as Pasadena and Santa Monica — yes, that means you can take the train to the beach. And with billions invested in upgrading a subway extension underway, LA is showing the country how a city designed for automobiles can become one where public transit is a viable option for everyone.
5. L.A. has two seasons: Dodgers season and Lakers season.
Los Angeles has six teams in the four major sports — not counting the Los Angeles Galaxy and the soon-to-launch Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer — but the Dodgers and the Lakers are the two most popular, according to a recent survey. The Dodgers finished as the fan favorite with 36 percent of respondents claiming the boys in blue as the most popular team, with the Lakers loved by 35 percent of respondents. Third place? The Clippers, at a mere 7 percent.
6. In LA, any food can fit in a taco.
Fusion food in Los Angeles comes in many different forms, whether it’s sushi encased in rice burritos, spam sliders or kimchi-topped burgers. But one of the city’s favorite taste transport is the taco. In both its fanciest and simplest forms, the Mexican dish is at the heart L.A. dining — so much so that LA residents attend Taco Tuesday religiously. The beef short rib tacos of Korean-Mexican fusion Kogi created an empire for chef Roy Choi, and creative ingredients like foie gras and sea urchin can be found on multiple menus.
7. LA has its stars in person… and on stage.
LA’s stars tours are good for staring at front doors and privacy hedges, but to spot a celebrity in person you should head to a comedy joint. Largo at the Coronet has a long reputation for celebs taking the stage, and Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman take the stage as regulars. The Upright Citizens Brigade hosts the best and brightest in stand-up and TV comedy. Best of all, you get to see them performing rather than walking the dog or buying orange juice.
8. There are gems among the tourist traps.
There are some sights that are so quintessentially Los Angeles every tourist has to visit. Yet the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Sunset Strip and the Santa Monica Pier also have delights for longtime residents. The Pier, for instance, is the home of The Albright, with its excellent selection of craft beer and seafood. The Hollywood Roosevelt, just off the Walk of Fame, houses an oasis-like Tropicana Bar. The Sunset Strip has many satisfying bites to offer, with a variety of restaurants including critically acclaimed Thai street food of Night + Market.
9. The weather really is that nice.
The average high temperature in August is 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low temperature is, at its coldest, 51 degrees for most of the winter. On average, 73 percent of the days in LA during a given year are sunny — one of the highest percentages among major cities in the country. Going from shorts to a light jacket over the course of the year isn’t a bad transition.
10. It’s outdoor venues galore.
Many shopping malls, like the Grove near Beverly Hills, are open-air. The concerts at the Hollywood Bowl — which, by the way, is a regular winner of Pollstar’s Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue award — are outdoors and, at night, under the stars. The restaurants have patios where you can sit back and relax and residents even watch movies outdoors. One of the classic signs of summer in the city is the return of the Cinespia movie screenings in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Similar to kids in grade school, if there’s any way to be outside, residents will do it — and can you blame them?
11. The beaches are heavenly.
From Malibu to the South Bay, some of the most beautiful beaches in the country are either in Los Angeles or a neighboring suburb. Want a boardwalk atmosphere? There’s Venice Beach or the Santa Monica Pier. Something a little more secluded? Walk along the waterline in Malibu. Great date spot? Manhattan Beach has restaurants with plates as beautiful as the views. There are more than a dozen beaches in the Los Angeles area, and each has their own distinct personality.
12. Your favorite chef is probably here.
If chefs are the new rock stars, then Los Angeles is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Your favorite chef from a television competition probably has a restaurant here. For instance, Top Chef season-two winner, Ilan Hall, has a stand at downtown’s historic Grand Central Market focused on vegan ramen, while season-six victor Michael Voltaggio has menus for both dinner and lunch at his trendy spot Ink. Some of the culinary world’s brightest lights are still arriving: Chefs April Bloomfield, Charles Phan and Daniel Humm are each on their way to LA.
13. Danger dogs are a staple.
Go to any major event, concert venue or place where people congregate into the evening, and the hot dog carts will appear before the end of the night. The bacon-wrapped hot dog might as well be the unofficial food of Los Angeles, and it’s survived several major attempts by the city government to curb its ubiquity.
14. No more droughts!
Like much of the rest of California, Los Angeles was in a state of drought from 2012 up through the winter of 2017. But thanks to recent months filled with heavy rains, the state is greener than it has been in over a decade. According to recent figures, only about 25 percent of the state in moderate drought conditions. There are still water conservation rules in effect, of course, but the worst seems to be over for the time being.
15. The Broad highlights the city’s museum culture.
One of the jewels of Los Angeles’ cultural life is The Broad, the 2015 addition to downtown featuring the contemporary art collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. With free admission and works by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others, the museum attracts huge crowds, especially on weekends. It has also made the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA step up their games. The result is a citywide art scene that draws crowds for exhibit openings of the magnitude of a movie premiere or big concert.
16. Silicon Beach is booming.
Silicon Valley may be the spiritual home of the tech world, but Los Angeles is quickly becoming a player, too. Thanks to the area’s room for expansion, easy access to freeways and the LA International Airport for quick trips to San Francisco, the Silicon Beach was born. Companies like Google and YouTube have offices in the Playa Vista neighborhood, and Facebook and Microsoft have outposts nearby. Accordingly, housing in neighboring areas like Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista and Culver City has become a hot commodity.
17. The city loves its hikes.
Runyon Canyon, a 2.5-mile route connecting Hollywood to Mulholland Drive, is where you’re most likely to find the most foot traffic, but for LA’s most beautiful hikes, head toward the coast. Solstice Canyon, Sandstone Peak and the Los Liones Trail all offer stunning views of the coast — and these hikes are difficult enough to count as workouts, too. For the adventurous there’s the Backbone Trail, which runs nearly 68 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains and always within sight of the beach.
18. The craft beer scene is growing.
There are 62 members of the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild, and some of the best are in the city proper. After being bought by large beer conglomerates, outfits like Angel City Brewery and Golden Road Brewing are garnering national reputations, while Iron Triangle and Highland Park Brewery still stand for the independent brewmaster. And any time an Angelino runs out of beer options, San Diego — one of the country’s great beer towns — is just two and a half hours to the south by car.
Just like any good introductory class, this list only scratches the surface of what makes LA a beloved hometown for residents. If you’re thinking about making the move to living in Los Angeles, check out Owners.com for tips and tricks to help you in the process.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.
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