There are some cool looking neighborhoods, with different styles of houses, each one different than the one next to it. Diverse people, with some really good Mexican food. A few beaches are decent, and Angeles Crest is alright. The ethnic market on Broadway with the old buildings is a cool neighborhood. The skyline is cool at night.
The city will rip you off for everything you have. Parking signs are misleading, I have 1000 dollars in parking tickets in a year, parking meters can cost two dollars for an hour, the city charges you for parking on Sunday without telling you, housing is the 49/50 most expensive city in the nation. The museums, unlike the MET in NY charge you. If you are a museum do not bring your art to the Getty because it is surrounded in all directions by dry brush. The landscape is UGLY, and neighborhoods burn down each year. There is not a stream that is not encased in concrete in 100 miles. There is hardly any public space, and the recreation areas will charge you if you want to arrive there in a car (the only way to get there unless you plan to walk five or more miles). There was no city planning involved in this city, so it takes forever to get anywhere. Traffic is awful, and public transportation is the worst of any city I have been to. I have waited at a bus stop for over an hour until a lady finally told me that they had moved the stop to around the corner without changing the signs. I wanted to see the La Brea Tar Pits without paying for admission, so I parked my car on the street and looked over the gate. Two seconds later my car had a 140 dollar anti-gridlock ticket on it although the sign was on the other end of the street. Although the city apparently spends none of the money it receives on anything useful like parks, it must be in desperate need of revenue. Many intersections have cameras, and even if you stop your car before the intersection at a yellow light and you are over the cross walk line, the camera will take a picture of you and send you a 500 dollar ticket that will takes you forever to contest in court, and you will lose. The city has the largest homeless population in the country. When the city raises your already high (200/year+) garbage collection fees to add additional cops, it deceptively uses the money to pay the existing cops more. Hollywood is a slum and the clubs there are a sleaze fest. Los Angeles in general is the sleaziest city I have ever been to, and many people are incredibly superficial. For a city based on the entertainment industry talent is almost non-existent. Most of the clubs you go to there are rich kids who perform for attention and clearly (at least I hope they don't) practice at all or do what they don't perform because they love music or have any aptitude for it. People are extremely cliquee, obsessed with money, will rarely stop to help people in need besides giving change to people outside 711. The city, despite its casual look, is extremely status oriented, even more than NY, and people attach themselves to people who have similar things. People rarely have their own interests, ideas or talents, all though there are a few exceptions. Silverlake is a bunch of rich hipsters who are just as conformist as everyone else, except they join groups with other anti-conformists who dress the same as they do. Many beaches are slums or dominated by shopping malls. In Venice down to Costa Mesa there are many gangs and neo-nazis, and homeless punks will get into fights and stab each other at night while sleeping on the beach. The only nice beaches are away from the city, Zuma and Palos Verdes and Laguna beach. However these are all at least an hour drive when there is no traffic. The mountains are really not that scenic or cool, and the skiing around LA sucks. Downtown is the most pathetic downtown of the most large cities in the world. The city's major source of entertainment are its cookie cutter malls which offer the same exact stores and are generally banal unless the thing you like to do is shop, which is what most people in LA like to do. The people in general are self-absorbed and try to be just as like everyone else as they possibly can. It is hard to find real friends here, and many people will backstab or forget about you if you are not constantly stroking their ego and talking about them and how fabulous they are. The city is diverse and tolerant for the most part, but people are wary of each other and the city has a history of ethnic tension and riots. The city has a real unemployment rate of twenty percent and unless you have got a lazy entertainment or business job through connections at USC or UCLA, the price of living makes it not worth living here, unless you are willing to share a small apartment with two families or five single guys. USC is composed of a bunch of rich macho wiggers who think they are the shit because they lynch UCLA bears at football games, and UCLA and Westwood are lame and boring. There is nowhere to go to retreat from the city and feel relaxed and calm, and unless you get off writing your name on your buddy's guest list and then showing up at the club and checking your name off and listening to bad bands and talking to incredibly boring people who will either like you because you live the same boring life style as they do, or dislike you because you're not part of their group or you're not wearing what they want you to wear or driving what they want you to drive, LA gets old and boring very quickly. I have been part of a group and not part of the group and they are equally rewarding in LA.
I think the people who write good reviews about LA must really hate the place too, but they are too embarrassed to admit it because hating LA is not the trend at the moment. However, if it does become popular, you can expect them to change their minds/ personality instantaneously.
Bob: Los Angeles is great.
Joe: Ya dude!
Fred the leader: I don't like LA anymore dude, San Diego is the shit!
Joe: Ya Bob you're a dumbass San Diego is the shit.
Bob: Ya man I was joking LOL