A cosmopolitan, international world-class city, with something to offer for everyone.
I've seen some of the scariest definitions and ideas about Los Angeles posted by other people, some of whom claim to be from L.A. Let me first say that I am an L.A. native and I've lived the majority of my life here. Like any major city throughout the world, L.A. has it's problems. There are gangs in many areas, the air quality can be bad depending on the day and as we all know our traffic is downright nasty. Here are some points to consider though:
1. L.A. has some of the most amazing restaurants representing some of the most diverse ethnic cuisines from around the world. These restaurants can be found many of L.A.'s traditionally ethnic neighborhoods: Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, Chinatown, Thai Town, J-Town, etc.
2. L.A. has world class museums and galleries: LACMA, MOCA, the Getty Center and Villa, Petersen, Tar Pits, etc.
3. L.A. has an amazingly comprehensive transportation system, both for motorists and its public transit system. Check out a Thomas Guide to see the massive network of streets and freeways and check out www.metro.net to see the major bus and rail operator's network (which by the way is one of many networks throughout the County).
4. L.A.'s incredible geography and topography allows for a plethora of outdoor activities at its doorstep: hiking, biking, snowboarding, surfing, beachgoing, rollerblading, etc.
5. L.A. has one of the most diverse populations you will find. Though this mostly applies to the urban areas, you are likely to see people of a dozen different backgrounds walking down the street at any given moment in a busy area.
L.A.'s problems are largely justifiable given it's size, density, diversity and climate:
1. Crime. Yes there's crime and much of it is gang violence, but the per-capita crime rate isn't unusually high. It's also a given to have racial tension in a place with large populations of ethnic minorities living side by side in many instances.
2. Smog. The reason there is so much smog in L.A.: geography. L.A. is in a basin with mountains behind it. The mountains trap the air coming in from the ocean and the pollutants coming from vehicles, refineries and other sources have nowhere to go. Some days, the sky is yellow and it's not pleasant to look at. Other days the sky is beautiful and clear and the city is gorgeous.
3. Traffic. The reason we have so much traffc: the City is vast and relatively dense for its size. Furthermore, people are forced to live farther and farther from their workplace due to escalation of home prices. Commute times increase and the freeways get clogged. This is a definite problem and there are two solutions (they don't include improving the freeways): build more dense and transit-oriented developments and improve the job markets in outlying areas. Another thing worth mentioning: traffic isn't always bad and it's usually directional; the 405 South through the Sepulveda Pass during rush-hour is wide open. Also, there are many alternate routes including on-street routes which people fail to recognize or use.
4. People. Time and time again, I hear complaints about the "fake" and "Hollywood" types. I'll be the first to admit that these people exist and in some places, they are in abundance. The solution: don't associate with them. The reality is that these people are in the small minority even though it seems like everyone is trying to be an actor.
Johnny: Yo Los Angeles sucks everyone's fake and the air is gross and bums shit on the sidewalk. Traffic is a parking lot everywhere and the beach is polluted.
Me: Have you ever actually left your suburban tract home in Laguna Niguel and explored L.A.?
The Urban Dictionary Mug
One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.
Buy the mug