Some Thoughts on Living in Los Angeles

Well, I’ve been here in LA for almost three weeks now.  I thought I would take a minute or two and talk about some of the things I’m discovering/learning about living in this HUGE city.

  • I’m living in a rather quiet neighborhood on the west side not too far away from some very busy streets.  I’m surprised how calm and quiet it can become after only a block or two.
  • I love living in a place with lots of palm trees.  They are everywhere, and I mean everywhere.
  • There are so many people here in all shapes, sizes and colors.  They come in all temperaments as well.
  • I have been noticing a great disparage between the rich and the poor here.  My train travels from Culver City through West Adams to the financial district downtown so I see a lot of “haves” and “have nots” on my journey.
  • You might have noticed that I’ve been walking everywhere rather than driving.  Some people who have lived in LA might be wide-eyed in shock.  It’s common knowledge that a car is an absolute necessity in LA.  Well, that’s not an option for me right now.
  • Most of the time, when I hear someone say, “I hate LA,” it’s usually preceded by, “I’m looking for a place to live,” or “I was driving/I need to drive to/I was on the freeway.”
  • As far as public transportation here is concerned the Metro Rail is great.  I take the Expo line train to school everyday and it’s gotten me there in under 20 minutes.  I got an unlimited use, semester-long pass from USC for about $80.  Try spending that much on gas for just one month!
  • The Metro buses, however, are terrible.  They’re crowded, not very friendly towards “novice riders,” and VERY inconsistant with arrival and departure times.  They’re also very infrequent which is surprising because of how crowded they get.  In addition, they don’t cover the city very well.  Where I live I have to walk 9 or 10 block before I can find a Metro bus stop at all. Maybe I’m just spoiled by the public transport in London, but I feel that even Provo’s bus system is more efficient than this.
  • Everything is expensive.  Food especially.  I need to find a way to get cheap/free food.  Any ideas?
  • Speaking of food: Jack-in-the-Box.  Talk about a blast from my past, I haven’t seen those for almost 9 years.  Food’s still great.
  • The weather here has been amazing.  A bit on the warm side, but I like it a lot.  There’s always an amazing, soothing ocean breeze flowing through the city.
  • I’ve now been woken up by two earthquakes this week.
  • School at SC has been great.  I like all my classes, professors and colleagues.  The campus (at least where I go to class) is very beautiful and bucolic.  People here have been very friendly and I’m finding it to be a great fit so far.  I was just walking around campus the other day and thought to myself, “This is where I need to be right now.”
  • I still haven’t been to the beach yet.  I’m only a bus ride down to either Santa Monica or Venice and I still haven’t been.  Many friends and family will probably be shocked to hear this because I LOVE the beach and try to go as much as I can.  I’m planning on this Saturday and NOTHING will stop me!

This is its own city.  It’s nothing like Dublin, London, Vienna, Frankfurt, Chicago, Las Vegas, Salt Lake or even San Francisco.  I’m still understanding it.  There have been several days when I’ve woken up, walked out from my front door and thought to myself, “Whoa.  I live in Los Angeles now…how exciting!”

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6 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Living in Los Angeles

  1. I am sure someone will want to take you to the beach here…. and hopefully soon I can take you to lunch…. Glad to have you as a member of the USC program…. I too think you are a great fit for this school – Doc

  2. Matt,

    As an LA native, I am glad that you are enjoying your time there. I am also glad that you are discovering that LA demands to be taken on its own terms. A lot of people dont realize that, and unfortunately leave without discovering what makes it a special place.

    I will be in town a few times over the next few months, and I will have to take you to our family restaurant in La Canada (just a short drive up the 110, 5, 2, and 210… haha).

    Good luck at ‘SC,

    Take care-

    Christian Hansen

  3. Glad you’re enjoying it! I would love to live in a really big city for a little while. I love the hustle and bustle of it. SLC is so small in comparison. Hey – we’re coming to Disneyland next week! Maybe we’ll stop by LA.

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