Los Angeles is a great place to live and there is a reason that so many people flock there every year. It is not just to become a famous actor or model – it is also because Los Angeles has, by and large, good weather, a good standard of living, a lot of culture and a lot of pride. Still, for first-time transplants the city can be intimidating. Even if you’re coming from another large metropolis, Los Angeles has some quirks and surprises you may not be ready for. So what do you need to know before you move? Here are the basics:
1. Everyone drives. There is just no way around it; the City of Angels is a City of Drivers. Although its large size is part of the issue, it goes beyond that – Los Angeles has a clunky public transit system and is built with the assumption that people own cars, meaning many of your regular stops will be quite spread out. The good news is the city offers plenty of used cars. Los Angeles cars tend to stay in good shape because of the climate.
2. Smog days. Of course, with all those cars there’s plenty of exhaust. Summertime in Los Angeles brings elevated levels of smog, and on certain days there are public advisories that the air has reached unsafe pollution levels. You can get air filters for your house to decrease the level of smog that may seep its way into your house. However, normally it is best to avoid going out on high smog days.
3. Warm clothing. People think of Los Angeles as a warm, sunny paradise and that is true – most of the time. Even Los Angeles winters have their cold rainy days however, and new arrivals sometimes wish they had brought a coat. You won’t need heavy snow gear but pack a couple sets of warm clothing and at least a jacket.
4. Know the neighborhood. Los Angeles is a huge city but it is often described as many individual communities just put close together. Every neighborhood in Los Angeles has its own unique style and appeals to certain kinds of residents. Santa Monica, for instance, is a whole different world than the Valley. If you can visit at least once and check out neighborhoods, you will do well – otherwise at least reach out to locals on message boards and see what neighborhoods will be right for you.
5. The people are friendly. Although Hollywood manners have a reputation, most of the residents of Los Angeles are friendly people. Go out, make friends, and you will quickly find people you can trust and count on here in Los Angeles. Just spend a day walking the streets or visiting restaurants and you will find that the “LA attitude” does not apply to everyone you meet.
While you might not have expected your shopping list to include warm hoodies and used cars, Los Angeles is a beautiful city and a great place to experience. Do you live in Los Angeles? What advice would you give new arrivals?
Brielle has moved all across the country. Her most challenging move was when she moved to LA, she wanted to write an article for others who are planning on moving as well.