Post # 1
My husband might have a job interview in LA. I was never too keen on him applying to jobs there, but he really likes this guy he could work for.
I’m just not sure I want to move to LA, even though I’ve never visited there. From what I can tell it’s full of traffic, pollution, and self-absorbed people who care about things like plastic surgery. Not really my cup of tea.
Can someone help me see the good side of LA? Is it really a fun place to live in your late 20’s early 30’s? What’s so great about it?
Keep in mind that I was hoping to move to a city with my husband that didn’t require a car, had neighborhoods you could walk in to get everywhere, and had great public transport (like Boston or London). Is LA any of these things?
From what I can tell, no one in LA walks anywhere and you need a car to get everywhere. My husband keeps telling me there is a great bus system there, but is that really used a lot? Is it safe all the time?
Please help convince me that LA could be fun. I’m willing to consider it and check it out when my husband goes for an interview. I’m just not sure it’s the lifestyle I want next.
Post # 3
You definately need a car. It is nothing like boston, NY, europe. SO far, all the people I have met have been really friendly (but I was expecting a ton of self absorbed people also). The weather is really nice.. and I came from florida.. The traffic is really really bad.. a trip that would take me 45 mins in FL takes HOURS during rush hour. On the bright side.. there are a lot of activities and fun places to go to. You can go to the beach and go snowboarding in the same place lol Lots of great fresh markets and flower markets. Whatever your hobbies are, they have something for you in CALI. Everything is easily attainable.
Post # 4
Hi! I don’t live in LA, I live in SD but I am very familar with LA. I went to college in Long Beach and most of my friends moved up to LA after graduating. My hubby’s fam also lives on the outskirts of LA. I really do love visiting. There are a lot of fun activities to do, the weather is generally nice, and not all of the people are self-absorbed (although probably a bit more than other cities).
The traffic can be pretty bad, and like PP stated – you will need a car. I wouldn’t depend on the bus system. The pollution can be pretty icky, I won’t lie.
Some fun places to live for someone young would be Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Marina Del Rey, and Brentwood. I am not sure what your housing budget is like, but some of these areas are a bit pricey. But they are safe and there is a lot of stuff going on. Several of my friends live over the hill off Ventura Blvd (in the Valley) in Studio City, which is less expensive and still really fun.
As far as activities go, there really is a ton to do! There are a lot of fun hiking spots in the Hollywood hills, there are a lot of cool shops and things to do near the beach cities, a lot of cool places to eat.
Post # 5
Well, the weather is great and you’ll never run out of things to do. But you need a car. This is not a walking town. Depending on where your husband’s job will be (do you know which part of LA the job he is applying to is located?), the areas around it could be great or could be sketchy. There are Metrolink trains you can take, but having a car is just the easiest thing to do. My commute to work is about 12 miles, and I avoid the freeway and take sidestreets…it takes me 30-40 minutes. When I lived in another part of LA, going against traffic, it took me 20 minutes to go 12 miles. Thats a really good commute for LA.
But honestly, its fun. There are so many things to see and activities to do. You’ll see a lot of the self absorbed/plastic surgery people in Hollywood, but it comes with the territory. But not everyone is like that. There are plenty of normal people in LA.
Post # 6
His job would be at UCLA. I want a job where I can teach at a small liberal arts college. It looks like the schools there that would be available for me to teach at are Pomona College, Occidental College, Whittier, and maybe Pepperdine (although it seems kind of far). So I don’t know, is it possible that I could teach at one of those schools and he could be at UCLA? Is there somewhere we could live in between that wouldn’t be such a terrible commute for either of us?
Any other liberal arts colleges I’m overlooking in the LA area?
Post # 7
I’m not too familiar with those other schools, but I went to Pepperdine for undergrad. With him at UCLA, I would say your best bet would be to live in Santa Monica/Brentwood. It would probably be a 30 minute commute for you, but you would be going “against traffic” (even though there is always traffic everywhere). And PCH is usually less traffic-y that the other highways, except during the summer when tourists are flocking to the beach.
I’m actually hoping to move away from LA when we are done with grad school solely because I can’t stand the traffic and bad drivers. :-/
Post # 8
@amariem25: Pomona is the furthest from UCLA of those schools. I wouldn’t want to do that commute…Whittier is the 2nd furthest, but really not that close to UCLA either. Pepperdine/Occidental are the closest to UCLA of those schools….Occidental is smack dab in the middle of LA and UCLA is on the westside….driving to the westside is a nightmare in general, unless you’re already on the westside. Pepperdine is certainly a viable option if youre in the Santa Monica/Brentwood area. Its just a pricey area.
Post # 9
@amariem25: I went to Pomona. 🙂 There’s also Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Scripps, and Harvey Mudd (though HMC is engineering-focused) on adjacent campuses to Pomona, in Claremont. There’s some other smaller liberal arts schools in the area as well – the DIII SCIAC conference includes Cal Lutheran and University of La Verne as well, though all I know about those schools is that we played them in sports.
If you’re teaching would you be able to commute in off-hours? Rush hour in LA is pretty long, but there’s going to be a big difference in how long it takes to get from Claremont to UCLA, say, at 8 AM and at 11 AM. Also, from my experience at Pomona as well as a bunch of friends who’ve gone to grad school in LA, the academic circles tend to keep as far from the super appearance-focused circles as they do everywhere else.
Post # 10
Like any big city, L.A. does have its share of “traffic, pollution, and self-absorbed people who care about things like plastic surgery.” But you also have year round mild climate, beaches, mountains, an abundance of cultural attractions, and a diversity of people from all backgrounds! And yes, there is public transporation and you can walk in your own neighboord-but it depends where you live. Do some more research and come out to visit!
Post # 11
Post # 12
@besitos10210:Love! I’m a fourth-generation Angeleno and I that made me homesick. I’ll be in LA in a few weeks and can’t wait.
That being said, OP, even though I spent my entire life in LA, I find it really hard to define to newcomers. It’s…indescribable. Impossible to sum up in a single article obviously. Just research your neighborhoods carefully. Even though it’s a diverse city, people tend to cluster with according to ethnicity (i.e Koreatown, Chinatown, Fairfax District) I really wouldn’t rely on any public transportation. It’s better than it used to be, but without a car you’re pretty limited. Your husband is not correct either: the bus system is not great. In fact, it pretty much sucks. You would not feel very safe on a bus there. A train maybe. But it’s really kind of a sketchy crowd. If you don’t have a car in LA you are considered really poor (it may not be true but that’s what people think).
And unlike New York, this is a city that definitely sleeps. There are no all-night trains or buses. Restaurants and bars close down early, compared to NY. And really, nobody walks in LA.
But you will definitely have fun. The weather really is spectacular. Once my boyfriend at the time (a New Yorker) once commented that they really don’t need to do weather reports in LA. Kind of true. lol You have mountains, hiking, beaches, desert all in your backyard. An it is definitely an Industry town and that makes life interesting too. You never know who will be next to you in yoga class or at a restaurant:)
I could go on and on. Google research and educate yourself. Have a good time and good luck:)
Post # 13
If he will be working at UCLA then I suggest you look for a job at Pepperdine. Have you also looked into Layola Marymount? Both schools are on the westside and you could live in any of these cities and commute fairly easily to both campuses:
Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, West LA, Culver City
You need a car but there are nice little walking areas within communities (downtown Culver City, Main St and Promenade in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Abbot Kinney in Venice)
There is so much to do! Snowboarding, the beach, hiking, museums, shopping, any kind of food you can imagine, industry type stuff etc..
There are certainly self absorbed people here but it’s a big city so that is only one group of people. There are plenty of normal every day people like you that live here too. People do tend keep more fit than other cities though.
Post # 14
L.A. is overcrowded, if I didn’t have a lot of family here, I would move away. If he works at UCLA, then you should work at Pepperdine, it’s right up PCH. You will need to drive, but I think there is a bus that goes up PCH to Pepperdine. You guys can live in the Santa Monica area, which is nice but pricey.
Post # 15
I love living here. And I don’t have a car! The trick is to pick your neighborhood very carefully. I live in a place where I can bike to school, walk to the supermarket, the drug store, the gym, the movie theater, and lots of restaurants. I know a lot of people here who “picked wrong” and they spend their whole lives in their cars. That’s not my cup of tea. The bus system can be great here, but again, you have to pick where you live very carefully. I live in the right place, and I bus constantly and successfully!
I’m also a bit concerned about the list of colleges you want to work for. I work in academia too, and that’s a very short list. If your field’s anything like mine, it’s very unlikely that you’ll get hired by one of such a small number of colleges. Not many jobs right now, you know? I’d check out the local community colleges as well – they’re top notch, and I know lots of people who have had luck getting hired there.
Post # 16
So, you can kind of get away with the whole walking places thing if you lived in Santa Monica, which would be great for a UCLA job. You would both need cars, though (unless your husband wants to take the bus, which could work but I don’t recommend). I agree that Pepperdine and Occi are your best bet – Pomona and Whittier would be way too far. You may also want to check out Santa Monica City College as I have a feeling that teaching jobs at any of those school would be hard to come by right off the bat.
Santa Monica and the surrounding cities are super fun for those in their 20s and 30s with lots of bars, the beach, etc. I live in South Pasadena which is more on the east side, and it’s just suburban enough to be able to walk places and not be too overwhelmed by traffic. It may be too far to commute to UCLA though. At any rate, I hated LA when I first moved here (I’m from San Diego and lived in Santa Barbara) but it definitely grows on you once you figure out all of the fun stuff to do.