It has now been three years since I made the trek out west and settled into Los Angeles. More than 1000 days later, looking back, I could not be happier with my choice.
Once the initial adjustment period passes, and you get into a grove, certain things just become the norm for you.
While this is all part of building a life for yourself, I’ve listed a couple of things (while trying not to judge myself) that I’ve noticed I just don’t do anymore since I became a resident in the city of angels.
Some habits die hard, others melt away into the SoCal sunshine.
1. Take Public Transit
After living in NYC and Chicago, where public transit was essentially the life line of the city, having to rely less on public transit and more on my own vehicle became somewhat of shock when I moved here. That’s not to say that the L.A. Metro isn’t it’s own force to be reckoned with, now that the Expo line has expanded. But the truth is if we are keeping score, I can count the number of times I have taken the L.A.’s public transit on one hand.
2. Use a Taxi
Running on the same thought line, taxis are pretty much obsolete in Los Angeles. Uber and Lyft are alive and well here and by far more financially reasonable and accessible than taxis. It is always great when I have friends come to visit and have to explain to them NOT to take a taxi from the airport/get to sign them up and earn a free ride.
3. Eat at Chain Mexican restaurants
Listen, both chains are deliciously awful for you—and as someone who lives around the corner from a Taco Bell, the struggle is VERY real. But when it comes down to it, if you put a Taco Bell or Del Taco next to a Guerrilla Tacos or Mexicali or Guisados or even King Taco… well, the decision isn’t even close. It seems that living here, for better or worse, is turning me into a true taco snob.
4. Get Starstruck
In all honesty, I hardly ever see celebrities unless the occasion calls for it. Even when I did get the chance to walk on the same sidewalk as an A/B-list star, the moment passes so quickly that you only revel in it post encounter. Not to say it is not cool or anything, but it’s something that quickly loses it’s charm.
5. Date the L.A. Stereotypes
Many people come out here to follow their hearts and dreams, and that in itself is totally respectable. You will find however, that the L.A. dating pool tends to be filled with the “wannabes” who think that just because they are out here/good looking that life will magically work out for them. If that is your thing, cool. If not, try to go after those dream chasers who are realistic and know the struggle of making it out here.
6. Worry About the Weather
Living in L.A. has afforded me the luxury of being able to check my weather app and know exactly what to expect when I go outside. L.A. weather rarely has any surprises, such as snow. This makes dressing for and planning out my days less stressful.
Seriously, it has been months and I have moved on from thinking about you. Do not think that just because you show up every now and then and remind me of happiness we once shared that everything is cool between us. Not cool, rain, not cool.
7. Get Angry at Traffic and/or Parking
No matter what, you will always run into traffic or parking issues in Los Angeles. There is no need to induce a heart attack over it. I’ve learned that by using Waze or just general planning before heading out, seeing bumper to bumper doesn’t make me see red…at least not that bad. Even some of the most outrageous parking signs here usually just induce a laugh. Getting angry from L.A. drivers, however, is a different story.
8. Read Too Much Into Networking
L.A. has a very “who do you know” vibe. It always feels like starting a conversation with someone can only go as far as what you can do for them. While that totally blows, I’ve come to realize that it’s best to take things at face value. Resorting to networking mode when meeting people is a natural thing here, and if whoever you are talking to is generally interested in learning more about you, your brief mention of working on the newest blockbuster will not even matter.
Are you a transplant who moved to L.A. in the past few years? What habits have you picked up or lost along the way?