Over my decade long tenure in Los Angeles there have been many questions I’ve asked myself about this city. Whether it’s deciding where to move, or who to date, or maybe just pondering the curiosities of the location of my favorite burger chain.
Below I’ve compiled the 9 questions I’ve asked myself most often, with the aim of hopefully clarifying some of the confusions you may have going about your everyday activities in and around our fair city. Or, at the least, perhaps it will simply provide you with a mildly entertaining distraction while on a respite at work.
In any case, enjoy the list and, as always, feel free to comment below with you own experience on these questions and any others you might want to add to the rundown.
Hope it’s helpful!
1. Can I park in that yellow zone?
You know the scenario. It’s 6:15pm on a Thursday, you’ve just gotten off work and are heading for that happy hour date in WeHo. You pull up to the restaurant, bank the corner and see a prime parking spot with your name written all over it, only the damn curb is painted yellow. The question looms, can you park there or not?
The truth is you can, BUT with a few caveats. Thankfully, the city has some handy videos you can watch which explain parking restrictions for each curb color out there. Make sure you give them a look so next time the above situation happens, you’re adequately prepared.
2. Could I live in L.A. without my car?
In some cases traffic may be so maddening that it causes us to ponder what an existence in L.A would be like without a car. Or maybe you’re someone considering a move out west from New York and just need to know whether you can get by without buying a new vehicle. But is living in L.A. without a car even possible…?
And that “but” may be pretty huge for some. Mitigating factors including your proximity to public transit options, your daily commute length, and your desire to explore all of Los Angeles and/or stay connected to certain social circles which may be beyond your public transit radius.
Make sure you look at all the angles before you make the ultimate decision to go car-free.
3. How do I make traffic more bearable?
Ok, so you’ve come to terms with the notion that fact you need to have a car the central issue is… “how do I make my commute suck less?”
I suggest employing at least one of 6 strategies for dealing with traffic, including choosing where you live wisely, knowing your commute backwards and forwards, and of course prepping your daily trek carefully by using handy apps like Waze.
4. When is the ‘big one’ going to hit?
We really only think about earthquakes right after they happen, but the notion of ‘the big one’ is a very real threat that we ought to be giving more consideration towards preparing for.
According to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast there is 67% that Los Angeles will be hit by a 6.7 or larger magnitude earthquake in the next thirty years.
For some context and to get an idea of what kind of damage a 6.7 could do, read up on how the Richter Scale is actually measured.
Also, just to be safe, I strongly suggest you check your current emergency kit at home to make sure you’re properly prepared for an earthquake to hit.
5. What’s an ‘El Nino’ anyway?
To many ‘El Nino’ is just a phrase identified with some torrential downpours that seem to happen in California every few years or so. But do you really even know what the phenomena is all about?
Well to start, here’s the Google definition:
“An irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes affecting the equatorial Pacific region and beyond every few years, characterized by the appearance of unusually warm, nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador, typically in late December.”
More specifically, the change in water temperature (as heavily influenced by changing trade winds) causes some major rain storms to flood many parts of South America and the southwestern United States.
Want a longer, more detailed explanation? Check out this meteorologist’s take on El Nino via YouTube below.
6. Why isn’t there an In N Out in downtown?
How is it that the signature burger chain of southern California, the #1 Zagat rated burger in L.A., and the proprietor of the most famous ‘secret menu’ in existence doesn’t have a location in heart of downtown?
Well, it has everything to do with In N Out’s trademark drive-thru, which they would want, and it doesn’t seem like the city has any interest in granting them. And with good cause, I suppose. Can you imagine a 30 car line trailing out of an In N Out drive-thru in the heart of DTLA? Me neither.
For more information and a bit of background check out this great piece on the issue by the DTLA Rising Blog.
7. What can I do about my loud-ass neighbor?
Does the shaggy haired dude downstairs enjoy jamming on his guitar at 2am or blasting mariachi music? Maybe there’s a loud dog next door that barks 24/7. Or some kids who pop off illegal fireworks every Sunday?
For instances like this LAPD refers you to their non-emergency hotline at (877) 275-5273
In fact there is whole page on the LAPD website with information on where to refer your complaints depending on the situation, whether it’s barking dogs, construction related noise, or even car alarms. So if there’s an issue you can’t resolve on your own by knocking on your neighbor’s door and having a civil conversation, then this web page is probably your next step.
8. How far is too far to date someone in L.A.?
Now keep in mind I’m not talking about established relationships here, but rather the potential budding romance.
Imagine the scenario of when you first start dating someone. It’s supposed to be fun, not an inconvenience (actually, this is true for the entire lifespan of a relationship, but I digress), and there is nothing that creates an inconvenience faster in L.A. than distance. And of course by distance, we mean really traffic.
In my experience, if you’re over 15 miles away, you’re really going to be hating life trying to figure out things to do and places to meet that can accommodate both parties without being annoyingly far.
15 Miles can sometimes mean over an hour of drive time in L.A. depending on whether you’re coming from, but if you’re willing to both go halfway you can usually find something in the middle in about half the time. However, if you’re looking at more like a 20-25 mile gap, then we’re talking about having to either a) carefully plan and restrict any meet-ups or b) slog through many miles of traffic at peak rush hour times.
Is he/she really worth? Hard to say after only a date or two.
If at all possible, I’d always recommend trying to date someone within your ‘romance radius’ to avoid the headaches, but of course sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants… and who am I to judge? 🙂
9. How much would it cost to rent my own place in L.A.?
According to rentjungle.com the average one-bedroom rental price for an apartment within 10 miles of Los Angeles, CA (downtown) is $1465, as of August 2014. And for a (very) rough idea of what you could expect to get in that price range, here’s a list compiled by CurbedLA.
Of course that’s not to say that you can’t find something less than the average price listed above. Many factors are going to come into play, including what area you need to live in, your income level, and your overall amenity requirements (laundry, A/C, parking, etc…).
Whatever your situation, keep in mind the above number as a starting point of how much disposable income you ‘might need’ and then make sure to use all the apartment hunting tools at your disposal to make an educated, and informed decision about where to rent.
Have a question you ask yourself from time to time about Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!