I had been doing work with a company in Los Angeles – Why not move here, right? I started off the new year in a new city, one filled with tons of new opportunities and lots of headaches too. To date, I still can’t figure out how people watch football at 10:00am local time? Just seems wrong…
In this post, we’ll explore the good and the bad with relocating to Los Angeles, CA.
Downtown Los Angeles
Let’s start with the good
If you can imagine it, you can probably find it here! Los Angeles is a major import hub for all the stuff we love from overseas. The ports are chock full of containers with strange Asian symbols on them (most likely storing my next TV or toaster); Everything is cheaper because you get it locally (not warehoused and shipped across the country). The area is a melting pot of Asians, Mexicans and “Other” (yep, Caucasians and African Americans are considered the minorities there). This mix of people makes for a lot of fun people watching.
The Downtown area has a beautiful skyline and lots great places to live. If you’re considering moving to Los Angeles, my advice would be to look at Downtown L.A., it is the transit hub for trains, light rail and busses – it makes using public transportation a great thing (and a bad thing explain little later).
One of the coolest areas in Downtown is the fashion district. It’s block after block of stores selling everything at [almost] cost. Granted, all of the merchandise came from those containers I mentioned earlier, but hell – if you’re looking for a nice, non-walmart throw rug for your living room, you’ll pay about 90% less than any retailer (oh, and you can haggle with them too).
Quick word on buying imported stuff...
If you buy electronics, don’t expect the user manual to be legible – you’ll need to brush up on your engrish.
Downton Los Angeles is home to the Staples center and
Nokia Microsoft Theatre, which is cool to see all the glitz and glamor that happens down there. After the third or fourth time dealing with the barrage of tourists and road closures, it gets old.
If you’re a Lakers or Kings fan, living downtown is where it’s at! Walking to/from the Staples center on game night is awesome! Sitting on your balcony, watching throngs of people rush to their cars to only sit in traffic is even better.
The not so good
Traffic really does suck – If you have any sort of anxiety in a car, this is NOT the place for you. I brought my car and only used it a handful of times. No matter if it’s 3 miles or 30 miles – it’s always at least 45 minutes to get somewhere.
Public transportation is a great choice if you’re your origination/destination is Downtown. You can [generally] get almost anywhere with only a few transfers. The not so good is the fact that if you’re not going to/from Downtown Los Angeles, public transportation becomes almost unusable as you have to transfer between lines/routes a lot more and the schedules turn it into a half-day excursion of trains, busses and headaches.
Finally, the worst and saddest thing about Downtown Los Angeles is the homeless. They are [literally] everywhere, on every street corner at every turn. If you’re sensitive to seeing a naked crack head singing Ba Ba Black Sheep, Los Angeles isn’t for you. I will admit, living in Downtown amongst the surrounding homeless wasn’t bad – in fact I felt quite safe. Downtown Los Angeles has roving patrols who keep the homeless in check and herd them back towards Skid Row – all buildings are controlled access.