5 Things That Happen When You Move to Los Angeles
Well, I've somehow officially been in L.A. for a year now. I *think* I like it here...even after the initial honeymoon period and the novel rush of seeing palm trees on a daily basis. If you're like most young-ish people in L.A., you moved here from somewhere else, whether it was for work, your entertainment industry dream, or just the weather/lifestyle. I didn't have a clear motivation, aside from the feeling that I liked it here, and already had some friends living here who loved it. Here are a handful of things that will almost definitely happen if you're moving here from pretty much any other U.S. state.
You will get a street cleaning ticket.
"Street cleaning" or "street sweeping" takes place on pretty much every street for a two-hour period one day a week. Never mind the fact that I've only actually seen the street being cleaned (or "swept") on one occasion. The parking situation in this city is so ridiculous, and being an over-populated, car-centric city, this is mainly a way for the city to make extra money on people who don't pay enough attention to the signs. I'm from a small town on the east coast, and I had never even heard of street cleaning. So naturally I got 3 tickets in the first two months out here! They are always upwards of $60, so you had better read every sign VERY carefully if you don't have lots of extra dollars to fling around.
You will meet (and become friendly with) people and still have no idea what they do.
At any party where there are an abundance of young 20- and 30-somethings, you'll naturally strike up conversation with people and exchange pleasantries about where you're from, what you do, how long you've lived here, etc. But in L.A., a common question is, "So do you work in the industry?" That means the entertainment industry. I didn't move here with my heart set on a job in "the industry," but a lot of people who move here do. And when you do begin talking about jobs, a typical conversation will go something like this:
"So what do you do here in L.A.?"
"Well I just wrapped for the season, I was working with the writing team for X hit show."
"Cool! So you're a writer?"
"Not exactly, I'm actually between projects right now...just connected with X important producer though, so that's exciting! We'll see what happens..."
OH, GOOD TALK! I don't know why it's so hard for people here to admit to struggle. We always come back and romanticize it ten years down the line; why not own it now and help each other out a little more? In L.A., there seems to be this flashy veneer of success that people feel pressured to live up to. More so than New York, where I get the sense that it's a little bit cooler to be a "hustler."
You will go to a juice bar and truly enjoy it.
This is a pretty big L.A. cliché that I've found to be true. Especially in the trendier parts like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, there are tons of juice bars everywhere that advertise "cold-pressed" juices that are fresh from the freaking vine. I kind of rolled my eyes at the "juicing" trend, but after a good hike (again, another very LA cliché)....a fancy lemon-kale-mint-açaí-you-name-it is actually very refreshing and feels well-deserved.
You will go on a hike and realize "Hiking is so fun!" and probably also "Whoa, her boobs are NOT real."
I use the word "hike" a bit loosely, as traversing a mildly sloping 2-mile loop here qualifies as a hike. But nonetheless, part of L.A.'s charm is being a truly sprawling urban metropolis while also having tons to offer in the way of outdoor adventures. The beach is never too far away, and neither are the mountains, no matter what part of L.A. you live in.
Like a lot of people who move here, I end up going to my closest neighborhood hiking spot pretty regularly. And that means going to Runyon Canyon. Oh, Runyon. How I love your convenience and your views of the city. The crowd that frequents you, not so much. To give you an idea: on a recent trip, I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said "I Heart Motorboating" (I have reason to believe she didn't mean the sport), a dog whose hair was shaved into a full-body mohawk, and a girl hiking in her underwear whose chest was certainly not a gift from Mother Nature. In any case, hiking is fun, I love the ease of getting outside and onto a good trail, and I only wish my favorite spot wasn't SO close to Hollywood.
You will see lots of celebrities (well, at least a few).
Being in the center of "the industry," as they say out here, means running into a lot of famous and semi-famous people on a fairly regular basis. This is somewhat exciting at first, but once you become a little more settled in Los Angeles, it loses its luster a tad (kind of like those palm trees). In the past year I've lived here, I've probably seen a dozen celebrities or more. Lauren Conrad walking into Target, Julia Roberts at a spa, Julianne Hough buying groceries, Kyle Richards at her boutique in Beverly Hills...you get the idea. "Guess who I saw today?" means something a little different in L.A. than in any other town.
That's all, folks.
I suppose I like living in Los Angeles. I'd be curious to see how fellow Hubpagers (is that a thing people say?) feel about it as well. As a born and bred East Coaster, I feel in my gut that I'll probably go back home after another couple of years. L.A. starts to feel like a remote fantasy land where there's not a lot to punctuate the passage of time. The weather is always the same, and no one seems to age, either.
But it's a special place where creativity reigns supreme, and if you know where to find them, genuine people really do exist.