A Welcome Guide for Anyone Moving to Los Angeles
I first moved to Los Angeles in 2007. Brendan and I moved to the Bay Area for a few years for work then moved back to LA in 2013. But when I first moved here from NYC, I was totally thrown off by the laidback vibe and driving everywhere. I compiled this list of things I wish I knew when I first got to Lalaland. I will admit that I’ve grown to love LA for all of its quirks and charms.
For anyone who’s thinking about or going to move to LA, here’s some things you should know.
1. You will get a parking ticket.
It’s a rite of passage. My first ticket involved accidentally parking on Wilshire Boulevard at 4pm when the parking lane is cleared for traffic. I had to take two buses to get my towed car and pay about $500 for the towing and ticket. I told Brendan I was flying back to NYC that night. I didn’t. Just know that this happens to everyone at least once.
2. Being two hours late to a party is normal.
The first time I hosted a party, I thought I had no friends. Everyone goes to parties late. Like really late.
3. Unless you live in Santa Monica, Venice, or any place that has Beach in its name (Long Beach), you will not be living near the beach.
People who don’t live in LA assume that I live by the beach. I live an hour away from the beach. People don’t realize that Los Angeles is a huge, sprawling city.
4. Add 20 minutes to whatever Google Maps tells you.
I was late to one of my first interviews in LA because I looked up the address on Google Maps and thought it wasn’t that long. Double the time. If you’re new, you’ll get lost and you need to find parking, which depending on the neighborhood can take just as long as driving there.
5. People are flaky and will cancel lunch/meeting/dog date with you.
To a former New Yorker, I was baffled by how many people just flake on lunches, brunches, meetings, and more. Just accept that it has nothing to do with you. I’ve been guilty of it too.
6. Traffic defies any explanations.
It can be Saturday at 2pm and the 101 is backed up. I don’t know why. There’s no accident. It’s the middle of a weekend afternoon. Nothing makes sense.
7. Enjoy reading all the funny vanity plates.
In one month alone, I’ve seen the license plates—YOLOXXX, MTVSTAR, and SWAGGER. There are some things you can’t unsee.
8. Here an editor is someone who edits movies.
In New York City, an editor either works at a magazine or book publishing company. Looking for job listings for editors will only lead you to movie production companies.
9. You will forget other seasons exist other than sun.
I still giggle when people in LA talk about winter here. It’s basically just cooler temps than the summer. The sun is still out. Maybe you need a light jacket. Maybe.
10. Avocados are so damn cheap here.
My friends, welcome to land of the avocados. Those babies used to be like gold bars in NYC. Now you can scoop them in your arms and eat them all the time on everything.