I’ve looked around. I’ve asked questions. I’ve listened to many stories.
After hearing the umpteenth person complain about life in Los Angeles I have finally figured it out. There is one common denominator that determines WHY someone would hate Los Angeles.
People hate Los Angeles when they demand something specific from their experience here and they can’t figure out how to get it.
Most people come to Los Angeles hoping for all of their biggest dreams to come true. They figure that THE CITY will reward their bravery for moving here simply because they came.
Los Angeles isn’t some magic vortex where you cross over and all of a sudden all of your problems will be solved. They may call this LA LA Land but that doesn’t mean it’s a dream.
Some of the complaints I have heard are:
- This city doesn’t care about the homeless.
- There aren’t enough affordable housing in Los Angeles.
- This city doesn’t have enough free aftercare programs for children.
- There are too many earthquakes.
- The people here are so phony and materialistic.
- You can’t get a decent acting gig here.
- This city is expensive and overrated.
Did you notice how none of the reasons why people hate Los Angeles have anything to do with their actions and everything to do with what they want from others and most shockingly- mother nature?
You can’t control what other people value. You can’t control how people react to you, You can’t control what happens in your environment. You can’t control how others choose to live their lives. You can’t demand that someone take care of you. You can’t force prices to go down.
You can decide that you WANT to be happy in Los Angeles and then- be happy. Your happiness and contentment in any place should not be swayed by your environment. Contentment is a choice, it is not a result.
Every person that I have met who was angry about being in Los Angeles so desperately wanted to have a specific experience here that their desire negated the beauty of their current experiences. If you have that type of attitude you won’t be happy anywhere.
So yes, once you get here you will meet plenty of people who complain about Los Angeles but remember that they are all focusing on what they want from others, never mentioning what they are contributing themselves and they are probably generally unhappy people anyway.
You can have anything you want in any city you want it if you decide that you will create it for yourself instead of asking for permission or waiting for someone else to give it to you. If you want the homeless fed, feed the homeless. If you want free childcare, GIVE IT. If you want more acting gigs, create some.
Los Angeles is what it is and it is going to keep thriving whether you are here or not. You can join the circle by bringing value to the city and being a part of its progress or whine about Los Angeles not catering to your needs.
Sep 3, 2014 at 11:13 am
A recent Uber driver of mine said he hated LA because there doesn’t seem to be enough diversity/meshing between races and that people just don’t seem to help each other out or care about the next person. I’ve been here for only 6 months but from my experience, you’ve got to go out there and FIND those people. Find those communities… they are here! So many people are grinding here and so many people are willing to help in any small way they can.
The funny thing is, he’s been here for 12 years. Obviously something’s keeping him around!
— Krist | peachesbeachesandurbanistas.com
Sep 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm
I understand the point of this post; however, please note, each city has a vibe and I think most people are shocked to realize LA doesn’t have a great one. On TV it’s portrayed as easy-breezy, surfing, liberal and relaxed; in reality, its congested, negative, and anxious-ridden unless you’ve stumbled upon a mind altering substance. Yes, people are desperate for a particular experience, but I think sometimes they’re just wanting to feel welcomed. We expect New York to chew us up and spit us out, but not LA…so go easy on the LA Haters, they’re probably just dealing with the shocking disappointment that the city isn’t what they hoped for.
Nov 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm
Here, here 31potterprincess!! I dont agree on what this origional post had to say about outsiders. And I’m from Southern Cali., 30-40 min from the so called tough “city” L.A. Everything that I’ve read about others’ negative experiences I can totally relate. L.A’s just trying to compete with NY as far as being as tough and gritty but that doesnt fly when you lack of scenic views and culture. To me personally its full of arrogance, ignorance and lacks a lot of class. I can go on and on. Revolution?
Nov 4, 2014 at 10:59 am
origional? here here? yep youre def from SoCal you unlettered ignoramus, this is why I only hang out with transplants and avoid you “locals” like the plague.
Oct 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm
This article is ridiculous. You have obviously never lived in another city where quality of life–and common courtesy–actually exists.
Nov 18, 2014 at 10:46 am
Here, Here. Agree 100%
Jan 11, 2015 at 11:38 am
Here’s what I liked about LA: the weather, the things to do, the glamor, the beautiful surrounding areas and coastline, the many educational options at several universities, and most of all THE WEEKENDS when people are more relaxed and highways uncongested.
But overall, I found it unlivable with all the anxiety, high cost of living, crazy traffic, poverty, and crime–especially with all of the gangs, especially the Latino gangs. The gang activity and poverty is only increasing as people continue to flood in from Latin America. Parts of the LA Basin and San Fernando valley look like a Mad Max, post apocalyptic zombies-in-the-ghetto movie. In fact, I think overall quality of life in the LA area is rock bottom compared to other places I’ve lived.
Dec 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm
LA is gross. Most of the people there suck and are rude and the don’t care and will use you to get from point A to point B. Every Uber driver I had when I lived there warned me of what a shady sh*tty place it was and they were right. Sure, there are “cool” places to see and visit maybe, but living there is entirely different. The traffic is worse than anything you’ve heard. It’s dirty. Like really dirty. When you’re driving into LA you can seriously see the pollution and smog surrounding the city. It’s overcrowded. The rich areas might be nice to drive by (in the horrible traffic you can never take your attention off of) and are pretty, but you most likely won’t live in one because of how insanely expensive rent is unless you want to share an apartment with 5 people or something. LA is a rough bitch.
Sep 11, 2017 at 9:02 am
Katie, I agree 100℅ with everything you said, in your whole paragragh!
Aug 5, 2015 at 8:44 am
If you think LA lacks culturea isn’t as advertised on TV, take a quick drive down to OC
Aug 16, 2015 at 7:28 pm
The number one reason (and there are many) LA sucks is the desperate delusion by oh- so-smug Angelenos that LA is not the hell most others recognize it to be. That people who complain are just morons or are from San Francisco. Folks from SF may be stuck up about their city compared to LA. But they can be stuck-up and right, too.
But here are a few reasons why LA in particular, but even SoCal in general, is full of it. And this has nothing to do with ruined expectations or whatever nonsense this article is trying to peddle. It is just revealing the lies Los Angeles tells itself.
#1 The food/restaurants: One of the greatest chestnuts from delusional fools is “There is such a variety of food here. And just as good as in NYC.”
Lie. Yes, there may be 5 Armenian, for example, restaurants here in LA for every 1 in NYC or Chicago. But those fewer restaurants in NYC or SF are incomparably better, and just as inexpensive, as the junk in LA. It’s almost as if all the people who couldn’t cook from Ethiopia, India, China, wherever, came to LA because they knew they could get away with serving trash. The rest went to the other cities. I mean, the fish (the fish!) even sucks here — at a city on the Pacific coast. So, yeah, there’s variety, 1001 varieties of horrible food at way too high a price. Anyone who has dined elsewhere and compares LA favorably deserves an Oscar for best actor. HelI, I’ve had better seafood in the middle of Colorado. Now, it is not too demanding for one of the nation’s biggest cities to have food that is comparable in quality and quantity to other big cities such as SF, NYC and Chicago. LA fails and fails miserably.
#2 The false liberalism: There are plenty of limousine liberals everywhere, but LA is ground zero. A few (admittedly important, some less than others) social issues, such as gay rights, are bandied about as an example, by both fans and detractors, as examples of LA’s progressive values.
Lie. Yes, some of these issues are near and dear to folks in LA, but when it comes to the centerpiece of any true progressive, economic rights and justice, those folks smiling about the gay billboards in West Hollywood drop like flies. When it comes to neoliberal economics, LA is as anti-populist as it gets. Ben Stein is probably a great example of a true Angeleno. He should be the poster boy. The Occupy Wall Street types never did quite target LA like Wall Street or DC. Missed the third part of that hideous triangle.
This leads me into my favorite delusion,
3: LA (and southern Californians in general) are just always ahead of the curve compared the rest of the country on all kinds of issues.
True! But that is only because Southern Californians are the first to screw everything up due to their greed, arrogance, and gluttony. Look at environmental issues, for example.
So Cal has led the way in alternative fuels and water conservation. Yes, because they were forced to do so after making the area a toilet and stealing other peoples’ water for decades. And then these clods pat themselves on the back for being “socially conscious”. Only after they have brought everything to near disaster.
What is sad about the rest of the US is that, due to the influence of the entertainment industry, many people, rich and poor, follow LA’s example, often for the worst. People say NYC is America’s city, but they are wrong. LA is the trendsetter. And that is especially sad because,
Your main product, the entertainment industry, should be put out of its misery (or is it should put us out of our misery). But people will still pay to watch Batman 12 or whatever junk LA puts out. It’s not like living in Huxley’s Brave New World; it IS Huxley’s Brave New World. This is as much an indictment of the rest of the US as LA. But LA is the provider. And while NYC has Wall Street, there are other things in the city to make up for that center of greed and exploitation. All of LA is permeated by Hollywood and its delusional drugs. Even the “seedier” east side. People here wear their vanity, greed, botox as badges as if to say, “Yes, we’re vain and trinket obsessed, but so is everyone else; at least we’re honest about it.” The charm of that wears off after a week or two. And Wall Street still serves some purpose, even if it is in need of a good kick in the jaw.
I could go on about the filth (but that should come as no surprise to anyone), the price of renting and of living in general (and people love to compare all of LA to Manhattan. No, compare all of LA to the 5 boroughs and then try pass LA off as cheaper), the, umm, subways, but complaints about these can be fairly blamed on someone’s own lack of preparation in moving here.
Can I say the same about other cities? To a degree, but not to the same degree as La-la land, the land of fruits and nuts. And some (the food, for example), are really unique to LA.
And, yes, I have my own damaged dreams, but those have nothing to do with my utter contempt for this place. I’ve had other broken dreams in other cities but found other aspects that were always positive. Here, I can say two things:
1. You get relatively fresh produce year round due to the climate. That is something LA and SoCal have over most of the rest of the US.
2. If you like 9 months of summer, then for most (not me, but I’m weird that way) this is kind of a paradise. And you can probably really enjoy the climate if you are rich.
Doesn’t make up for the rest, though.
So, move out if you hate it so much, right? I am. As soon as possible. I have been in LA but thankfully never of LA. And I tried. I really did. But it’s as nasty a place as their is.
But at least you can always say LA is not Detroit. Or Camden. And I hear Chicago has got pretty bad, too. That’s saying something.
Dec 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm
I have to respectfully disagree. LA has a lot of unfriendly, self-absorbed people. I lived in New Jersey, Colorado, Vermont and other places and met a lot of decent nice people there. I lived in LA for around fifteen years, in various suburbs (around Pasadena) and also in the Miracle Mile area, and it was very rare to find anyone who was both nice and interesting. I also worked in Santa Monica and attended classes at SMC and at UCLA. This author seems to be of the opinion that enjoying LA depends on your attitude, and that if you can’t be happy in LA, you can’t be happy anywhere. This is not true at all, in my opinion.
LA has a unique culture that I haven’t seen anywhere else and it’s not a particularly nice culture. I think there are three roots of this culture: one, the type of people that move to LA are the type of people who leave their parents and families behind, and hence consider superficial things to be more important than the communities and families they left (especially since many people generally move to LA under no economic pressure). I think this pattern is more prevalent in LA than in other large cities like Chicago or New York, where people generally have parents or grandparents nearby. The second problem is that I have a suspicion that LA attracts the type of people who want other people to be jealous of them, over the people who move to Seattle or Chicago or somewhere else. Thirdly, LA attracts people who want to be famous because of the TV and film industry there. As a result, you have a bunch of people who consider their interests and talents to be secondary to their real motivation, becoming famous. As a result, you have a group of flaky, capricious people, who have no real interests besides promoting themselves, and who do not consider their social ties to their parents, families to be important, and their interest in anything in particular is fleeting and dependent on what they think is popular at the moment.
I’ve reached that conclusion after living in LA for a long time, and seeing people behave in extremely sociopathic ways that I haven’t observed anywhere else. In general, people from LA are more likely to scowl at you than to say hi to you, are extremely cliquey, are quite dull and boring, and are also paranoid, and more likely to call the police on you if your car stalls in front of their house than to go outside and see if you need help. As a city, they have done close to nothing to help their large homeless population, the TV and movies they produce are quite stupid, and there aren’t many other industries or opportunities at all, or creative or exciting things happening, besides making those poor quality and mind-numbing media that they excel at.
Of course, there are some nice people in LA and I’ve seen some people do nice things, but this is an exception to the rule in LA, where people are flaky, have no sense of social responsibility, and are indeed superficial and boring.
Contrary to this author’s opinion, I would strongly advise people who don’t feel at home in LA, or feel mistreated by LA, to find another place to live where there are nicer and more considerate people.
Sep 11, 2017 at 9:27 am
Hi Rick, Love what you had to say about LA, it is true and you are so right! I’m glad you shared this information!
Dec 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm
This post has some clout, but my 2 cents? I hate LA because of how horrendously polluted the air is! Everything else about the city is totally awesome in my personal opinion, but I moved to LA from the Midwest and very quickly relocated to San Francisco simply because there are so many LA nights where you can literally see greengray clouds of exhaust hanging in the sky. I lived in Mid-Wilshire, which is fairly central and dirtier than some other areas (really beautiful though despite the filth!), but from Pasadena to culver city to Santa Monica to mar vista to Venice to Hollywood the air felt toxic and I was scared to breathe outside. I know millions of people breathe it everyday, but I don’t buy that it is totally safe to live in an area with air quality that poor. I’ve spent time in most of the major US cities and found that the pollution was uniquely obnoxious in LA. Must be the heat and constant sun, causes chemical reactions that potentiate pollutant toxicity.
Aug 26, 2017 at 10:29 am
I am SO grateful there are so many mindful educated people above whom thoroughly covered the real real reality of LA aka Babylon. The idea that this writer; if you can call him that more a cult thinker, sets out to shove down humanity’s throat is exactly the mind of a pathological sociopath. Community doesn’t matter? Having basic fundamental needs which is in our human nature and blood at its core to need other people or bond with, to need to show kindness and love to each other, to need to find our tribe, to need a place in which we can breathe etc all this he dangerously claims is actually a very unhealthy way to think and live??? And the problem isn’t LA or any environment but the human bring itself?? What a sad narcissistic uneducated separatist self mutilating self masochistic self loathing human being he/she must be to have fallen for the Darwinism garbage of survival of the fittest and we’re not meant to be tribal, but only rely on ourselves and if people don’t succeed it’s their fault as no one should ever rely on each other. Lol really. You don’t rely on you’re rents when young to love you? You don’t rely on your friends to bond and laugh and have be there for you? You don’t lie on the restaurant to provide you food? You don’t rely on your landlord to provide a functional living home? You don’t rely on professors to teach you? God I cannot believe how deeply disturbed and dangerous and diseased this mentality has spread now for 50 plus years. Someone please get some deep help for this guy. Glad to see the rest didn’t deranged lunacy rant. We are living in a time of The Awakened Empaths Versus The Hypnotized Narcissists and I do hope more head over to the other side for humanity’s sake and we get back to all being one collective tribe as we once were many millennials ago.
May 23, 2019 at 9:25 am
From the time I’ve spent there on business trips, I’ve encountered strip malls, traffic, dumb people. Maybe I didn’t drive to the right places, but most cities don’t require you to spend an hour in traffic to get someplace interesting. San Diego, I like.
Jun 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm
Everywhere you go you’re gonna come across people from all walks of life . You can’t control other people’s actions so you can either put up or shut up . Of course if you’re blessed with wealth you’re life will be easy but if you’re resources are limited , well there’s not much you can do.
Sometimes you might be fortunate to find a place to live where at least if your neighbors are nice and hospitable, then the rest becomes somewhat tolerable but so far my experience here in Los Angeles aka “city of angels” heh , ones I’ve come across seem more like fallen angels and demons.