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Ginrai
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I am thinking about moving to Los Angeles in the next few minutes. Can any LA-area MWers give me some tips? I work in tech, which I'd like to continue doing. Job market seems fairly solid going by craig's list postings. How's the local area? Any good parts of LA to live in? Is there a decent Japantown/Chinatown?

Thoughts?

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I lived in LA from 1980 (when I was 4) till 1995 and have visted back many times since moving to nor cal.

There are some nice parts in LA. It depends on what you mean by nice though. Like Bell-Air nice or Santa Monica Beach nice, or Topanga nice? I personally like topanga canyon, los flores canyon, and santa monica mountains because you get a little bit of nature even deer and such. City wise I like Venice, Culver City, Santa monica, and west LA.

There is a nice Little Tokyo in downtown LA which was not so nice for a long time but is becoming much nicer in recent years and there are some anime shops there that carry Macross stuff too.

There are plenty of tech jobs in LA for sure but I could not stand the traffic.

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Although ive never lived in LA id say living there with a pleasant experience depends on how deep your pockets are really... if you want a nice area by the beach its gonna cost an a$$load of money...

Aside from the posh areas and cool anime shops in little tokyo there's not much else that appeals to me there. I guess california in general is overated and the cost of living there outweighs the benefits IMO. But if you have the money more power to ya.

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I will add that I personally would reccommend the bay area in northern california over LA for tech people who are ready to go and move somewhre. There are tons of tech jobs in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, etc. etc. and some really gorgeous places to live. I know some people who live in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains and commute to silicon valley and are very happy. They live in a paradise environment, work in a cubicle and party wherever (Oakland, SF, Santa Cruz) and weekends up to napa (if you are into that sort of thing) are nice too.

However if you like the city life and want to be in LA, get off on traffic, dont mind fast pased coked out stress-cases who only care about money and fake boobs and like to go to exclusive clubs where you will party with movie stars then go for it. I have lots of friends there that love that kind of life. I dont mean to be offensive. I just personally like Northern California better and there are plenty of tech jobs up here. I know that the cost of living is high but I belive that it is worth it and if you are going to be doing tech stuff you will probably be getting compensated copiously.

Edited by miriya
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Born and raised in LA, Orange counties. I lived more years outside of it but LA is still home. Got love the fast pace. Even escalators move quicker.

Best thing are good places to eat. If you ever lived there you just get spoiled. I'm constant stated of being disappointed because things just can't compare.

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I grew up in the OC, and now live in the inland empire (which sucks but is only 15 minutes from Frank and Sons!). As far as living, L.A. is pretty ghetto. However, you can't beat the night life, food, and just the sheer amount of stuff to do. As far as the Japan/Chinatown, I guess it's comparable to any other place. If you can afford to live here, why not? Everyone wants to live in so cal.

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Born and raised in LA, Orange counties. I lived more years outside of it but LA is still home. Got love the fast pace. Even escalators move quicker.

Best thing are good places to eat. If you ever lived there you just get spoiled. I'm constant stated of being disappointed because things just can't compare.

LA is fast pace? i guess only few or none of you have lived in or visited Japan/Hong Kong before. I moved from Hong Kong to LA since 84 and the only thing that bugs me is indeed the traffic. The pace is alright and depends on your preference you can always goto the beach just to chill for a day. The only good place i found macross stuff at affordable price is Frank & Son in the city of Walnut. Little Tokyo has macross stuff too but they are way overpriced. On a side note, Little Tokyo has turned into quite a pleasant place to hang out as they have more restaurants and bars nowadays. At least i felt safe enough to walk on the streets at night over there. Good luck.

WindCloud

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I spent a year living in LA and really disliked it. It's a nice place to visit, but it's too spread out and getting places is a bitch because of traffic.

The truth is it's not a big city, just a bunch of small ones crammed together. On one hand it's cool because there's so much stuff, on the other hand it sucks because so spread out. Really it depends on what kind of city experience you want, I know lots of people who love the place.

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i've lived in OC most of my life and currently live just across the county line on the LA side. i love it, but i grew up here so i'm a little biased. as others have said, it depends on your priorities in life whether you'd enjoy it or not. heavy traffic and a pathetic excuse for public transit are a deal killer for many people, along with the high cost of living. but if you can live with traffic and high living costs there are a lot of positives. you just can't beat the weather. right now it's summer and outside it's a mild 76 degrees with low humidity. it rarely gets above the high 80s, and rarely below the mid 50s in winter. it's a city so it's fast paced, but no where near as fast paced as manhattan or tokyo. you can always skip work and take a lazy day off and relax at your favorite beach. there's lots of nightlife if you're into that, you don't HAVE to go to the elitest clubs that the celebs go to. there are plenty of clubs ranging from mainstream party clubs to eclectic artsy music clubs. little tokyo has declined compared to it's peak but seems to be on the rebound, and there are plenty of other places to get Japanese food and anime stuff as well. LA's chinatown is kinda weak compared to other big cities (esp san fran) but there are plenty of other asian (k-town is massive) and non-asian ethnic enclaves with great food. there's lots of bomb mexican food, you can't beat the taco trucks. if you're into nature the mountains are not far away either, you can snowboard and surf on the same day if you wanted to! the ghetto areas are pretty bad so it's crucial to pick the right part of town to live in. someone mentioned venice, santa monica, and culver city on the westside, those are all nice. cerritos/lakewood/bellflower is more down to earth, but not ghetto. then there's the nice suburban areas like palos verdes(expensive!), rowland/hacienda heights, OC. i personally like cerritos because it's not that rich and glitzy but has kind of a suburban niceness and is close to 3 major freeways. even with traffic, i can get to OC, downtown, long beach, LAX, or hollywood pretty quick.

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I'm a member of a gang so I'm ok to be here.

:lol::lol::lol: ..............yeah.............a ladies gang!!!

I'm just playin >EXO<.....you da man and we all know it.

:ph34r:

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Like others have said, it all depends on what you're looking for. If you want the urban/big city experience, LA doesn't cut it. Its far too large and sprawled out to really be considered a city and it doesn't compare to other metropolitan cities like Tokyo, Seoul, San Francisco or really any other large city you might think of. Job wise.... well, the LA/OC market doesn't pay as much as the SF/Bay Area market, depsite cost of living being pretty comparable. I have friends who work in some pretty big name tech companies and the jobs up here are more varied, faster paced and more numerous. That said, there are a few big name companies that have big campuses down there like Broadcom (irvine) and they're always hiring... though, i hate their corporate culture.

However, if it's the lifestyle you're looking for, LA/OC is hard to beat. You're within driving distance to skiing, surfing, hiking, off roading, hang gliding... anything you want to do or try, it's all right there at your finger tips. As others have mentioned, there are many different ethnic enclaves and they tend to blur into one another at their fringes and there are lots of great clubs and resturants to be found. The areas around the UCLA campus can be a lot of fun.

Driving in LA is a pain, old freeways, poorly laid out signs, multiple choke points... I hate driving in LA. The public bus system is unreliable at best so don't even think to consider that as a viable alternative. There is a mass rail system.. it's better than Beijing but nowhere near as useful as the BART up here in SF and it looks like Fischer Price: My First Subway compared to say, Seoul and Tokyo.

As other people have pointed out, a lot of the outlying cities offer a good taste of LA life without as much headache and since LA is a commuter city anyways, you won't really miss out by not living the middle of LA proper.

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LA is a collection of small city as everyone else has said.Yet it is also one of the few places in the world where you can go from the beach to snow covered mountains (in the winter) to desert and everything in between in a matter of hours.

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Yes, I'll agree that LA has its share of problems (including idiot drivers that can't drive worth of sh*t when it rains).

Also, the area's not as fast-paced as say a place like NYC, and most of the people that live here are aren't exactly know for being warm, friendly, or inviting.

But as the movie Swingers so rightly puts it, the weather here is generally pretty damn good. Yes, it can get hot. Yes, it can get a bit nippy and cold. But compared to other parts of the country, the So. Cal weather is pretty damn consistent and good. There's something to be said about seeing a full sun all year round.

Also, the variety of ethnic food around here is definitely up there. Maybe not the absolute best, but LA's definitely in the top five/top ten minimum.

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I lived in LA from 1980 (when I was 4) till 1995 and have visted back many times since moving to nor cal.

There are some nice parts in LA. It depends on what you mean by nice though. Like Bell-Air nice or Santa Monica Beach nice, or Topanga nice? I personally like topanga canyon, los flores canyon, and santa monica mountains because you get a little bit of nature even deer and such. City wise I like Venice, Culver City, Santa monica, and west LA.

There is a nice Little Tokyo in downtown LA which was not so nice for a long time but is becoming much nicer in recent years and there are some anime shops there that carry Macross stuff too.

There are plenty of tech jobs in LA for sure but I could not stand the traffic.

I mean like "not going to get shot" nice, not ritzy nice. I went down there a couple of weeks ago and stayed in Los Feliz which seemed like a perfectly nice little neighborhood. Nature is not really something I'm hankering for right now. I've been living next to Golden Gate Park and am sick of tree sap all over my car and rain.

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Although ive never lived in LA id say living there with a pleasant experience depends on how deep your pockets are really... if you want a nice area by the beach its gonna cost an a$$load of money...

Aside from the posh areas and cool anime shops in little tokyo there's not much else that appeals to me there. I guess california in general is overated and the cost of living there outweighs the benefits IMO. But if you have the money more power to ya.

I've been living in California since I was 14 and am not planning on leaving anytime soon. I've also been living in San Francisco which is expensive as hell, but whatever. I'm used to it. I'm not looking for like nice beachfront living, I just want to live in a city area where crackheads aren't falling over me when I leave my house in the morning and no one is going to shoot me. :)

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I will add that I personally would reccommend the bay area in northern california over LA for tech people who are ready to go and move somewhre. There are tons of tech jobs in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, etc. etc. and some really gorgeous places to live. I know some people who live in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains and commute to silicon valley and are very happy. They live in a paradise environment, work in a cubicle and party wherever (Oakland, SF, Santa Cruz) and weekends up to napa (if you are into that sort of thing) are nice too.

However if you like the city life and want to be in LA, get off on traffic, dont mind fast pased coked out stress-cases who only care about money and fake boobs and like to go to exclusive clubs where you will party with movie stars then go for it. I have lots of friends there that love that kind of life. I dont mean to be offensive. I just personally like Northern California better and there are plenty of tech jobs up here. I know that the cost of living is high but I belive that it is worth it and if you are going to be doing tech stuff you will probably be getting compensated copiously.

Yeah, I already live in San Francisco and I'm sick of it. I'm tired of the rain, tired of the snobby attitudes, and like I said, tired of living right next to Golden Gate Park, which while pretty, coats my car in slime and makes everything humid and annoying. It's too cold, too wet, and I miss summer. Also I have a BA in film and theoretically LA is the right place. I do love city life, and that's part of my issue with San Francisco. I'm kind of off in a corner of the city right by the ocean and detached from everything. I already commute from SF to San Jose daily. I'm non-plussed about the driving. I work in a cubicle already and that's fine. I'm more interested in hanging out with LA hipster kids with bad tattoos and ridiculous hair than movie stars.

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I spent a year living in LA and really disliked it. It's a nice place to visit, but it's too spread out and getting places is a bitch because of traffic.

The truth is it's not a big city, just a bunch of small ones crammed together. On one hand it's cool because there's so much stuff, on the other hand it sucks because so spread out. Really it depends on what kind of city experience you want, I know lots of people who love the place.

Well, the bay area is San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and a web of small ones crammed together.

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Well, the bay area is San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and a web of small ones crammed together.

eh.. it's still kinda different. SF is pretty distinct as is Oakland and Berkeley.. it's harder to find those sort of distinct identities in the LA area.

But anyways, check out culver city, santa monica, redondo beach, Pasadena. Those are pretty nice neighborhoods and on the nicer side but not too expensive.

If you don't mind commute, Pomona and the surrounding cities aren't too bad (parts of pomona can either be *very* nasty or pretty nice) and it's a little more affordable... It gets hot out there and there's horse farms around so when it rains, the whole area can smell like wet hay and horse piss.

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i've lived in OC most of my life and currently live just across the county line on the LA side. i love it, but i grew up here so i'm a little biased. as others have said, it depends on your priorities in life whether you'd enjoy it or not. heavy traffic and a pathetic excuse for public transit are a deal killer for many people, along with the high cost of living. but if you can live with traffic and high living costs there are a lot of positives.

Yeah, I already live like that in SF so I don't think it's a problem. I know SF has great public transportation, but I never use it.

you just can't beat the weather. right now it's summer and outside it's a mild 76 degrees with low humidity. it rarely gets above the high 80s, and rarely below the mid 50s in winter.

That was part of why I liked my vist there a couple of weeks ago. I am soooo sick of rain and fog.

it's a city so it's fast paced, but no where near as fast paced as manhattan or tokyo. you can always skip work and take a lazy day off and relax at your favorite beach. there's lots of nightlife if you're into that, you don't HAVE to go to the elitest clubs that the celebs go to. there are plenty of clubs ranging from mainstream party clubs to eclectic artsy music clubs.

I love nightlife but it's definitely the artsy/hipstery crowds I hang out in. I'm also a singer and playing shows is something I like to do.

little tokyo has declined compared to it's peak but seems to be on the rebound, and there are plenty of other places to get Japanese food and anime stuff as well. LA's chinatown is kinda weak compared to other big cities (esp san fran) but there are plenty of other asian (k-town is massive) and non-asian ethnic enclaves with great food.

I will probably miss SF's Chinatown, but Japantown in SF sucks. It's just a mall basically.

there's lots of bomb mexican food, you can't beat the taco trucks. if you're into nature the mountains are not far away either, you can snowboard and surf on the same day if you wanted to! the ghetto areas are pretty bad so it's crucial to pick the right part of town to live in. someone mentioned venice, santa monica, and culver city on the westside, those are all nice. cerritos/lakewood/bellflower is more down to earth, but not ghetto. then there's the nice suburban areas like palos verdes(expensive!), rowland/hacienda heights, OC. i personally like cerritos because it's not that rich and glitzy but has kind of a suburban niceness and is close to 3 major freeways. even with traffic, i can get to OC, downtown, long beach, LAX, or hollywood pretty quick.

My friend recommended to me like Silverlake and that sort of thing, mostly I want to be in the areas that are not super expensive not ritzy but have young artsy hipstery kids and are not way ghetto. Venice Beach was super nice but that's the kind of place I'd like to be able to drive to, not live in.

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Job wise.... well, the LA/OC market doesn't pay as much as the SF/Bay Area market, depsite cost of living being pretty comparable. I have friends who work in some pretty big name tech companies and the jobs up here are more varied, faster paced and more numerous. That said, there are a few big name companies that have big campuses down there like Broadcom (irvine) and they're always hiring... though, i hate their corporate culture.

Irvine is pretty far away from LA though, right? How much less do they pay? I'm not rolling in it, but I am getting ~50k a year, which isn't that much, but you know, whatever, I don't have a family to support or anything.

However, if it's the lifestyle you're looking for, LA/OC is hard to beat. You're within driving distance to skiing, surfing, hiking, off roading, hang gliding... anything you want to do or try, it's all right there at your finger tips. As others have mentioned, there are many different ethnic enclaves and they tend to blur into one another at their fringes and there are lots of great clubs and resturants to be found. The areas around the UCLA campus can be a lot of fun.

That all sounds relaly nice.

Driving in LA is a pain, old freeways, poorly laid out signs, multiple choke points... I hate driving in LA. The public bus system is unreliable at best so don't even think to consider that as a viable alternative. There is a mass rail system.. it's better than Beijing but nowhere near as useful as the BART up here in SF and it looks like Fischer Price: My First Subway compared to say, Seoul and Tokyo.

As other people have pointed out, a lot of the outlying cities offer a good taste of LA life without as much headache and since LA is a commuter city anyways, you won't really miss out by not living the middle of LA proper.

Like what outlying cities specifically? And I'd really rather live somewhere cool. Having to drive to the cool parts at night sucks. Commuting to work and back I don't mind, but I'd like to just wake up in a cool part of town instead of being way the hell out like I am in SF now.

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Also, the area's not as fast-paced as say a place like NYC, and most of the people that live here are aren't exactly know for being warm, friendly, or inviting.

nitely up there. Maybe not the absolute best, but LA's definitely in the top five/top ten minimum.

I'm kind of a cynical, sarcastic person, and I think part of my problem with SF is a personality conflict between me and most of the people who live here, so that might actually be a good thing for me.

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eh.. it's still kinda different. SF is pretty distinct as is Oakland and Berkeley.. it's harder to find those sort of distinct identities in the LA area.

But anyways, check out culver city, santa monica, redondo beach, Pasadena. Those are pretty nice neighborhoods and on the nicer side but not too expensive.

If you don't mind commute, Pomona and the surrounding cities aren't too bad (parts of pomona can either be *very* nasty or pretty nice) and it's a little more affordable... It gets hot out there and there's horse farms around so when it rains, the whole area can smell like wet hay and horse piss.

Well, okay, but what's the difference between Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto? You can hardly tell. I have no idea where Campbell ends and San Jose begins. It just sort of blurs together. Hell, even the barrier between Daly City and SF is kind of vague. SFSU is practically in Daly City. I don't mind commuting to work, but I don't want to commute for play. I want to be living in a cool place and drive a not cool place for work, like I already do living in SF and driving to SJ.

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Well, okay, but what's the difference between Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto? You can hardly tell. I have no idea where Campbell ends and San Jose begins. It just sort of blurs together. Hell, even the barrier between Daly City and SF is kind of vague. SFSU is practically in Daly City. I don't mind commuting to work, but I don't want to commute for play. I want to be living in a cool place and drive a not cool place for work, like I already do living in SF and driving to SJ.

Yeah, I agree about the more recent cities/communities in the Bay Area all blurring together. Sadly, the newer communities are even more of a blur, planned communities are all the rage now and the newer stuff up here looks and feels exactly the same as the bedroom communities in the OC.

Definitely look around Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica. Like I said, kinda pricey but nicer and they all have plenty of stuff to do. Eh.. i don't know if you're asian or into that scene, but if you are, rowland heights is popular... and around pomona, clarement and covina... basically, there's a cluster of colleges in that area so there's that whole college town thing... but it's kinda wonky since those schools were last important around the 70s... you know? so there'a really dated... berkeley-lite feel to those towns... which if you're into, is cool and all... if you're into it.

As for IT in OC... What type of IT work do you do? I can give you a better salary range. But let's say for level 1 tech support, you're looking around 35k a year, lvl 2 would be around 45~50k. Helpdesk is pathetic... like 10ish an hour. If you do any coding work or have real certs (like MCSE/cisco) or something, it's better but still doesn't compare to the bay area, imo.

I think one of the problems is that a lot of the tech offices down south cater to the business end of their corporate structure so a lot of companies like yahoo hire for maintanence type work and not for development type work. But like I said, there are some big campuses... broadcom (HATE) is down there, blizzard is down there... there's good work to found as long as you're qualified or know people.

Edited by eugimon
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"Artsy hipstery kids", that's screaming Silverlake, maybe Los Feliz areas.

My friend recommended to me like Silverlake and that sort of thing, mostly I want to be in the areas that are not super expensive not ritzy but have young artsy hipstery kids and are not way ghetto. Venice Beach was super nice but that's the kind of place I'd like to be able to drive to, not live in.
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If you've lived your whole life in Orange County, you're gonna have that home-town pride. Kinda like how I like Greensburg/Latrobe, even though this area's one big depressed crap hole.

So, I wanna hear from people who moved to LA, especially people who grew up away from the West Coast. And I want to know, what's the big deal about LA? (I could ask the same about New York, BTW). It seems like everyone decides they want to move to one of those two cities and make it big, and I just don't get why. They're both expensive, crowded cities where it seems like just about every TV show is set, as if those two cities alone represented the whole of America. To me, that just seems like more competition for jobs where you'll barely make enough money to pay rent on a one-bedroom apartment that costs more than a mortgage payment on a good house in a lot of other areas.

I mean, like I just said, the area where I live (western PA) is depressed, and there's not much in the way of jobs outside retail, so my wife and I have been thinking about moving. But LA and NY aren't even on my list. Personally, I've been looking into Columbus, Ohio, and my wife's pretty interested in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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