Los Angeles in a Few Words

By Thomas Pintaric (Pintaric) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Big. I’d use “very very big” but that would be three words. The thing is, the place is so huge that it takes a car, speeding non stop at 60mph, one-and-a-half hours to travel from one end to the other. It’s so huge that it, for all practical purposes, encompasses two entire counties. That’s big.

If you were to describe Los Angeles in one word, what would it be?

Complex
Lois Arkin
Administrator, Los Angeles EcoVillage

Overcrowded
Rick Levine
Photographer, Network Administrator

Extraordinary
Leon A. Risemberg
Structural Engineer, Professor

Vast
Beth Herzhaft
Photographer

Big. I’d use “very very big” but that would be three words. The thing is, the place is so huge that it takes a car, speeding non stop at 60mph, one-and-a-half hours to travel from one end to the other. It’s so huge that it, for all practical purposes, encompasses two entire counties. That’s big.
Stephanie Morey
Corporate Trainer

Awesome
Ellen Collins
Musician, teacher

If someone told you they were moving to Los Angeles, what advice would you give them?

1. Live close enough to your work, basic shopping and restaurants to walk, bicycle or use easy public transit
2. Select your living location such that you can live without owning a car, close enough to a rental car business that you can easily rent one when you need it.
3. Survey people in the neighborhood you plan to live in to enhance your chances of creating a healthy social life in your neighborhood.
4. Keep your housing space to under 500 square feet per person.
5. Ask yourself, “Why am I moving here?” and make sure you have spent enough time here to know it is the right move for you
Lois Arkin

Don’t
Rick Levine

It is the best place in the world to live
Leon A. Risemberg

I hope you are in the entertainment business, as that seems to be the only “legitimate” reason to move here…
Or, if the above doesn’t qualify as advice, how about: Watch out for the parking enforcement…
Or, how about: I hope you have a good stereo in your car….
Beth Herzhaft

1. The city is vast and varied. Visit the part of the city you intend to live. Talk to the locals about their neighborhood.
2. It takes longer to get to know Los Angeles than practically any other city. Give it twice as long as anywhere else.
Stephanie Morey

Live close to work
Ellen Collins

If a tourist had one hour to spend in Los Angeles, what one thing would you tell them to see?

1. If from LAX, I would have them board the trams to visit all the parking lots with a knowledgeable tour guide about auto use in LA. They would barely be able to do in an hour. I would urge them to avoid driving in LA, and ask them to discourage others who visit or live here to avoid driving, and explain why.
2. If from Union Station, a walk through Olvera Street and Chinatown to get a sense of history of our city, and who really built it, and a quick tour of Union Station to help them realize how important transit is to our future and where the local trains come and go to.
3. If by Greyhound to the Hollywood Station on a Sunday, a walk to the Hollywood Farmers Market to get a sense of the potential of our city.
4. If by bicycle (we have a group of people visiting LA by bicycle this week), then to L.A. Eco-Village to help them realize how much good support and respect there is for their chosen mode of transit.
Lois Arkin

San Diego
Rick Levine

Westwood and the UCLA campus (I assume they would arrive at LAX)
Leon A. Risemberg

Either historic downtown or the beach around Malibu
Beth Herzhaft

Option 1: Give tourists what they want. Take them to the Bay Watch beach.
Option 2: Overview: A drive (with many stops) on Mulholland Drive.
Option 3: A tour of the cultural city center: Between downtown and Beverly Hills.
Option 4: A tour of the stated city center: Downtown and its environs.
Stephanie Morey

La Brea Tarpits
Ellen Collins

What’s the best thing about Los Angeles?

Its diversity in all things: people, places, recreation and entertainment, academia, art, neighborhoods, ecosystems.
Lois Arkin

Diversity
Rick Levine

Diversity of people
Leon A. Risemberg

Space (physical)
Beth Herzhaft

Its diversity. Culturally, everyone is an immigrant in this ever changing demography–even the natives. As a result, you have to continually update your sense of perspective or risk falling behind.
Stephanie Morey

Diversity
Ellen Collins

What’s the worst thing about Los Angeles?

The number of cars and the exploitation of peoples’ fears, the pollution.
Lois Arkin

Traffic
Rick Levine

The diversity includes gangs
Leon A. Risemberg

Lack of personal connection
Beth Herzhaft

Its size. The traffic and endless expanses of concrete, which, once outside the city’s 15km core, can become a study in sameness, can wear on your senses if you don’t know where you are going. Did I say “culture” before? L.A. sprawls like mold in a petrie dish.
Stephanie Morey

Traffic
Ellen Collins

If you had the opportunity to move, would you? And if so, where would you go?

No!
Lois Arkin

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Rick Levine

Under no circumstances would I move somewhere else
Leon A. Risemberg

Canada, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, if I could find a creative supportive group of people, and a way to live there legally and comfortably
Beth Herzhaft

I might–maybe. If so there are only five places in the world I would consider (in no particular order): Paris, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, somewhere in Italy.
Stephanie Morey

Not now. I’ll retire in San Diego. With its current rate of growth, it’ll be pretty similar to L.A. soon enough….
Ellen Collins

About Contributing

Once upon a time, environmentalists lived in the forests, while the many of the rest of us moved the suburbs to be near the forests. Today we’re on our way back. Living near nature is an attractive notion, but many who tried it found nature soon vanished and they were left isolated. For both environmental and social reasons, living in the suburbs or the forest is not sustainable. Today we know cities are good for people and for forests. We know that the less land each of us occupies, the more space there will be for nature. In a city, we have a smaller footprint. Living in a city isn’t only good for the planet, it’s good for all of us. When home, work, shopping end entertainment are close, it encourages walking and promotes the active lifestyle that keeps us healthy. The New Colonist is about moving in from the suburbs, moving into and reclaiming towns and cities that have been depopulated, and building more housing in healthy cities. It’s about building smarter and closer-in new developments; building transit-oriented, mixed-use developments in new communities, and bringing more transportation options to communities where a car is presently the only option. Sustainable city living–chronicling the return from the suburban diaspora–is the focus of Newcolonist.com. …Move In. City Life is good for you. It’s good for the your health. It’s good for the planet. Eric Miller Richard Risemberg