So, time for some #realtalk. As a somewhat recent LA transplant, I'm all-too-familiar with the east to west coast culture shock. Here are some of my thoughts on the best and worst of Los Angeles living...
1) Weather. It is as good as they say. Don't believe me? Check this in December/January and prepare to have your mind blown.
2) The rental market--all this space just for me??? And from my experience/those I've spoken to compared to other cities (San Francisco, New York, etc) the process for finding/signing a lease is pretty painless and landlords are open to negotiation on lease term and rent.
3) Fresh local produce! I love that even in December, every Sunday there's a farmers market just a few blocks from my house (along Gretna Green/San Vicente for those Brentwood-bound). There are also markets in Westwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, etc. But even if you opt for supermarket produce, Californians are definitely spoiled with the quality/freshness of our fruits and vegatables.
4) The scenery. Whether you're driving to the (gasp!) Valley or heading to Malibu, the ocean and mountain views in LA are absolutely gorgeous and (almost) negate the misery of traffic. Within an hour (or even 15 minutes of campus!) are hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park, and Malibu that offer breathtaking views of the city and coast. Anytime I started to miss home/the traffic got me down, a 7-minute trip up San Vicente to Palisades Park (see below) quickly improved my mood.
5) The food. Taco Tuesday. Sugarfish. Pizzeria Mozza. The Apple Pan. Yo. Gurt. Land. So many delicious foods! Plus, I second everything Buzz had to say in his post about great places to eat in LA.
1) Traffic. It is as bad as they say. Be sure to give yourself extra time (add 10-15 mins. to the GPS) and load up your iPod with books on tape (say, for example, listening to The Startup of You during those long trips to-from Ikea), podcasts and music, and you'll be fine. You'll quickly learn which routes to avoid at certain times (i.e. eastbound on Wilshire/SMB between 4-7 pm, or just the 405, in life). And the views aren't half bad--just don't forget to factor in time for parking!
2) It seems like everyone you meet here works in The Industry. At happy hour, you'll gain more social capital by quoting Nikki Finke than you will by quoting the WSJ. So if you aren't shocked by what happened to Des on Monday, think that Coach Taylor works for the Giants, and don't know what a Lannister always pays, you might want to take some of your summer free time to do some "research" i.e. watch some serious TV.
4) It's kind of annoying that every day of the year the weather is sunny, gorgeous and +/- 10 degrees of 70.....Okay, sorry, I guess that was an MBA maneuver, listing a pro disguised as a con...but who hasn't used that trick in an interview? Yes, of course your greatest weakness is that you're a perfectionist and you're detail oriented to a fault!
The Ridiculously Good Looking
You may have thought I was referring to the celebrities/models/actors, but I was, of course, referring to the Anderson MBA's! Here's a few of us at a recent meetup on the beach...
But you could do worse than being neighbors with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Jake Gyllenhaal, and this guy (assuming, of course, you are willing to drive to Silverlake, where he lives):