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los angeles is a dump: evidence presented in easy-to-read bullets!

April 22, 2016

I’ve said it before many times: LA is a piece of shit city that has a few nice spots and good weather that makes you trick yourself into thinking the whole place is nice.  But it isn’t and you’re just an idiot trying to convince yourself that you didn’t make poor life choices to end up in this god-forsaken desert of humanity.

Well, say this for me–say I always present both sides of an issue.

Pros

  • weather

  • culture
    • Lots of music, art, film, TV, comedy, theater, etc. is here.  I can’t deny it — there’s a lot to choose from.
  • women
    • Talk to friends from around the nation.  It’s not really in dispute that LA has some of the most beautiful women. (Stay tuned, though.  This one makes the cons list, too)

If you’re looking for “beach” on the list above, you’ll find it in the roughly half dozen other states that have better beaches than Los Angeles.  LA beaches are overcrowded, dirty, and have freezing water and zero parking.  I almost put it on the “con” list.

 

That’s right, kids, it’s not a long “pro” list.  Right before we do the cons, though, let’s do another quick list.

Things People Think are Pros but Actually Suck

  • beaches
  • “mountains” and “hiking”
    • In Los Angeles, “mountains” means dusty, barren, crowded hillsides with a view of something that might be pretty if there wasn’t so much smog in the way.  “Hiking” means walking up said hillside along a mild incline and taking a selfie at the top, the whole trip taking a total of 2 hours at most.
    • True, there are more reasonable mountains close enough to Los Angeles that I will talk about them here.  But, like the rest of LA, these too are run down and covered in garbage.
    • For those of you who are confused, this is what real mountains look like:  Click here and here and here and here and here and here and here.
  • sports
  • being better than everyone else because you live in a city that “matters”
    • OK, maybe this one should have been on the “pro” list
  • palm trees
    • As the current and eternal drought testifies, Los Angeles is in a naturally arid region.  So does it make sense to plant a bunch of non-native trees that require lots of water?  Maybe it does in LA logic, where perhaps the goal is to have plants as superficial as everything else.
  • the hollywood sign
    • Speaking of superficial, here we have the ultimate symbol of LA: a sign that is contrived, useless, and for some reason has everyone obsessed with it.

 

So to recap, except for “culture,” literally everything people think is good about living in LA either sucks or is better-enjoyed by leaving LA.  California on the whole has a lot to offer, but LA stinks.

 

With that, now we’re into the meat.

Cons

  • douchebags
    • LA is full of normal dudes but we also happen to have a higher share of douches than the rest of the country.

(whoops, those are just run-of-the-mill Dodger fans… actually… never mind)

  • women
    • A well-known fact about LA life is that whatever party or gathering you are at, if you are talking to a girl the amount of times she will look over your shoulder for a “better option” while pretending to listen to you is inversely proportional to 1) your looks, 2) your social status, 3) your money.  Yes, this is true everywhere, but it’s especially true here.
      • BTW, it works the same when it’s the other way around.  But since I’m not (always) flirting with guys, I don’t notice (as much).
    • Just look at the numbers and you know it sucks.  Los Angeles has one of the worst single man to woman ratios of any large city.  Here’s a map of places you should live instead.
  • overcrowding
    • More crowded than New York City in many parts.  But we live out west where there’s so much space, right?
  • infrastructure
    • Are water mains supposed to do this?

  • potholes
    • It used to blow my mind that there could be so many nice cars in a city so full of shit roads.  Like, didn’t the rich owners care that their cars are getting destroyed in the city of potholes?  Guess not. *

  • bums

  • graffiti
    • Look how they have to put barbed wire over the damn freeway signs to keep them from getting tagged.  Also, a nice shot of a private business having to do extra cleaning work just for the privilege of operating in this area (to add to the high cost of running a business due to the regulations, bureaucracy, and taxes).

  • garbage and litter
  • water
    • What water the city does have is terrible.  This reddit guy had it right regarding the tap water: you just get used to the “iridescent glow.”  Don’t worry, though, because it will all be gone in a year.  Wait, that story was written almost a year ago?  Son of a bitch.
      • Coming from the Pacific Northwest, the land of green, water, fertility… life, really, it boggles my mind that this many useless morons have moved to an arid region and decided it wasn’t arid but in fact a paradise.
  • corrupt politics
  • cost of living
    • Hmm, let me count the ways.  No one can afford a house and so the ones who want one are leaving.  This leaves LA with an interesting dynamic in which only the very rich are the new homeowners who maybe actually care about the city and the rest of the people are renters who are more likely to be apathetic (like me) towards anything that might improve the state of this place.
    • Instead of investing in houses, we invest in cars.  Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty of room for home improvements.  We pay an extra 2 1/2 g’s each year towards these wheeled money pits just because we live in Los Angeles.
    • Rapid fire: #8 in tax burden, #1 in highest poverty rates for a big city, and #8 nationwide in overall cost of living.  Now I’m sad.
  • hit-and-run accidents from all the godless citizens who drive here
  •  traffic
    • No need for lots of stats here, everyone knows this: shitty roads, too many cars, and insufficient efforts from our rulers to fix it.
    • It’s also most of the reason we’re #7 on the dirtiest cities list.
  •  parking
    • What’s better than having zero available parking in a city known for cars?  Having a government that uses gibberish laws to fund itself and screw the tax payers out of money for parking on the roads they pay for.  Plus, there’s a dickhead mayor who acts like he cares about the people and then does nothing to lower fees which fall disproportionately on poor people.
  • Lastly–and this is a minor complaint–these assholes are infuriating.  A restaurant that sells water.  No jokes necessary here because all of us are the joke.

 

I once thought of starting an Instagram account named, “LosAngelesOrTijuana” in which I would post pictures from news stories or a dumpy end of town or whatever and then play a game.  People would guess which city it was: one of the “coolest” cities in the most powerful nation in the world or a run-down border city in some random Third World country.  The winners would be everyone who didn’t live in either of these places and the losers are me and my depression.

I think the solution to all these problems with Los Angeles is something that really involves normal people.  A grassroots solution, if you will.  Something that would torch this place all the way down to the grass and its roots.

This is why when Day After Tomorrow came out, I’m pretty sure everyone in the theater saw the scene where LA gets destroyed by tornadoes and just went, “Ha. Good.”

 

 

 

* That’s because all the nice cars are owned by 3 types of people: 1) transplants who don’t plan on staying long term and thus don’t care, 2) poor people who “invest” in a car instead of a house because if you’re an American you better be overextending yourself and be in debt to some bank or you’re not doing it right, and 3) rich people who don’t care because they sell their really nice cars after a couple years to the first 2 groups and then buy a new one.

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8 Comments
  1. lasucks permalink

    Such a great article coming from a Mexican american, I suggest u visit areas like may wood and bell next to east los, (east LA) I’m pretty sure you’ll love it (sarcasm)

  2. Wayne permalink

    Tagged up road sign pic is in Florida

  3. Sarita permalink

    Joel,

    If you were living in LA, I hope you found your way out to a shinier, happier place with less cons. I’ve seen many people move to Los Angeles over the years…some love it and some hate it, there’s no denying it’s not for everybody.

    Beaches.
    If you go to the beach on a weekend during the height of summer, parking will be more limited. But if you reserve $10 to park, you should find a spot without a problem if you are familiar with the many many pay lots. In the winter, you can street park for free near many of the beaches without a problem, if you are willing to walk a block or two. If the water is too cold, fly to Hawaii for vacation…round trip flights out of LAX are the cheapest in the nation. Los Angeles county has 75 miles of beach, there are plenty of parking options if you know where to go (and there’s also the subway if you don’t want to deal) If you want a more private beach situation, just keep in mind you have to share the coast with the 10 million people in Los Angeles county, then add in tourists and the people driving in from local inland communities (that’s a whole lot of people).

    Hiking and the mountains.
    I’ve made the mistake of trying to hike a popular spot on a weekend in the middle of summer later in the day, and it can take a while to park and a crowded walk to the top. I’m not into selfies, but always enjoy taking a long moment to take in the vista of the sprawling city. There are plenty of hiking spots that aren’t as popular with the tourists all year long, you have to get off the beaten path and leave early in the morning. We can do our hike in 45 minutes to an hour. We always find parking all year round.

    Sports.
    There are a lot of teams here and a lot of games to choose from. Tickets can get cheap if you buy them way ahead of time or very last minute. Kings games can be really fun, especially late in the season. Lakers and Clippers games are also fun. College games are good too, have you ever been to a USC game, have you been to the Rose Bowl? Have you ever tailgated here? Good times. Dodgers games are full of baseball loving locals who can get really into it. I know season ticket holders that drive from Palm Springs or Banning and won’t miss a game. Maybe you were in the wrong section. And football, we’ve only just started that up again…but Rams fans are probably not going to be boring. I’ve never been to a boring playoff game in LA. Sometimes you can hit traffic on the way in and arrive late, don’t judge.

    Palm Trees.
    Sadly, many of them are getting close to the end of their lives. Los Angeles is planting low canopy trees to replace them (like Oaks). The iconic palm lined skyline of Los Angeles will change slightly over the next few decades, don’t you worry. Most Palm trees were planted approx 100 years ago, the population of Los Angeles was approx 700,000. The water crisis wasn’t the issue it is today, the city was still quite small. They were planted because our climate is Mediterranean desert and Palm trees grow well here. There’s no denying the palm tree is iconic to Los Angeles. As far as importing plants from other places, we have the climate to do it and cities all over America plant trees that are not native, as long as they can grow in that climate. It’s been going on for a long time. Should people in the Midwest stop planting hydrangeas and Japanese maples, geraniums, etc because they were imported (they also need a lot of water)? If you resent what has been imported, take a drive through Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, you can see what our coastal land looked like before we committed the crime of importing vegetation from other places in the name of beautification. You can rent little double wides near the beach and pretend nobody ever planted any imported trees or plants.

    Hollywood sign.
    I don’t know any Angelino obsessed with the Hollywoodland sign. I’ve never had a guest come visit who simply must see it. Yes, today it serves no functional purpose, it is an old billboard advertising a newly built community in 1923. They removed the “land”, left the sign standing, and the rest is history. The locals didn’t make the sign iconic, rather the boom of Hollywood in the 20’s & 30’s made it a tourist destination. It isn’t any different from the Grain Belt sign in Minneapolis. It is simply a preserved relic of the past. Hate it or like it, it’s not going anywhere and Los Angeles has no control of the world’s supposed obsession with it. If you know anybody who lives near it, you’ll learn that they are just as annoyed with the public’s obsession with the sign as you are.

    Douchebags.
    Let me know which place in the world has no douchebags, I’m curious and would like to visit. Douchebags are everywhere, I’ve travelled the nation and the world extensively and can depend on there always being douchebags.

    The women.
    Yes, there are some beauties here. There are large women, thin women, rich women, poor women, shallow women, deep women, brainiacs, idiots, nice women and mean women in Los Angeles. You can find all these traits in women here of all races. There is variety here. That part is cool. The bar scene anywhere can be a shallow meat market. I know the kind of women here who work hard, are independent, and comfortable in their own skin. If I do end up in a bar, I often meet socially minded women who don’t buy into the hype. We cruise around the city in sweats sans makeup and couldn’t care less what others think. There are only 100,000 more women than men in Los Angeles county, it’s pretty even here.

    Infrastructure.
    When East Coast cities were fully developed Los Angeles was still a small, brand new agricultural town. It grew very quickly, too quickly…and yes, the infrastructure absolutely needs to be addressed.
    In recent years we have had some high profile water main breaks, but we are still below the national average. In the past 20 years there has been major deterioration and you wonder why our taxes are high. Things get old and need repair. Should bridges be falling down other places? No, but they can for the same reasons. These things happen, it’s just ours make nationwide news.

    Overcrowding.
    It is no secret that Los Angeles is a populous city. In fact, it’s the second in the nation (and has been for a very long time. Cotton candy is made of pure sugar, complaining that Los Angeles is too populated is kind of like complaining that cotton candy is too sweet. If you aren’t comfortable around a whole lot of people, you shouldn’t set foot in LA…you will hate it! On another note, I can give you a list of dozens of places you can go within the city limits where you can go to get away from other humans. That doesn’t exist in NY, London, Hong Kong, etc. pretty cool.

    Potholes.
    We have them for sure, but have you lived in Chicago or Detroit? I still remember how bad they can be in a place that experiences both deep freezes and extreme heat. I have only had my alignment fixed once in LA due to potholes. Not as bad as other places I’ve lived. Just remember where they are and avoid them, that’s how I roll.

    “Bums” (or what we refer to as the homeless).

    It’s a HUGE problem in Los Angeles. New York is also pretty bad, but the weather & the housing crisis are definitely contributing factors in LA. If you want to meet people of substance in Los Angeles, volunteering with the homeless is a terrific way to do so. I doubt you’ll meet many homeless people obsessed with your status, what you drive and what you look like. Same goes for the volunteers you’ll meet. Rather than complain about “bums”, there are dozens of ways to help the homeless through volunteer work in this city. You can make a difference here, you may not be able to eradicate the homeless crisis, but you can make small differences for individuals every day if you wish.

    Graffiti.
    Graffiti is a fact of life in Los Angeles. It makes the worldwide list of most graffiti & murals for a city. For every crappy gang tag you see, there is a beautiful mural to be found. Los Angeles has been full of graffiti for a long time, both commissioned and illegal. If you like plain walls, free of paint, you will hate Los Angeles. We also attract street artists from all over the world. You can see “graffiti” in Paris and find stuff in Los Angeles by the same artist too. Art is subjective and LA is full of it, highbrow, lowbrow, legal & otherwise. This town is riddled in art and creativity.

    Trash and garbage (and the smog).
    Los Angeles actually diverts over 75% of its waste from landfills. It is one of the most progressive large cities in the US when it comes to trash. The amount of personal trash (per person per pound) has actually been halved in the past 3 years. People take recycling seriously, and recycling here is big business…in fact many make a living from it. I have friends who schlep their recycling to a recycling center to pay for their gas. We used to give ours to the “bums”. As far as trash goes, we have some pretty innovative ways of keeping that level down here. We even filter the liquid trash run-off for irrigation. I’ve lived in cities that make recycling very difficult. At least in LA and California we are trying our best to improve the situation every single year. We don’t have the same strict rules as say, Singapore but we are leaps and bounds ahead of many other large cities. As far as the smog goes, you should have seen this place in the 80’s & 90’s, it’s improved significantly believe it or not.

    Traffic.
    Be smart about it. Leave extra time, try new routes, take surface streets and stay informed. You can outsmart it sometimes. If you have to make it across town during peak hours, you’re going to have to deal with the commute. It’s actually pretty predictable most days and rarely stops all together. Los Angeles has a global reputation for its bad traffic. Most people are aware of this when they move here, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. At least we aren’t crazy horn honkers or assholes. If you fail to plan ahead and need to get over a lane last minute, just go around the block or try rolling down your window and asking (nicely) the car next to you to let you in, you’d be surprised how often you’ll get waved ahead. At least now we have GPS and traffic updates. I remember navigating with a Thomas Guide back in the day! Just accept defeat, enjoy your music or talk radio and drive on.

    Corrupt politics.
    No doubt there is some corruption in many California cities, but New York and Illinois are on top. If you take our population into consideration we are actually 34th on the list. Many cities have struggled with corrupt politics, I think I recall something about Portland in the early 1900’s and again in the 50’s. Am I mistaken?

    Cost of living.
    High? Yes. But you don’t have to be rich to own a home. I am blue collar, as are many of the people I know. I know people who own homes and condos in Los Angeles, many of whom pay less than average rent for their mortgage. You only know rich people who own homes? Time to expand your social circle.

    Parking.
    You can park downtown all day for as little as $12. You can valet at many places for $5. There are meters everywhere, free street parking almost everywhere if you are in the know, and you can get guest passes on permit only streets if you plan ahead and know somebody living on that block. There are also park and commute lots if you are opposed to the standard parking search that most large cities entail. Try to park downtown Chicago or New York for $12, also ask a NY or Chicago native where it’s easier to park.

    These assholes.
    We sell bottled water at many restaurants here. You can get still, sparking, or spring water. I’ve never been denied a glass of tap water for free in the city when I’ve asked, but you have problems with our tap water, so why complain about buying water when it seems to be your only option? We are actually in a well publicized drought, so there are state laws in place regarding giving out tap water in restaurants. It is available upon request now. They’ll even give you free tap water for your dog if you request it in Los Angeles. It’s frustrating for all of us to have so little rain, but nothing to blame the city for. If anything, we are actually aware of the problem and most Angelinos respect water and take conservation very seriously.

    Now I know who will be cheering on the next wildfire rather than praying nobody will die or lose their property.

    I’m glad you wrote this and hope it resonates with others like you but who are on the fence about moving to Los Angeles. We don’t need any more people here, especially not bitter, moaning, judgemental people who constantly compare LA to where they came from. If you don’t leave voluntarily, trust me…this town will chew you up and spit you out on it’s own. Like I said, Los Angeles isn’t for everyone! The mentality here is live and let live, to each his own. If you take LA for what it is, ask the natives for advice, and do your best to take advantage of its many opportunities…you just may like it.
    If you don’t, simply move on. No hate bro, what did LA really do to you other than simply be LA?

    • Danielle permalink

      You’re awesome and so was your response! ✌️️

  4. Danielle permalink

    Wow. You’re a really sad horrible person who needs immense help. Logic my good sir, you don’t like where you, leave! Welcome to the city I was born and raised in, four generations strong, were not all idiots and I have no douche bag friends. Maybe you should evaluate yourself after this article and the places and people you choose to be around, the problems could possibly be internal. I’m just saying, but thanks for your ugliness for the day, it certainly filled my day with joy. 🤗

    • thanks for reading! i’m glad you had fun with it cause i had fun writing it. i’ve lived here for 6 years so based on the principle of “revealed preference” i must not hate it nearly as much as i let on.

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  1. another “los angeles sucks” article — choo choo all aboard the hate train | MrHarmanson

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