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5 Reasons Los Angeles Is A More Exciting City To Live In Than New York

Sara Newman |
June 16, 2014 | 9:07 a.m. PDT

Deputy Editor

Los Angeles (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)
Los Angeles (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)

Thousands of jobless college students dig themselves into wells of even deeper each year in their exodus to New York, believing that it’s the only city to truly make their mark as actresses/models/musicians/writers/whatever-else-young-people-want-to-be. New York has a certain allure around it that has attracted some of the most talented people to ever tread American soil, and yet the city merely draws talented people to it, New York does not create said talents.

While Los Angeles may endure constant criticisms for being a land of plastic surgery, brainless starlets, juice cleansing and traffic, this city is making its way towards becoming the new New York. Los Angeles offers the culture and sophistication of New York with a level of aspiration and connection to nature that is rarely seen outside of small towns.

Stop breaking the bank to sleep on a futon in the middle of Brooklyn and instead consider naming one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in Los Angeles your new home.

5. In Los Angeles you can read outside year-round.   

One way to tell a local Los Angelino from a L.A. transplant is by how excited they are to read outside. At the beach or the park you can spot plenty of locals immersed in their books, but other than that most local Angelinos will stick to the inside of their homes or pint-sized apartments for reading. People who moved to L.A., on the other hand, will gloriously bask in the sun as they read, delighting in the fact that neither summer not winter weather presents the needed to lock themselves indoors.

New York may have a wider range of book store, but only in Los Angeles can you read those books in glow of the sun no matter what month it is. 

New York, (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)
New York, (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)

4. Los Angeles is clean—at least compared to New York.

While visitors from more rural parts of the country are quick to complain about how the city’s pollution “makes their eyes sting,” at least you can walk down the streets without being confronted by mountains of trash bags. Notorious for rats and roaches, gutters that smell of urine and streets coated with a film of dirt, New York is one of the few cities in the world that makes even the dirtiest parts of Downtown Los Angeles look clean.

With the help of low buildings that allow people to appreciate their surroundings even in thick of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, lush trees, and tiny parklets scattered throughout the city, there’s enough of a connection with nature to allow people that they are not in fact trapped inside an urban dustbuster.

3. In Los Angeles real nature is only a short drive away.

Hiking in Los Angeles is as of a cliché as shopping in Beverly Hills, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less appealing. With hundreds of miles of hiking trails throughout the Santa Monica and Hollywood mountains, truly fresh air and quiet is relatively easy to work into any work week.

Weekend trips to the mountains for skiing, beach for surfing or national parks for camping are also accessible for true naturists—or simply anyone looking for a weekend recap to surprise their co-workers.

New York may have acres of grass and parkland in the center of the city (thank you Central Park), but manicured lawns and ambient taxi noise—not to mention flocks of tourists—is hardly enough to give carless New Yorkers a real reminder of what nature is.

Los Angeles (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)
Los Angeles (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)

2. Los Angeles has something to prove in the artistic community.

This may sound like a criticism, rather than a compliment to the city, but trust me on this one. New York has a reputation of cultural, theatrical and culinary expertise that no other city in the U.S. can rival.

But New Yorkers know this, and feel far too comfortable in their ability to maintain this title. Los Angeles, however, has been making tremendous strides in its efforts to catch up.

With students from art schools throughout Southern California and inspired artists who can’t afford the rent in New York or San Francisco flooding to California, the number of young, creative individuals is astounding. And they aren’t content with simply following the mold that other major cities have set out for them.

Instead Los Angeles chefs like Tal Ronnen are working to make healthy hip at Crossroads, the vegan place that even carnivores love, and chef Jose Andres is blurring the line between food at art at the SLS Bazaar. Major California artists like Mark Ryden are making people reconsider serious issues like meat consumption, meanwhile no-name artists are reaching wider audiences that ever before at craft fairs like UniqueLA, that have since spread across the nation. While L.A. may never compare to New York as far as theatre is concerned, North Hollywood actors and directors are certainly trying to give it their best try, all the while offering ticket prices that democratize theatre going.

New York (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)
New York (Sara Newman/Neon Tommy)

1. Los Angeles is ever-expanding.

New Yorkers delight in their city’s walkability (or at least subway-ability) while Los Angelinos groan (and have full-fledged conversations) about traffic, but Los Angeles still has the upper hand—especially when rent prices are considered.

It wasn’t long ago that Silverlake and Abbot Kinney were being touted as Los Angeles’s best-kept secrets, but they can hardly be considered secrets anymore. As hip niches become common knowledge, new parts of Los Angele are continually being rebranded, while what constitutes the “city” continues to grow. With up-and-coming Los Feliz and Eagle Rock, Echo Park and the Arts District, even life-long Los Angelinos never run out of places to explore. As a result, Los Angelinos are able to buy cheaper apartments away from the heart of the city and expect that in time, they too will be engulfed by West side aura of cool.

New York, on the other hand, is limited by one inescapable problem: Manhattan is an island, leaving the room with little room for expansion. “What’s next—will the Bronx suddenly become cool?” joked one lifetime New Yorker.

While New York may recently have claimed part of Brooklyn for its own with the addition of Williamsburg and Dumbo into “trendy” New York, the city as little room to grow.

Contact Deputy Editor Sara Newman here. Follow her on Twitter here



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