The charms of Los Angeles are many, some apparent
eternal sunshine, style, space, andfreedom
and some less so. It is my firm belief that anything you are looking for, any scene,any food, any club, you will find in LA. Not only that, but you will find it in its most undistilled,unadulterated, authentic form. But you will have to search long and hard, you may never find it,
and ultimately you will have to take it on faith that if you didn‟t find what you were looking for, it‟snot because it wasn‟t there, merely because you didn‟t
have the persistence, the hookups, orthe gasoline. I always tell people that in San Francisco, you will food from anywhere in the worldwithin a few blocks walk, but it will be in its most yuppified, lowest common denominator form. InLA, by contrast, you will find the real deal, but you will be driving forever.
This quest for authenticity, and the frustration that it can engender when you don‟t find Shangri
la, has been the undoing of many an LA night owl, lounge lizard, or foodie, and ultimately it‟s n
worth it. If you‟re moving to LA, choose your neighborhood wisely, cuz you‟ll be stuck with it.
Barriers both natural and unnatural (traffic jams, high speed chases, low speed chases) willleave you trolling through your own neighborhood over and over again, or traveling to the sameeasily accessible neighborhoods by the same tried and true secret shortcuts every weekend.The odds against finding a place to live comfortably, work fruitfully, and play endlessly and toyour satisfaction all in oen neighborhood of the Southern California Basin are approximately 18billion to one, but such is the price of perfection.
If you‟re just visiting LA, then
put the top down, grab a Big Gulp, a bubble tea or a latte, popsome Tupac or that old Concrete Blonde album you just picked up at the swap meet into the
cassette deck, and start driving. You‟ll never face the existential frustration of not finding exactly
what you want, but you may suffer under the burden of too many things to do and not enoughtime (or toleranc
e) to see them all. Don‟t sweat it too much –
LA will still be here when you come
back, and just about the same… only better. And if you can‟t stomach all that driving, well
thengrab your headphones, cruise down to the Nix Check Cashing, and buy yourself a bag of tokensand the Nix Check Cashing LA Transit System Map. Either way, it will be a bumpy ride(especially if you take Normandie), but a heavenly one.The urban areas of Los Angeles typically thought of by young singles lie west of downtown.They basically follow a west-
east axis guided by Interstate 10, the city‟s major west
starting in the north with Sunset, Santa Monica (tricky, nor perfectly east-west),Wilshire, Olympic, Pico, Venice. When most people talk about the east side vs. west sidedichotomy in Los Angeles, what they really mean is west of some boundary -- usually LaCienega or La Brea -- versus everything else. And again, this zone would be bounded bySunset on the north and Venice on the south, unless you are rich enough to live in The Hills.
This is the easiest way to understand the geography of LA‟s interior. Overall, the easiest way to
understand things are by its telephone area codes.213
A perfect ring concentric to downtown. Most of the cit
y‟s truly urban residential quarters
lie in the 323.310
The West Side (fashionable) and the South Side (lots of hidden wonder and beauty here)818
The Valley (San Fernando that is)626
San Gabriel Valley (the “other” valley that is), home to a majority of LA County‟s
population of Asian descent562
Long Beach. Huh? 562?714