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I live in Los Angeles - AMA

54 replies

LALALife · 06/06/2019 03:29

Name changed for this so doesn’t matter if it’s especially outing

Lived in Los Angeles for the last 7years, moved from London with DH and 2DC in tow intending to come for a 3-4 year adventure and we’re still here.....

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gotmychocolateimgood · 06/06/2019 03:42

How many famous people have you met?

Is everyone skinny with perfect white teeth?

LALALife · 06/06/2019 03:46

We have a lot of non-skinny tourists Wink

I live in a pretty down to earth normal family area, there are no more or less skinny people than London. But yes, they all have great teeth!! I’m so used to it I’m shocked at the state of people’s teeth when I come home now!

I’ve met a few famous people, mostly through work. I’m terrible at celebrity spotting though when out and about, half the people pointed out to me I’ve never heard of!

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Nandocushion · 06/06/2019 04:18

Would you go back? What would/wouldn't convince you?

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 06/06/2019 04:27

Do you think you’re there to stay?

LALALife · 06/06/2019 06:42

No. I want to come home at some point but I am happy here right now. We have a very good quality of life, I’m making a bit of a segue in industry and having had to restart my career 3 times now because of babies and moving I don’t want to come home until I can hit the ground running with work.

It’s very hard being so far away though - I miss my family and my friends and I miss access to other countries quickly, easily and cheaply. But we are far and away better off in many ways here. My biggest concern is age of DC and at what point it would be too late / unfair to move them back.

On the other hand DH would be happy to stay indefinitely. But this is a very common problem for basically all the expats I know - husband wants to stay and wife wants to go home.

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gotmychocolateimgood · 06/06/2019 06:48

What do you miss food wise from the UK?

actiongirl1978 · 06/06/2019 06:56

Why are there so many homeless people with serious mental health problems? I ask for compassionate reasons - surely there should be someone taking care of those people?

We visited last year and were gobsmacked at the number of vagrants shouting, swearing - with obvious issues aside from being homeless. Granted we were staying in a tourist area, but we didn't feel safe in Hollywood where we stayed for part of our trip and getting back to our hotel in Santa Monica was unpleasant with the DC's.

I have been to Miami, Boston, Washington DC, NYC, Long Island - and never come across this issue.

actiongirl1978 · 06/06/2019 06:56

I should add, it was as noticeable in SF too.

RhubarbIsEvil · 06/06/2019 07:02

do you eat the chlorinated chicken?

megletthesecond · 06/06/2019 07:03

Can you walk anywhere?

PianoTuner567 · 06/06/2019 07:05

Are you afraid of being shot? When I go to America, I always have the thought that someone’s going to come in and start shooting the place up.

LALALife · 06/06/2019 07:23

Food wise my suitcase from the U.K. always seems to be filled with biscuits and chocolate. I miss being able to get everything in one supermarket and I miss online food shopping. Also miss proper fish and chips and curry!

The homeless problem is shocking and awful. In LA in the 80’s two mental health hospitals were shut down which created skid row in downtown. Since then I think it’s basically an issue with the fact there’s no safety net in the Us with regard to health. It’s appalling that people who are clearly very mentally unwell just aren’t taken care of. The actual growing homeless crisis is not however from the mentally ill - I’ve spoken to homeless people here who set up tent cities under every freeway bridge and frankly it’s just easier being homeless in California than the places you mentionbecause if the weather!

I don’t eat any chicken. I’ve gradually become more plant based since moving here and prob eat as a vegan about 95% of the time.

You can walk - you just have to drive from one walkable area to another! The city is made up of lots of small areas which are themselves walkable. I can walk to a few grocery stores, a few decent coffee shops, bars and restaurants. My DC walk 10mins to school.

On a day to day basis I don’t worry about guns - but every time there’s a mass shooting or my children have an active shooter drill, yes it freaks me out - or when helicopters circle too close to home. This is based on the news and mass shooting across the country rather than personal experience - I’ve not seen a gun ever since I moved here, part from maybe in a police officers holster but I can’t remember being aware of it

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pineapplebryanbrown · 07/06/2019 00:16

Do you think the police are over zealous? I lived in Illinois for a while and found it different that you couldn't really chat to them as you might here.

Latenightthinking22 · 07/06/2019 11:23

What is your visa situation? How did you get a work visa to begin with?

Every now and again I consider moving to the US to work, but I find the visa process daunting! (Even though I do currently live in another country on a visa).

VanillaSugarr · 07/06/2019 11:24

Have you met Keanu Reeves?

Fantasmic143 · 07/06/2019 11:31

We are visiting at Christmas - what might the weather be like? And any tips for stuff to do? Thanks!

LALALife · 07/06/2019 16:30

I’m white and live in a fairly gentrified area, the police are polite and host pancake days and come to the local park to hand out stickers to the children often so I wouldn’t say they’re over zealous, BUT I am very aware of my privilege in that regard and have heard pretty shitty stories from friends who aren’t white and live in other parts of the city. Mostly the police are in cars though so there’s not a lot of face to face anyway.

DH was offered a job with an American company so we came here on his H1B visa and I had an H4 which meant I couldn’t work. This was a year before they made this visa a lottery system and was a lot easier to get one. His company organised and paid for Green Cards so now all 4 of us are permanent residents and we’re lucky not to have paid anything or done any of the admin

I have not met Keanu Reeves!

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kerkyra · 07/06/2019 16:37

Are the majority of people into fitness and hiking in the hills? Is it a more outside life

LALALife · 07/06/2019 16:39

@Fantasmic143 there is so much to do here! I really like LA but feel you have to know people who live here and not try to just do universal and Disney and Hollywood in a day to appreciate it.

The weather is always fairly mild, we rarely dip below 12/13 degrees and in the winter tend to hover around 15/16 (its a lot colder in the Valley to the north though) but then we have the odd heatwave where it goes up into the 20’s. I would just bring layers- the rain doesn’t tend to start until the new year. Layers are also important because the city acts like it’s hot all year round so there’s still air conditioning in shops and restaurants and rarely heating!

Do you have DC? What do you like to do? There are so many beautiful hikes, amazing galleries and museums, so much good food, excellent flea and farmers markets, tiny art house cinemas everywhere, the city is made up of a million little cities so you can feel like you’re in chichi white washed surburbia one minute and the heart of Mexico in another.

America does Christmas really well - LA has a myriad of boat parades and areas known as Candy Cane Lane where all the houses decorate to extreme amounts. I love the holiday season here! And the ocean tends to be quite calm in December, obviously we have a ton of beaches.

I highly recommend hiring a car and also not going to Hollywood - it’s a shit hole and not worth going just to see the stars on the boulevard and get accosted by a drunk dressed up in a Spider-Man outfit he’s worn since 1963.

Let me know your family dynamic and what you like to do and I’ll come up with some more specific suggestions.

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MissConductUS · 07/06/2019 16:40

I'm a New Yorker who has spent a fair amount of time in LA (mostly Burbank). I like LA but it's so different from NYC.

Have you traveled much inside the US? How is online shopping better in the UK?

In NY there are lots of police walking around and they're easy to chat with.

LALALife · 07/06/2019 16:41

@kerkyra yes it’s a very active place - mainly because of the weather I think. There are always surfers in the ocean and paddle boarders in the marina and we’re surrounded by mountains and national parks so a lot of hikes from the very easy to the extremely difficult, you can hike up dried river beds to waterhole and waterfalls, hike to abandoned houses, we’ve had a lot of rain this year so the flowers and greenery is spectacular at the moment. Hiking is a big regular thing even the most gym averse person (me) does

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NotJustACigar · 07/06/2019 16:42

We are visiting in December. Should we go to Joshua tree? Will December be an ok time to visit or will it be too cold to enjoy it?


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LALALife · 07/06/2019 16:48

@MissConductUS I love New York and go probably once a year for work, never staying less than 2 weeks at a time and I generally stay with a friend on the UES so I adore your home!

I think LA is different to every other city really, London is my favourite place in the world but I think is way more similar to NYC than LA is to either of them and that’s because LA is spread out with multiple centres.

We do travel a lot in the US, we use spring break to take the DC somewhere new as they only get one week off between Christmas and summer. This year we road tripped through Nevada, Arizona and New Mexio focusing on Native American reservations and history. Previously we’ve done Kuaui, Portland, Seattle, Austin and San Antonio, New Orleans, San Francisco, Utah. We also do regular weekend trips in Southern California so know our way around every desert and mountain in a 2-3hour radius pretty well, and I used to do little weekend trips regularly to San Diego. DH and I have also done the AIDS/LifeCycle ride and that’s an incredible way to see California!

My opinion is we don’t know when we’ll be going back to Europe so we may as we’ll see as much of the US while we can and it doesn’t involve international travel to get places. We’re trying to cut back on domestic flights though hence the road trips and I think next year we’re planning on taking the train up the coast to see the coastal redwoods and do more of the Oregonian coast and then check out Vacouver

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LALALife · 07/06/2019 16:50

@NotJustACigar definitely do Joshua tree, it’s out of this world! It will be cold but no colder than the U.K. at that time of year and it’s so beautiful and wild - it’s a long drive through the park and you can stop for various hikes, honestly the best one of which is Hidden Valley and is only 1.5miles. Then you must go and eat at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town and see some live music.

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Fantasmic143 · 07/06/2019 16:50

@LALALife - thank you so much for getting back to me and being prepared to pass on even more info!

Our daughter (21 by then) is going to be studying at the University of Florida for a year starting in August and as we have done Florida a few times, we decided we would go to California and she would fly out to join us. So we have a week in LA and a week in San Francisco are planning on driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in the middle. We also have a 17 year old son.

We love Christmas and are preparing ourselves for it to be a bit warmer and different. It sounds as if we will find festive things to do. We like museums, sport (hoping to see an NFL game or an NBA game) and the cinema. The kids will do a hike or two but won't want to spend the week doing that.

We will go to Disney but probably not Universal. And our daughter and I would like to go to the Griffiths Observatory (LaLa Land is to blame for that!) - is it worth it? Where should we go to do a bit of shopping? And is it warm enough to swim in the sea? Which beaches do you recommend?

We are very excited! Grin

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