A Guide to the City of Angels
Spanish for, “The Angels,” Los Angeles lives up to its name. It’s a sprawling, star-studded city filled with some of the most creative and fascinating individuals in the country, and that’s not without reason. Los Angeles (or L.A.) is home to 3 of the 6 major film studios. You’ll hear of many aspiring movie stars making the big move here. But even if winning an Oscar isn’t your dream, there are so many other reasons to call L.A. your home.
Located in southern California, you’ll find most of your days filled with warmth and sunshine.
Now you can honestly say you enjoy long walks on the beach; there are 15 beaches in L.A. alone (and many more in the surrounding counties). But no worries if sand-between-your-toes sounds more stressful than relaxing; L.A. has quite a variety of habitats including wetlands and mountains, so most everyone can find an outdoor environment they feel at home in.
Los Angeles is an amazing city, but it can be intimidating to move to. As liberating as it may feel to say “I packed up my bags and moved to L.A.!” that may not be the best move. It can be just as difficult to land an apartment as it is to land an acting gig. When looking for living areas, keep in mind that the neighborhood you choose is especially important. L.A. is so sprawled out that what you live nearest will become part of your life. Driving 8 miles will probably take you 30 minutes, so make sure you’re taking job and school locations into account. Being in the same city as a friend may seem convenient and easy, but if you live in neighborhoods on the opposite ends of the city that could be far more difficult than you’d initially expect. Make sure to utilize resources that assist with nabbing a budget-friendly apartment.
If you’re moving your family to Los Angeles, keep in mind that the housing market in southern California is tough. However, there are plenty of housing rentals available for a budget-friendly option. There are great lists of family-friendly neighborhoods with renting and buying options that can be really helpful.
If you’re worried about finding a school within a reasonable distance than worry no more! The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second-largest school district in the nation. But don’t feel as though your child is bound to the school in the area you move to. There are some great charter and private school options throughout the city as well. The LAUSD also has great resources to help provide some assistance in navigating the L.A. school system and others that summarize some pros and cons between those options as well. But make sure to check out your neighborhood schools first; if they’re a good fit for your child, that could save much time and stress in the search.
Once the stress of finding a living and education options is over, make sure to explore the fascinating and diverse culture of Los Angeles starting with the phenomenal food options.
A move to L.A. requires some planning and so does a trip to one of L.A’s hotspots. Bestia, an Italian restaurant, can be costly (and reservations often must be made a month in advance) but locals insist that it’s worth it. If you don’t feel like a true L.A. local until you’ve seen a celebrity, you may want to head over to Tower Bar. Even if you don’t see the star you were hoping to, it’s a delicious meal in a beautiful spot on Sunset Boulevard. For sushi, check out Sugarfish for a quality bite. And for a way to relax after your move, treat yourself to some gorgeous views at Malibu Wines Tasting Room; wine in the mountains, what more could you want?
If moving to L.A. has your wallet exhausted, there are plenty of cheaper options to choose from as well. While Broken Spanish has some well-worth-it higher end Mexican food, don’t be afraid to take advantage of the many food trucks you’ll find scattered throughout the city. Guerilla Tacos is a local favorite! If you’re looking for something else to spice up your night, Howlin’ Rays will do that, literally. The lines are long, but the locals claim it’s some of the best spicy chicken they’ve had. Another popular joint (but with quite a wait attached) is Gjelina’s. But don’t forget about GTA (Gjelina’s Take Away!) This is a great way to enjoy the delicious Italian but avoiding the wait. And for those nights you want authentic Asian food without breaking the bank, Pine and Crane is a great choice.
Things to Do
There is never a shortage of activities in this city. While you can always enjoy the tourist classics (seeing Hollywood sign, walking along Hollywood Boulevard, visiting the Capitol Records Building, or seeing a show at Walt Disney Concert Hall) you’ll be able to find a group of people interested in nearly every hobby out there. For the night owls out there, check out the bars in Highland Park, they’re some of the cooler and more modern ones out there. In the summer check out the 626 Night Market. It’s filled with a crazy variety of foods to try and you can stay up late instead of getting up early for a traditional farmers market. If you’re looking for a unique way to get to know the city then consider taking the Secret Stair walk. While searching for historic staircases may not sound like the idea of a good time, it’s fascinating way to learn more about your new home while exploring some of the lesser-known spots. And if you think city life is the only way to experience L.A., think again. The city is filled with outdoor treasures. For the pets, check out the dog beaches. You can always find some beautiful scenic places to visit. Leo Carrillo State Park is also a gorgeous area to explore when you have some time off.
L.A. is quite a place. Don’t be too fooled by the urban lifestyle, a car is still pretty necessary to get around, and jaywalking tickets are actually given to disobeying pedestrians. Healthy lifestyles are encouraged, but there’s no shortage of food. The city can be intimidating, rejection can happen, but it’ll pick you up anytime you’re feeling down, with its beautiful sunny days. Whatever you need to feel at home, Los Angeles can provide.