LA is the world’s entertainment industry HQ, a thriving tech hotspot, and a major center for higher education — all of which means opportunities.
$35,027 Median Millennial earnings in LA 
70,000+ Members of the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Los Angeles Local, the largest in the union 
4.5% Los Angeles unemployment rate 
250+ Number of LA-based tech companies recruiting at TechFair LA, January 2017 
Locals describe Los Angeles as sprawling and neighborhood-centric. With nightmarish traffic and very spread out communities, many residents pick one home base and stick to it.
3,971,883 Los Angeles city population as of July 2015 
272 Number of different neighborhoods within LA 
$3,200 Current median rent price in LA 
43 minutes Average extra travel time per daily commute due to traffic 
Throughout Los Angeles, creativity is king. You can find artistic expression in theaters, music halls, museums, and even outside — after all, it’s almost guaranteed to be sunny out.
841 Museums and art galleries in LA County 
18.67 Average annual rainfall, in inches — about half the national average 
2,599 (and counting) Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 
75 Miles of coastline in LA County 
Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in Los Angeles, as told by locals.
Production Assistant, Time Warner Cable Media
Time spent in Los Angeles
I grew up in LA. I went to college in Santa Barbara, so I kind of stayed local and then came back.
Best neighborhoods, IMO
Right now I live in Playa Del Ray and I love it. I currently share a beach house with seven other guys — it’s a pretty unique situation. Mike Piazza and Nick Cage actually used to live there.
Venice is a pretty popular place for Millennials who grew up here and also for people from out of town who are trying to establish themselves in LA. Downtown is up and coming, as well. I have a lot of friends who live up by West Hollywood and in Koreatown.
The food scene
Meeting up after work kind of coincides with traffic — you have to figure out a place where everyone can meet at a convenient hour. In Santa Monica there’s a place called Fish Enterprise that’s more dive-y; they have great deals with half-off appetizers. When I lived in Venice, one of my favorite restaurants was Charcoal — but it’s a little more upscale.
It can be expensive
I’m definitely not saving money. But you can, depending on what you value. Location was a big thing for me. I really wanted to be close to the beach, so I kind of pay a premium for that. Eating out can add up, but it’s definitely livable.
The dating scene
I’ve had a girlfriend for the last three years, but I’m exposed to a lot of dating by living with seven guys. I have a lot of friends who use dating apps; the majority of my friends do. There are a lot of spots that cater to the dating scene. A good example: There’s a restaurant in Santa Monica called Bodega — I have a friend who’s constantly dating, and I think he has a residency there.
We’re actually going to Mammoth this weekend to ski and snowboard — that’s about a five-and-a-half-hour drive. Santa Barbara is another great weekend getaway. And Vegas is never out of the question.
You’re not a local if…
You haven’t waited in line at The Bungalow (everyone has done it at least once).
Time spent in LA
I moved to LA from South Korea in 1994, so I’ve been here over 20 years!
Best neighborhoods, IMO
There are so many different, cool areas to live. The arts district in Downtown LA is really booming. And Silver Lake is a popular neighborhood — there are good places to eat, coffee shops, and interesting stores. People want to live there and rent is going up, but it also makes the neighborhood a lot nicer than it used to be 10 or so years ago. I live in West Lake currently, but if I had to choose I’d live in Downtown LA.
Surprises about LA
The diverse cultures. We have Koreatown, Thaitown, and so many different areas that are defined by culture but are now all intermingling. Ten years ago if you went to Koreatown it was only Koreans. Now if you go there you’ll see more Americans than Koreans; it’s all melting together. It makes the city interesting and shows how open we are to all types of people.
Fun day trips
The beach! Malibu, Venice Beach, etc. There are so many beach options an hour or less away. There’s a lot of surfing and beach activities. Because of the weather — it’s 70 degrees and sunny most of the year — you have access to so many outdoor activities. People like to hang out at the beach, take walks, and ride bikes.
The job scene
As a freelancer, LA is a relatively big market. There are a lot of jobs, and a lot of small vendors who need freelance help. There’s a strong artistic community. In fact, a lot of people from New York, Chicago, or other cities will come here to work. For example, the majority of the photo editors that I work with are from other big cities originally. They like the lifestyle here and just decide to settle down.
Traffic is a fact of life
That’s one of the most well-known things about LA: We spend a lot of time on the road. I see people trying to avoid traffic by biking or taking the subway, but these alternate means are still not super common. People tend to drive here, which means you get stuck on the road quite a bit. Ten miles can take an hour and a half, depending on traffic. And it’s not just rush hour: There are more cars than there used to be — even in the middle of the day; it takes quite awhile to get anywhere.
You’re not a local if …
You don’t live around the corner from a Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s. LA is healthy, and everyone is conscious about what they eat.