I've lived in Los Angeles for most of my life, I used to love it here. However, things have slowly changed, and I've decided my family will be better suited somewhere else. When I doubt my decision to move, I have to remind myself of the reasons why I'm leaving, which I've compiled below. This is in NO WAY meant to insult or offend some of you, although it might, and I have made some pretty general statements... It is merely my emotional opinion of the current state of affairs in LA and why we are moving.
This has to be most people's number 1, the unrelenting, never ending, eternally frustrating LA commute. No matter what time it is, it's 'rush hour'. Los Angeles leads the nation in congestion related delays according to Inrix Inc's scorecard. Anywhere you want to go takes at least 45 minutes with every freeway a seemingly endless ocean of glowing red brake lights. AND....It is getting worse. I'm over it! For me sitting in a car not moving is a terrible waste of time, especially when you have 3 kids in the car!
First of all, I'm amazed at how few people in LA realize the extent of the drought currently gripping California. Let's just say, it's of Biblical Proportions... Angelenos seem to think, "Hey, I turn on the tap, and there's water, what's all this ridiculous drought talk about? I gotta get my Mercedes washed and cleaned up asap!". There is also no relief in sight... County water has now been strictly rationed with gardeners only allowed to water twice a week. I've spent a year growing an organic vegetable garden that feeds my 5 person family at least 2 meals a day, which if I don't water twice a day, it LOOKS like everything is shriveled and dying. Well, now with the new rations which allow me to water twice a WEEK, everything IS shriveled and dying... Newsflash people, Los Angeles is built in a desert!! As a species that is completely reliant on water for survival, WE SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE!! And then of course, the water that does comes out of our taps is so full of fluoride, chlorine and other heavy metals, it's amazing to me that the FDA has approved it for human consumption, never mind the fact it has to piped in from hundreds of miles away... That means that unless you have expensive filters on your taps, you are drinking and bathing in these toxic chemicals which are then being absorbed into all your internal organs... Ugh! This also means that my animals and plants are drinking this water. I have a creek at the end of my property. It is dry. Completely bone dry. There is no fresh water here folks.
I've lived on, or near the beach in various countries for most of my life. It's a very important part of my existence. That being said, the beaches of LA feel a bit like it's freeways these days ~ over-crowded and heavily patrolled. I remember living in Costa Rica one night when my husband caught a fish. We decided to BBQ it on the beach, with a good glass of wine and my dogs running around us. The local police walked by and wished us a great night... Now if that had been Los Angeles, I would have been fined for my dogs, arrested for the fire and prosecuted for public intoxication... That being said, there are some very beautiful beaches in LA, but more often than you might think, there are beach closures due to high bacteria and pollution levels. Oh yes, and let's not talk about Fukushima and the nuclear radiation that is currently devastating the Pacific and all the beaches along the West Coast of the US and Canada... No, let's not talk about that in case the sushi-lovers get upset... The Pacific fish are so full of heavy metals, mercury especially (that super highly toxic weird liquid metal), I'm surprised they even float anymore!
Many people come to LA for the warm, sunny weather. I used to think it was the best reason to live here, as long as my air conditioning worked when I needed it. While, yes, it is sunny and warm most of the year, my opinion has dramatically changed over the years. It's not really just sunny and warm anymore, it's actually hot as HELL! It is a desert and without rain or snow there is no water. While sunny is great, being too hot renders me completely unproductive... We are indoors so much of the day trying to stay cool because its too hot outside to function. Living in snow would be better for us. At least we can bundle up and play outside and there is comfort in the warmth inside.
There really are only 2 seasons in LA ~ HOT and Cooler. Yes, a few trees change colors and loose their leaves in the fall/winter and it does get a little chilly at night. In the Spring, there are beautiful flower blossoms everywhere but because of the lack of rain they are here for a week and then shrivel up and die...
LA is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles – Long Beach – Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 13 million and over 18 million people in Combined statistical area respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in the United States.
Bottom Line... There are too many people in LA. Oh yeah, remember it's a desert and there's no water...
Wether renting or buying, houses in LA are ridiculously expensive and incredibly over-priced. Unless we over-extend ourselves financially, affording a house that is perfect for my family requires stealing from Peter to pay Paul, and putting off paying some bills just to afford the rent. Sure, the 1% doesn't have this problem, but I know most of you reading this are in the same boat I am, right? And worse, since the rent is so high, how would I ever be able to save money to buy a house here? It just doesn't make any rational sense... My new house in Oregon is twice the house for half the price!
There's a reasonably new, very visible atmospheric layer that didn't exist 50 years ago around Los Angeles. It's very evident when driving down Topanga Canyon to the San Fernando valley. We know it as SMOG, that disgusting, noxious, brown layer of poisonous pollution that sometimes blankets the whole city. Allergies and Asthma anyone?
Don't even get me started on the LAUSD, that's a whole other book, but none the less it's one of my reasons for leaving LA. The Los Angeles Public School System is quite frankly broken, the crap they choose to teach our children is quite shocking, which is why my children have been home schooled for most of their lives. They no longer teach 'how to learn', they teach what they want our children to believe, and a lot of it is completely innacurate and almost stone-age. Columbus didn't find America and invasion is not discovery, my friends... There are a few schools that are ok, like Topanga Elementary, but even with heavy parent involvement, it is still apart of, and controlled by the 'system'. They try and put all our children into the same box while not really being able to afford the resources to help them. The middle and high schools are even worse. Part of the problem is the salaries our teachers get paid average out to about $150/day, which is what a production assistant on movie sets gets paid to clear trash... If you want to give your child a good child-centered education, you need to send them to a private school. This will run you from $11,000 - $35,000 per year!
Many people flock to LA to become movie stars, famous musicians, or business CEO's, but in my opinion, Los Angeles is a city where people come to have their dreams slowly and methodically crushed (reread pt. 6 above). There is a conscious community in parts of LA but many of these people annoy me too. There are so many "yogis" who try and fit into the ideals of this ancient practice, but really, they just like the image it portrays, but they are actually materialistic and fake. Just to clarify, I'm not against yoga or true yogis, I love yoga and I am certified yoga teacher, I just don't like inauthentic people. AND don't preach health and then give your children gatorade and Oscar Meyer lunchables for school lunch...
Adios LA, we're outta here :)
Of course this is my opinion. These are my personal feelings of growing up, living and raising children in Los Angeles
Keep on joining me on my journey!
Time to pack!