"Gloss Angeles" Los Angeles by gilescorey

Los Angeles Travel Guide: 4,637 reviews and 9,577 photos

"A Conspiracy of Optimism and Teeth" - T. Tiernan

Los Angeles has always had an inferiority complex(to New York, and to San Francisco), and as such, Angelenos often compensate by mirroring their local media and expounding a dream vision of the city that is neither fair, nor accurate. That "spectacle" is much in evidence on VT, and though this is very much the city of "hype", hype alone will not make Los Angeles into the American Dream. Let LA be what it is. VERY imperfect. But, love your city. The future is bright for the City of Angels, but she needs truth and devotion to truly fly. So....let's begin....

Derision...not without reason.

Ah...Poor Los Angeles...she will forever have an indentity crisis. Nobody comes to LA for "LA". They come for themselves. At the turn of the twentieth century, magazines and speculators promised cheap land and beautiful weather. A two car garage and swimming pool for every waterlogged East Coaster. Later, immigrants seeking a better life, actors seeking fame....nobody came for "the city". That self-promotion, that lack of community still defines Los Angeles, today. Add an unrealistic, Hollywood-fueled image that no city could ever match, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

And, Los Angeles is a disaster. Paradise gone wrong. A modern distopia. Yes, everything negative ever said about LA is true. The pleasant surprise is all that is never said - all that a savvy traveler can discover, given some imagination and determination. Micro-climates, clashing cultures, bizarre architecture, incredible natural beauty and unparalled design.There is sadness, here. Metro LA ranks seventeenth of the seventeen largest US metro areas in its population of "working poor" - a depressing, & shocking statistic. But, this contrary image to "palm trees and movie stars" suggests there is another LA for visitors; a city made up of a wide swath of cultures and social stratems to season the 85 square miles that make up Los Angeles. Consider also the marvel of "natural LA", with abundant beaches and national recreation areas to soften the blight of urban sprawl.

City on the Verge...

Nevertheless, Los Angeles has become a city on the verge. She is one of the few American cities still gaining population. In the ten years I lived there, the city changed dramatically. Downtown has become prime real-estate; a bustling urban metropolis. Mass-transit has taken hold, with the Gold Line completion and the current construction, Union Station now buzzes with harried travelers, fulfilling it's gatsby-era promise. Hollywood is caught somewhere between high-rent and counter-culture, with bikers and round-bellied tourists side-stepping eachother along the Walk of Fame.

This is an exciting time to visit the City of Angels. It truly is. Just don't move here, okay?

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Stunning geography and progressive architecture
  • Cons:dispersed, incohesive, poverty(by U.S. Standards), and shallow
  • In a nutshell:The "American Dream" gone wrong. But, there is hope....?
  • Last visit to Los Angeles: Jan 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (76)

Comments (19)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    LOL...it's true people need hot bods in LA to be noticed...hehehe...nice tip _ I gave you a FIVE! hehehe

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2008 at 6:59 PM

    What an enjoyable read. Great pics of Watts Towers. I've always enjoyed Venice Beach too, and it's a shame more people don't use the metro.

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2008 at 10:32 PM

    I don't care if it is a tourist trap or not, low in tackiness was easily balanced by the height of the skirts..... ;-)

  • Stargazer1's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2007 at 12:00 PM

    Good tips. Thanks.

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2007 at 3:26 AM

    Excellent insights into a much misunderstood city ! I really enjoyed reading your tips & opinions, a fantastic page. I also live in a city where the advice "visit, but don't move here ok?" is true; but I do believe our drivers are almost worse / Jess :-)

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2007 at 5:52 PM

    Excellent recap of the good, the bad and the ugly of LA. Its refreshing to see an honest approach here on VT. Very well done. :)

  • davequ's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2007 at 3:38 PM

    Venice Roller disco rocks. 'good times' thanks

  • Oct 15, 2006 at 1:07 PM

    lovely page! Nikos

  • Jul 19, 2006 at 2:38 AM

    That very white man, Ken Hahn, managed to garner a good 38% of the Latino vote from Antonio. While Antonio only got 29% of the Black vote. The big issue in LA is now not Latino/White but Latino/Blacks. Ken only lost in '04 because of corruption scandals.

  • RAINBOWWINGS's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2006 at 12:41 PM

    Great pages, good tips and I love your sense of humour. Are you really from LA??!!

gilescorey Used To Live Here!


“I was on my way to San Diego, but my house got a flat”

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