By Lindenberg Junior | English Edition/Special Thanks: Ann Fain
Los Angeles is cosmopolitan and international. It is home to people from everywhere. It is in fact predominantly Latino. “L.A” as the angelanos call it, is a melt pot where you can find different cultures and ethnicities, and where you can eat and even “breathe” different things from different parts of the world. L.A is home for the largest Asian communities outside of Asia (for sure among Koreans, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese), and there are distinct European expat communities. You even find ethnic enclaves of all types like “Little Armenia”, “Little Ethiopia”, “Little Tokyo”, and for sure, “Chinatown”.
Up until I was 26 years old, when I lived in my native Brazil, I just drank beer. It is the perfect match for Recife, in the Northeastern part of Brazil where humid and hot weather are present almost 365 days of the year. But since I moved to L.A in the 90’s I started to drink and enjoy wine. For wine lovers, here in L.A you can find some of the best wines in the world for under US$15, and some cheap but still quality wines for under US$5! Living in Los Angeles you have easy access to fresh produce and high quality food, including organic certified.
L.A is synonymous with glamour, cinema, and Hollywood, but also with surf, outdoor fun, and vibrant nightlife. The art and music scenes are fantastic and you can see any superstar artist by just living in L.A. It may be at the Hollywood Bowl during the summer concerts, at the Nokia Theater in downtown, or in any other great venue in L.A, but also on the streets just walking or while having a dinner in one of the many upscale restaurants from Santa Monica and Beverly Hills to Hermosa Beach and Sherman Oaks.
And if you are the type of person who loves music, you can see many music groups at one of L.A.’s numerous music venues before they become mega stars. I can remember seeing bands like Guns N’ Roses and The Red Hot Chili Peppers before they became famous. Many years ago, while working for a Italian restaurant, I delivered Picatta Limonne to Flea, the bass player for the Peppers, at his house in the Los Feliz area. I gave him his first tips about Brazil and Rio just before the band’s first tour to Brazil.
L.A. is an eclectic city and may have the highest number of hipsters in the U.S., most of which you can find in Silverlake, Venice Beach, and Hollywood. If you go to the South Bay you’ll find beach cities like Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, and you’ll get a totally different vibe. The folks living in neighborhoods cities near the beach are more relaxed due to the predominant surfing lifestyle. L.A. is also fairly close to other popular cities such us Big Bear (2 hours driving) if you like to ski/snowboard, Palm Springs (2 hours driving) for desert activities, Santa Barbara (1h30min driving) if you love wine and want to experience excellent wine tasting, San Diego (2 hours driving) if you want a day trip with some good surfing, or even visit Mexico as the border is only minutes from downtown San Diego.
I know Miami, New York, Las Vegas and other important cities in U.S. but nothing is comparable with the weather in Southern California! I’m writing this on the last week of September, and it’s 82 F outside with clear skies where I live in Tarzana. For some folks this is actually a problem, but if don’t like the humid whether such as in Miami or Recife (where I was born) and do not like the cold during winter such as in San Francisco or New York, Los Angeles is the city for you.
Actually, years ago, we conducted a survey where you asked Brazilians living in Los Angeles what they like most, and almost unanimously the answer was the weather. Actually, the weather is something that you definitely need to consider if you are thinking of moving to L.A. For me, the perfect weather can improve your life and even your outlook on life.
I can go on and on but the last thing I want to mention is this: living in L.A have some risks. Here you do not have hurricanes or tornados, but there is always the possibility of an earthquake, and L.A. is not affordable. Actually, L.A. is the third most expense city to live in United States, just behind San Francisco and New York.
On the flip side, you will never have to shovel snow, you will have space in your home to sprawl out, and you will have easy access to relaxing beaches, lakes, and even mountains just minutes from your home…most of the time, under satisfactory weather. I’ll finish this article saying what no tour book or website will tell you: Los Angeles may be is not a good option to visit if you are in a hurry and have only one of two days, because is really big and you need some time to explore it…but for sure, it is one of the best cities to live in the world!