Myth Busting Los Angeles

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On About.com, Kayte Deioma lists the Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About Los Angeles on their website. I’ve listed them below and you should go to their website for the accompanying descriptions. Though most of the items are good myth-busters, my favorite is number nine – I’ve never heard anyone say that everyone in Los Angeles is in a gang, have you?

1) It’s always sunny.
2) It’s hot at the beach.
3) Nobody walks in LA.
4) Everyone works in the entertainment industry.
5) Everyone is beautiful.
6) The beaches are full of blond bombshells.
7) It’s all concrete.
8) It’s hard to drive in LA.
9) Los Angeles is a dangerous place to visit; everyone is in a gang.
10) People dress formally to go out.

Stereotypes of Los Angeles can be frustrating but are a part of this city. Steve Martin always does such a good job in his movies like LA Story and Shop Girl of portraying the truthful side to Los Angeles will also acknowledging, and poking fun at, what makes LA seem so silly. Such a love/hate relationship! Earthquakes, restaurant reservations, bad traffic, the weather all play a part of our lives here. It’s just that for some reason they often become caricatures too.

So with all that siad, I ask you – what are some of the other misconceptions/myths about Los Angeles?

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16 Replies to “Myth Busting Los Angeles”

  1. As far as #9 is concerned, I’ve heard that L.A. is a dangerous city, but never the part about everyone being in a gang. When I moved to OC 10 years ago, people assumed I moved because it was too dangerous. They were right, considering I lived in East L.A., but the rest of the city has some very nice spots as well.

  2. People from out of state use to always ask me if its ok to drive on the freeways (during the freeway shooting incidents).

    Also, people think that the eastside of LA is silverlake. Oh wait, thats a “westside” stereotype.

    #5 That is true

    #9 Its not a “gang…its a club”.

  3. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve heard people say that in LA, all women are thin-as-a-stick bimbos. That one really annoys me.

    This kind of segues with no. 1, but I’m always hearing people word it as “it never rains in Southern California / Los Angeles”.

    It’s very timely that you should be posting this, because I’ve been having a few incidents recently which have made me totally fed up with the incorrect stereotypes about LA that people are always feeding me. I’m tired of it!

  4. 1) How ’bout LA is “very transient.” Truth is, I’ve been living here for 12 years-plus, and most of my Silver Lake neighbors have racked up decades in one home.

    2) I’ve also heard “everyone is so glamorous!” Thanks, Angelyne, for bringing glamour and style back to Hollywood! Maybe that’s the kinda glam ONLY Los Angeles could handle — whether real, air-brushed or cosmetically enhanced.

    3) “Celebrities are everywhere.” It’s fun when they pop up unannounced at a shop, restaurant, watering hole, etc. — but I find it comical when visiting friends EXPECT to see them at Hard Rock Cafe, the Beverly Center, Pink’s and wherever else one might wander.

  5. Andrew, I’ve been with visiting friends and family and saw Leonardo DiCaprio at the Beverly Center, Patricia Arquette at Pinks, and Tom Hanks at Disneyland.
    Somehow my outoftowners have been magnets for the celebs.

  6. Mexicans only live in East LA. And Mexicans are the only Spanish speaking immigrants in LA. Everyone forgets that we’re all over the city and that LA is home to thousands of Central Americans.

  7. “Los Angeles is shallow and vapid.”

    That’s kind of a distillation of the blanket statements / freakin’ dissertations (like the recent one in the New Yorker, where the author tried to find the soul in L.A…by going…wait for it…SHOPPING) about Los Angeles that I hate the most.

    I spend much of my career working to debunk that. It’s partially true, but only as a surface manifestation, and it’s true more of a subset of L.A.’s population than it is of the city’s character.

  8. I think the myth that “there’s no culture in LA” is one that is oft spoken by the uniformed. It’s a myth perpetuated throughout the country, but I think we have more culture than most cities.(I’d go on, but this is a comment, not a post!)

  9. One of my favorites is that it is NEVER cold in LA. Whenever I tell people who are planning to visit to be sure to bring a jacket, they never believe me and are shocked to find at night the temps go down almost 20 degrees sometimes.

  10. #9 I hear the sort of “that neighborhood is solely populated by armed thugs” myth echoed by locals all of the time. Many locals seem to buy into the myth that every neighborhood except their own is a riot in slow motion.

  11. That there is no “there” there. The fact is, there is a lot of “community” around. Stronger than most. Imagine how other neighborhoods in other cities would fare if faced with the constant reinvention of a city like LA has.

    Recently blogs have shown that the neighborhoods are there. Just kept a secert by it’s residents like a good shortcut.

  12. The one I get the most is “celebrities are everywhere”. Yes, I’ve spotted them at Target and the Arclight and various shopping centers, but my out-of-town friends expect me to be hanging out every night alongside Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan. They often think LA is comprised solely of Beverly Hills/ Brentwood/ West Hollywood, and when I tell them that Hollywood itself is actually comprised of young people, lots of renters and low-income families, they’re shocked. People Mag and UsWeekly ain’t LA, ya’ll!

  13. Yeah, I agree, but I think most people make these “myths” about LA beacuse they’re jealous they live in mediocre or shitty weather. Look at SF (where I live now unfortunately); they wrongfully think they’re are the West Coast’s cultural capital, but LA has more museums per capita than any other city in the country. And, LA has more people from other parts of the world. LA is a very cultured city, but it’s the Hollywood industry that gets all the attention. I say drop the useless guidebooks unless you’re using it for the maps. I bought one for SF when I moved up here for school and it had so much praise for a city that honestly doesn’t warrant it.

  14. Seriously, who makes this stuff up?
    I wish numbers 1,2,5, and 6 were true…especially since if number 5 were true I would be “beautiful”. #3 is ridiculous, the only way to get from my office to my car is to walk… I’m guilty of #4, I dont understand #7. It was hard to learn to drive in LA especially in Hollywood because the streets are so narrow and there are always obstacles jumping into your way, but I’ve found LA to be one of the easier cities to drive in. I have heard #9 before, and in the bad areas it is very true, but in the regular areas this is not a concern. I wont even comment on #10, unless flip flops are formalwear.

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