Ripping Open the Dual L.A. Scabs of East Coast Hating and Weather Wussiness

Apres moi, le deluge
Apres moi, le deluge

Last night, I had my writer’s group over for a soiree, and a couple of people didn’t make it due to the rain.  I’m still getting used to the intense amount of discussion and hand-wringing in Los Angeles regarding rain.  And I don’t mean mudslides, I mean just driving on the highway.  Then my friend Chris, a fellow transplant from D.C. (a literal swamp where it rains all summer long) explained it thusly:

“Rain in L.A. is like snow in D.C.  We get an inch, and people become irrational.”

Maybe that’s it.

13 Replies to “Ripping Open the Dual L.A. Scabs of East Coast Hating and Weather Wussiness”

  1. A couple of things.

    The roads become oil slick because of the build up, because of the infrequency of such rain.

    Many peoples tire tread is well worn making for hazardous situations in rain.

    Many roads themselves do not drain very well here, some intersections are almost bowl shaped in fact.

    Then lastly, it rarley seems to just drizzle here, it’s more like a sideways deluge of lunatic rain.

  2. I’ve been here 15+ years, and I totally see a puss factor, but I also know that Angelenos suck at driving at the rain, and that the roads get extra slippery here due to the infrequency of rain, so combined you get many more accidents and a lot of traffic jams.

  3. I agree with nathan, but since those who teach driving seldom take time to extend defensive driving techniques to rain and/or snow. When I lived in Northern California (mountains) the generic term ‘flatlanders’ was not a compliment and covered a range of driving sins from bald tires, inability to handle twisting roads (I have the same complaints about people who go up to Mt Wilson, etc), drive safely in or on snow and the biggest: knowing if you have five or more vehicles behind your vehicle, you are legally required to pull over (when safe) to allow traffic to pass.
    To me, the second biggest driving sin in LA is pulling over in front of a big rig without giving the driver enough room to respond safely. And the biggest is, of course, DUI….

  4. I’m with Julia, rainy days are an excuse to put a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up with my wife. The rest of the world should try it, much more fun than slopping around in the wet.

  5. I like when it gets relatively cold and rainy here. It’s a nice break from the sunshine.

    I thought the roads were slick only for the first hour or so of the first rains, and that once the oiliness is washed away, it’s just water on pavement. Or at least that’s how it was explained to me.

  6. Some verification from the CA DMV Driver’s Handbook:

    Many road pavements are the most slippery when it first starts to rain or snow because oil and dust have not yet been washed away. Slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road. Turn on your windshield wipers, headlights, and defroster.

    As for “East Coast hating,” the only thing that most Angelenos I know hate about the East Coast is that people from there seem so fixated on comparing the two.

  7. I’m from the East Coast and only compare the two in terms of gloating when we are having fabulous weather and my friends and family are freezing their butts off!

  8. When I moved to LA from the very blustery midwest, I was gobsmacked that the lane markers weren’t reflective. Never have I been terrified driving in the rain until I realized NO ONE COULD SEE WHERE THE LANES WERE!

    That’s just insane. I love to sit at home watching the rain wash the city clean, but I’d certainly prefer not to drive in it in this silly, silly city.

  9. This has been bugging me for a while. Re. gloating about weather: When the last string of winter storms went through the mid-west, killing 23 people and knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes for several days during frigid weather, I was struck by seeing people on here gloating about how nice the weather was in LA during the same period. Classy.

    When I lived in NYC I don’t recall anyone laughing at Calif. when it was enduring earthquakes, fires or mudslides. But we do find other things about LA amusing.

  10. Yikes, I don’t think anyone here was talking about wishing actual death upon their fellow countrymen. That’s an astoundingly creepy way to read Jodi’s comment. An ugly sweater or pair of boots here or there maybe. We might be bloggers, but we’re not completely heartless.

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