Personally, whenever I go into Los Angeles, I get in around 10am.. do what I gotta do.. and then get OUT before 6pm. Unless I’m at my hotel, in a restaurant or at an amusement park.. I’m likely on the freeway with L.A. in my rear view mirror.
For me, L.A. is a great place to live.. if you’ve got the money to isolate yourself from the grit, poverty, grunge and crime that is prevalent in such a large city. Beverly Hills? I imagine it’s great. But East L.A.? Compton? Pico Rivera, Commerce or surrounding Downtown?? Heck, even the Santa Monica pier area goes downhill after dark with the army of homeless people that come out of the woodwork each night. Venice beach is no better, day or night. Personally, if I woke up one day and found myself living in L.A., my only desire would be to get in my car and drive OUT, find somewhere.. anywhere else to live. And raise kids there?? Yah, right.
No.. give me Inland Empire or San Diego. Cleaner air, nicer middle-income neighborhoods, decent schools and I can actually walk around on a warm summer’s evening without worrying much about getting caught in the cross-fire of a gang shooting or getting mugged, stabbed or car-jacked. I’m not saying there’s no crime in the IE or SD. But it’s nowhere near the scale of a large city like L.A. Murrieta for the last few years has been rated something like #4 in the lowest crime rated cities for the U.S. San Diego gets a bit sketchy as you approach National City.. but offers plenty of great things to do without the urban decay that is L.A.
Most of my relatives live either in Orange County or the L.A. area. It’s where they (and I for awhile) grew up. They’ve grown accustomed to it, even endeared to it. They know the streets and freeways inside out and a trip to Dodger stadium or even the Coliseum (shudder) is what they consider a good time. That’s great for them.. but it’s not for me. I never considered myself as a ‘country boy’.. but after 30 years in the rural valleys from Menifee to Temecula, I guess the ‘big city’ is just not what I call home anymore.
— Henry Velez
Henry Velez is a writer, traveler and vlogger currently living in the Philippines. He has written extensively on social issues, relationships and travel.