You instinctively add an hour to get to wherever you are going.
Traffic is going to be bad. Every time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s rush hour or not. Actually if it’s rush hour, you pretty much refuse to drive anywhere. If it isn’t, you still know to expect major delays. It’s a lesson we’ve all had to learn the hard way.
Giving directions becomes your second language.
See the SNL skit, ‘The Californians;’ Angelenos spend a vast majority of their daily conversations talking about traffic flows. Getting around L.A. is a verifiable trial by fire. If you don’t speak the language, you don’t belong. Everyone must know how to get from the 405 to the 10 to the 101 (or better yet, how to avoid the freeways altogether) and be able to communicate this to wide-eyed, unenlightened tourists.
You naturally assume it’s kosher to just bring your dog inside everywhere.
Restaurants, department stores, boutique shops…pretty much anywhere and everywhere is a dog-friendly spot. In fact, it is extremely uncommon to eat anywhere with an outdoor patio and not see a dog chilling under the table or poking its little head out of a diner’s purse. If L.A. were a person, she would definitely be a dog person.
You won’t go anywhere near Hollywood and Highland.
Tourists? Wax figures? Walk of Fame? No, no, and no. Even worse is the ‘Tour of the Stars,’ open-air jeeps carting tourists around otherwise quiet neighborhoods in the hope of seeing a celebrity waltz out of their house. You know way better than to recommend these to visitors and avoid them yourself at all costs.
You are used to having too many delicious options at your fingertips.
Sushi? Korean barbecue? Poke? Tongue tacos from the truck on the street? Suddenly it’s Taco Tuesday every day, and the ever-rotating possibilities of wandering food trucks at lunchtime make them readily accessible when you wander out of the office in search of a meal.
Movie premieres and award shows are annoying, not exciting.
‘Tom Hanks is standing up there signing autographs? Why is he standing in my way?’ Premieres used to be exciting when you first moved here but now you avoid them like the plague. Nobody needs to see celebrities on red carpets when you can see them at the grocery store, and premieres only make the crazy traffic even worse.
You prefer your drinks organic, locally sourced, vegan and responsibly grown.
‘Are the grapes used to make the wine in this sangria locally grown? What about the orange slices in them?’ When you start obsessively wondering about the origins of every ingredient you ingest, it’s possible you may have been influenced by all the raw food trends that engulf the city’s culinary scene.
You blame everything on/ constantly remind everyone about the drought.
‘My neighbor is watering his non-sustainable lawn in the middle of the day…I knew he was a sociopath.’ It is 100% valid to assume anyone wasting water is either insane or from out of town. Almost anything can be traced back to California’s water crisis. Super hot out? Must be because of the drought. Strawberries are $8 a pound? Gotta be the drought.
A $13 craft cocktail at Happy Hour is a ‘good deal.’
Buying a round of drinks for friends is always a nice gesture, but it’s especially nice when ten drinks could equal your car insurance payment next month. God forbid it’s not Happy Hour, or it could be worse. Getting out of L.A. for a day makes you feel rich indeed.
You start wearing ‘athleisure’ to the office.
This is not a trend, but a way of life. The burgeoning start-up culture plus the incessant obsession with all kinds of work-outs made it fashionable to wear white Adidas yoga pants plus a blazer to work. No tie? No problem. Just throw on a hoodie over your button up and you’re ready to go to either the gym or to work — the possibilities are endless.