I've lived in Los Angeles for a little over a year now. Work brought me and Tiff to Hollywood and I tell people that I wish that I came sooner. For context, I've only lived on the East Coast in the state of Massachusetts for all my life before moving. While the weather is the biggest difference, I've noticed a few things among the people here that are worth discussing. Here's two.
1. People from LA Are Way More Active
Again, the weather difference between two coasts are pretty apparent. My Lyft driver told me that he moved from the East Coast because he gets to play golf year round. Let me rephrase that. He moved to the West Coast so that he could be more active.
Of all the hikes we've done, both extremely popular and less traveled, there are always groups of individuals who are clearly decades older. They always, always pass us. We actually have yet to be able to keep up with them. My first thoughts were, "What?!? No way; but you're so much older bruh", to, "Nahh, they're just a select few, the elite who hiked as much as possible when they were younger", and finally ending with, "Damn. Older people here are overall more active. We suck." Tiff had the same reaction.
When I think about people back home who seem to be of a similar age, I picture them staying at home or not going anywhere too far from home. Spending their leisure shopping, cooking, or just hanging out in a backyard drinking, cooking, simply enjoying life. At best, there's the occasional trips to the gym. Add in the once-in-a-while vacation. If I had to pick an age, these people I'm referring to are about 45 years old and over... Not too many people seem to be hiking or really doing anything that requires traveling more than an hour of travel.
I strongly believe that the cold and snow supplements an East Coast lifestyle that makes casual exercise hard, leading people to be less active than their counterparts on the West Coast. Californians can go outside and do anything, at any time. My friends and family back home need to spend money and time getting away from the weather during the inconvenient months in order to have the same luxury, two of the most expensive things to invest in anything.
LA is also very health focused. Everyone seems to drink kombucha, love yoga, and have very likely made a social media post that included #vegan or #vegetarian in the caption. I think the social pressure to look pretty and make healthy choices also contributes to a larger portion of people who dress and look better. Every single middle aged gay man I've met at my local dog park in Hollywood makes me feel bad about myself.
2. There are So Many Hustlers in LA
Los Angeles is where most of the celebrities are. In addition to that, it's where most of our beloved TV shows are filmed. It's the capital/destination of the world for so many things like travel, film, and food. Some of the most beautiful men and women in the world come here for work and leisure (#😏😏😏). There's so many things to enjoy and do, and with that comes so many different ways to make money. I'm sure you get the picture.
Now think of some of the most capable celebrities out there today. You'll see that he/she may be a personality, model, writer, singer, dancer, musician, or entrepreneur. The overall go-getter. One of my best examples is Henry Rollins: rock star, actor, writer, and serial traveler. Seriously, look him up (here and here). What I'm trying to say is that there are people here who follow this multiple income, "I'mma I'mma hustler homie" personality.
Maybe it's because I live in Hollywood. I know a few actors who also model. One is actually an Uber driver sometimes. Recall the struggle that is making ends meet while reaching for fame (enter Jon Hamm who didn't have his break out role until he was 36, and previously worked as a set dresser for softcore porn movies). I have friends who tour the US and do product promos. One streams for games on the side. He's now in talks with streaming part time for Konami (#$$$). The same Lyft driver I mentioned earlier who moved to the East Coast also does voiceover work. His wife used to be a singer and actress, and they have owned and maintained a very accomplished photography studio.
This booming era of non corporate money makers is affectionately called Generation 1099 (tax code form for freelancers, read more about these people here). The saying couldn't be truer of LA. Being around these kinds of people is inspiring. It's pushed me to make a serious effort in being competent at a few of my interests. (DISCLAIMER: Shameless Plug) Have you seen my side projects, photos, other opinion posts on this blog, and travel videos?!? I also write blog posts for tech (too nerdy to post) and have been trying to wrap my head around sales/marketing by generating content and promoting it (psst, this post is one of them). Marketing is the hardest thing in the world.
VC Funds who invest in startups are totally okay with investing a substantial amount of money into multiple ventures; odds are that they will make more than the total of what they invested in returns. Imagine that from a career perspective. Try and be good at a ton of different things, who knows what opportunities will come.
People I've met outside of LA have side projects or hobbies; passions. Some also have this ambition that I'm talking about. Everyone can have it, but it seems that more people here bring their side-whatevers to a point where money can be made. Some may argue that money and passion should not mix, oh well. I enjoy it, and I think being able to be skilled enough to make money from something is quite an accomplishment.
3. Bostonians/People from New England are Tougher
In LA, dogs are more welcomed in businesses and other public places. Some even carry them in purses and strollers! Ask a lifelong resident of LA to come out to the East Coast; most people I've spoken to hate the thought. Some who have actually spent time there seem to make it back. I honestly loved that I got to grow up with four seasons, but after being an adult and dealing with work and snow, I wish I came out to LA sooner to cut that BS out of my life.
New Englanders face crappy weather with the same mindset as brushing their teeth; it's whatever. I think that years, even decades of putting up with this weather thickens their personality. Boston literally shut down to catch one friggin' guy. At the same time, they also made sure that their beloved coffee place, Dunkin' Donuts, was still open.
In LA, it's surprising, but you'll find that people who inhabit particular areas of LA tend to stay there. No one wants to drive an hour minimum, about 12 miles, to get to another part of LA. A digital nomad I follow visited LA for the first time this month and literally complained about this.
4. Success is Defined Differently
You're more likely to find people in Boston who have a degree or have received/attempted some form of higher education. Maybe it's all the universities that saturate the area. Maybe it's the huge influence of STEM jobs that are here.
In LA, again, there are so many people who are in the entertainment industry. There's so much more who are trying to become those people. It's not surprising to find people who have entered adulthood without a focus on education, yet have done things like create businesses, fame, and other opportunities for themselves.
5. We Live Up to Our Name as Massholes
Racism/discrimination is more visible here and it shows in many ways. I'm not talking about blatant prejudice based on race or sexual orientation, but by the more subtle things.
I sometimes don't wear clothes that I like because of what people may think going out. I think we've all been there. I'm sure there are people who feel that way and still have enough awesome to not give a damn what people think.
In LA, you can walk out with a pink mohawk, a tanktop, shorts, and heelies (the shoes that have wheels in the soles so you can skate on em, remember!?!) and no one could care less. I think that person would get more, "damn I miss heelies and want a pair right now, let's bring them back!!!!!!11!" than, "wtf do they think they're doing?"
We're more judgemental for sure. In my opinion, it seems that people in Boston all dress kind of similar. Maybe I'm on to something!
One other detail is history. There are neighborhoods separated by ethnicity, culture, and other details that were influenced by immigrants from different places at different times and remain largely unchanged. I think this form of soft-segration surely limits diversity and peoples' tolerance of it.