I went to LA around New Years to go watch Wisconsin play in the Rose Bowl. It was a great trip, besides Wisconsin losing in the last minute to a very good TCU team. Spending four days in and around LA confirmed that it’s not the city for me. I had never been to LA before since business/family usually takes me to San Francisco and the valley.
LA is HUGE. I knew it was big, but coming on the airplane, you can see it stretch for miles and miles. You need a car if you want to go anywhere. Even in places like Santa Monica, which I enjoyed, require car trips to get anything. We went out two nights in Hollywood and I really didn’t like the vibe. People were so concerned with image, which is my polar opposite. I really don’t like the focus on money, appearance and wealth. Everyone is keeping up with the Jones. Some guys skipped the line at a club because the bouncer said they spend $10k per week at the bar. That’s insane, probably stupid and potentially wrong. It’s foreign to me.
I got the chance to hang out with my friend Won, who I had not seen since college in Madison. Won is from South Korea but decided to keep his US citizenship when he turned 25 when Korea made him choose between the US and Korea. He joined the air force and now helps manage advanced satellite programs out in LA. We had a great dinner in Santa Monica, then went to the Rose Bowl, where I had the chance to see my friends Bryan and Melissa, who I hadn’t seen since their wedding. Luckily, the two tailgates I wanted to go to were right next to each other!
The Rose Bowl is an amazing setting, but the facilities are really old. The sun setting over the san gabriels was amazing, but it was really hard to get there, the wait for beer/bathrooms was really long and everything was EXPENSIVE. It was still completely worth it. After the loss, Won took me to an amazing Korean restaurant, which helped ease the pain. We had noodle soup, korean bbq ribs and other delicacies. It was a perfect end to the day.
I can’t see myself ever living in LA, because I really value living in a walkable city and I really dislike the image you need to project in LA. I’m sure I’ll be back to visit, but I much prefer San Francisco.