Los Angeles-Stayed too long
I moved here twice. Once in 1978-81 from Chicago. I was 23 the first time and it was magic. Had a chance to play on an album with some great studio guys, met the Beach Boys a couple of times, Brian and Carl Wilson. Played at the Improv and Dennis Wilson and Christine McVie came in just as we were about to get up and play. Back then it was busy, but it was a bit more relaxed. Apartments were somewhat affordable, and the Universal Amphitheater had no roof but was an open air concert venue. I was a kid, had dreams, but was totally unprepared for what I fell in to. But at 23 who really knows anything about anything.
Moved back here in 1986 for a job, and fast forward to 2015. The place is too crowded, too expensive 80% of the population rents here because homes are out of reach. Apartment owners know this so apartment rentals have gone sky high with more luxury apartments going up all the time.
This crap about the weather, the surf, sand and mountains is all well and good if you can find time and the money to play after you've worked 10 hours just to keep pace with the cost of living.
This town is for young people. I am 60, though I think the lifestyle and the weather have kept me young minded and young looking, it really was time to get out of this town about 10 years ago before it got to this stage of insufferable. If you are looking for community, friendly neighbors, and warm amd fuzzy, you'll get hit over the head with a ton of bricks. The transportation sucks, and if you want to get from the valley to the West side, give yourself about 45minutes to an hour to go 16 miles.
Don't get me wrong. If you aren't making enough money, no place is going to seem too friendly. It just takes a whole lot more of it here, and it's getting worse. If you want something affordable, you'll have to move to the Antelope Valley or Santa Clarita which are areas with druggies and meth labs all over the place.
You will have to be at the top of your game, whether you're a doctor, lawyer, webmaster, SEO, etc.
If you are an actor or musician, stand in line, and have your chops together before you get here.
The level of musicianship especially for the studio is second to none. It's a great pleasure to watch, but if you want to compete on that level, you will have to be an extremely high level musician.
I met my wife here and that's one of the best things about the place I can say happened to me.
We took a reality check and it's time to get out. I make low 6 figures/year, and we're barely making it. But I have learned a ton of stuff about myself here, and if you have want your buttons pushed, this is the place to come. BTW, the chicks look great, but that's about it. THey look great for the sake of looking great, and that's about as deep as it goes.