has written 5 SperlingViews. Currently, Ben is living in Beaverton, OR and has a little something to say:
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L.A. is almost beyond definition Posted On: 8/13/2011 7:00:04 PM
It's white collar and blue collar. It's manicured lawns, but also barred-up windows. It's yoga-practicing vegans living next door to barbecue enthusiasts. It's whites and Hispanics, but also blacks, Asians, Europeans and Middle Easterners. It's a college town, but also a financial powerhouse. It's Disneyland, sunshine and miles of sandy beaches, but it's also graffiti, gangs, smog, earthquakes and riots. It's glamorous, but also gritty. It's Hollywood and the entertainment industry for sure, but it's also about every other conceivable industry you can think of as well.
That is L.A. It's beyond definition. It's almost anything and everything you can think of in a city rolled up into one. From Beverly Hills to Compton, Pacific Palisades to Watts, Manhattan Beach to Long Beach, L.A. doesn't just represent a part of our country, it represents a microcosm of our world.
Thousands from everywhere flock to L.A. every year to follow their dreams. For many, that's acting, but for some it's writing, music, a start-up business, a graduate degree, an apprenticeship with a leading law firm or financial firm, etc. Thousands every year leave L.A. Sometimes their dreams are unfulfilled, sometimes they are ready to for a slower pace and sometimes they just can't take being away from home. I always read about the doom of California and let's make it clear: California has a ton of problems, but it still has thousands moving there year after year and the decline of industry in California is heavily exaggerated. There are still tons of jobs out there with new businesses popping up every day. However, you have to be the best and the brightest to get them. When you compete with a huge size of talent, you have to step up your game.
L.A. has everything. The best shopping, the best weather, the best restaurants, the best entertainment, arts and culture galore, hiking, biking, surfing, skiing, pro sports, theme parks, kayaking, boating, you name it, it can be found here. When you are in the right mind set and at the right age, L.A. is fun central. Work hard, but play even harder. If that's how you operate, you'll love it here. I did for many years. I moved here from the Midwest to "follow my dream," which was to be a screenwriter. After working for many years as a script consultant, I finally gave up the dream. I lost interest in playing the networking game and having that ever so slim shot that I would ever make it actually writing movies. Am I sad? No. Do I regret ever moving here? Absolutely not. I have made new friends, I have tried new experiences, and I found my future wife. We moved up to the Portland, Oregon area, which is a much slower pace of life, but has many of the big city advantages we miss about L.A. We are ready to have a family and have a life, so the change was a needed one for us, but we had a great time when we were in L.A.
While many communities are about giving back to the community, L.A. is about taking and making your mark. Some do, some don't. I doubt I did, but I had a blast for four years trying. Oh, and yes, you do need a car. Everyone drives. L.A. tries to act like they are becoming this public transportation mecca, but the automobile is still king. And make sure it looks good. Appearance is key here. Look sharp or get lost. Win or go home. That's how it rolls with the Lakers and Dodgers and that's how it rolls in this city.
L.A. is the ultimate summer camp for adults. It's fun, it's unforgettable and it allows you to try new things. But eventually, it's time to go home and grow up.
re: Why is this city in the USA - 3/31/2011 Posted On: 8/9/2011 6:10:19 PM
Wow, you sound like such a great person to be around. I find the people in Portland to be friendly, laid back and intelligent. And while there are homeless, go to Los Angeles and New York and you'll see two places where the problem is much, much worse.
re: Miserable Place to Live 9 months out of the y Posted On: 8/9/2011 6:08:17 PM
Most miserable place to live??? I always read how it's one of the best places to live. Personally, all those lists are stupid anyways. Live where you're happy, not where a list tells you to be.
re: Poor for business , living quality slow/small Posted On: 8/9/2011 6:06:09 PM
To be honest, you just sound like a miserably unhappy person who is a bit delusional. I find your story about the kids coming to your window far fetched and ridiculous. And in a metro area of 2 million plus, you couldn't find a good dentist or optometrist? Wow. I hope people who come here take your over the top comment with a grain of salt.
Great Place Posted On: 8/9/2011 5:57:29 PM
Some of these reviews make me laugh. I mean, I guess most of the people that go to these websites and post comments are the ones who aren't happy. The others that are happy are probably too busy enjoying their life. Sheesh. As a person that moved from the Midwest out to Portland, I have to say that I absolutely love it out here. No comparison. The beauty alone that surrounds Portland makes my old home look like a piece of junk. My wife and I have been out here for a little over a year now and can't believe how lucky we are to live here.
I think some of the people on this site play up on the Portland stereotypes pretty badly. For one, I don't smoke pot, have never smoked pot, and plan on never smoking pot. Not everyone here is a big weed head and some of the people on here that say that are just playing up on the stereotypes or ran with a crowd that only cared about doing that. The crowd I spend time with aren't drug users at all. I think that Portland is big enough that you can find people that aren't drug users. Also, it's big enough that not everyone is a hippie. Stereotypes really do nothing but save time.
Also, Portland has plenty of industries and businesses. The creative industries thrive here as do apparel and technology. I actually got transferred from my old office over here. The "Portland hates business" mantra is overplayed. Nike, Adidas, Columbia, U.S. Bank, Intel, Weiden Kennedy and many small businesses have presences in the area. Sure, I wouldn't call it say New York or Chicago for business, but I don't think that's the goal of the city. I find Portland to be about balance.
I like the rain and mist. I'd take it any day over snow storms and wind chills for the winter. And when I get depressed, I hop in my car and head to Mount Hood for some skiing. That always brightens my mood. And you can't beat the gorgeous summers. An hour drive to Cannon Beach over the summer... nothing more beautiful.
So many things to do. Great parks, awesome festivals, spectacular site seeing, delicious food, there's always something to do.
I think calling Portland "liberal" is a tad misleading. I'd call it more anarchist/libertarian. It's kind of a "do whatever you want and I'll do whatever I want." I don't find it anywhere near as liberal as San Francisco. Liberals I find tell you how to act and think. In Portland I find it more it's "you think and act that way? Cool. I don't, but cool." Sure, that might be a little much for conservatives, but for moderates like myself it's not bad at all. Plus if you don't like hippie attitudes or anything a little artsy, move to the Southwest section of the city or go to close by Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro or Lake Oswego. That might be the normalcy you're looking for.
Sorry, but I'm defensive because I love it here and most the people I know that live here do as well. Is it perfect? No. Is it for everybody? No. If you are die hard Republican, you probably won't like it. If you live and die with sunshine, you probably should look into California, Texas, Arizona or Florida, but I still contest that winters are better here than in the Midwest or East Coast. I will never ever move back to the Midwest. I've finally found a place that I love to call home. Utopia? Maybe not exactly, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.