Los Angeles skyline.

Is Los Angeles Really a Dump? Residents Share Their Perspectives

From neverending traffic to overcrowding, one person heard living in Los Angeles isn’t all that great. They asked residents online to share what it’s really like living in La La Land, and people responded. 

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

Not Like the Movies 

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“Most of LA is a deep, depressing, despair-driven dirty dump indeed,” one resident said. Isn’t that encouraging? “Unless you have a lot of money, the LA in which YOU will reside will consist of strip malls…sad tract homes near the freeway, and endless suburbia.” 

Getting Better

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One resident says what visitors consider Los Angeles and what locals think it to be are two different ideas. “Downtown IS a dump. It’s one of the oldest sections of the city and has serious problems with vagrancy and failing infrastructure,” they explain. “But in current LA, the bad parts of town are slowly fading.” 

Ride Along 

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One former LAPD officer left the city after retiring in 2007. “As a cop, of course, I saw a lot of seedy places,” for example, Skid Row has continued to grow. “There are dump spots. But overall, I’m sure LA is still an attractive and nice place.” 

Heading Towards Despair 

An oceanside road in Central Coast, California.
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While one LA resident says sights like the Pacific Coast Highway make Los Angeles one of the most beautiful areas in the country, they also think LA will be “unlivable” in less than 50 years. “It will be like ‘Blade Runner’ with a large part of the population living below the poverty line. It’s why a lot of middle-class people are leaving.” 

Times Are Changing 

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In the 80s, one person called LA home for almost a decade between Hollywood and Sunset Blvd. Their most recent trip to the same spot was a harsh wake-up call. “It’s just ugly. Same traffic, but no one seems to be able to live well because it’s a dump.”

Ups and Downs 

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“Los Angeles is a sprawling megacity with more people and traffic than most people want to deal with,” one resident said. “But LA also has a lot of energy, creativity, beauty, and odd corners that I am delighted exist.” 

Some Exceptions 

Hollywood street sign.
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Los Angeles is “not a dump, except in some dumpy areas,” said one person who lived in LA from 2006-2014. They said you’ll likely see trash in the streets, and the homeless population is approaching a critical stage. “But despite these problems, the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills and Bel Air, and the Pacific Palisades (among others) are beautiful areas.”

Rich Advantages 

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One parent’s son attended UCLA a few years back and says neither of them returned since. “There are some areas in Los Angeles where you just don’t want to go. It’s not a city to walk in,” they said. “It’s a tough town when you don’t have lots and lots of money.” 

More For Me 

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One LA resident quickly vocalized that the city is a dump to live in. “Yep, totally true, don’t come here.” Then, they said how they really felt. “Actually, no, it’s ridiculous, but I figure that’s one more available parking space.” 

See for Yourself 

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Another points out that some of the wealthiest people in the world either live in or vacation in Los Angeles frequently. “If it was that much of a dump, do you think that would be the case? Don’t let a friend determine something for you. Determine it for yourself.” 

World Class City 

Palm trees in Los Angeles.
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Los Angeles is what you make of it, one resident adds. “Most people that criticize LA have never been here. There are some bad areas, that is true,” they said. “But it also has some of the most amazing, beautiful, clean neighborhoods in the world.” 

Come Prepared

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“If you come to Los Angeles without curiosity, without knowing where to go or any sense of adventure, gawk at the homeless, are terrified of people unlike yourself, and stay out in the suburbs,” of course you’re going to be disappointed, one resident says. “Do a little research.”

Not Just LA

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One person argues it isn’t Los Angeles’ fault that it isn’t all sunshine and roses. “It’s a modern city coping with all the other crap every big city in America has to deal with.” They said if you focus on the fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, and bountiful sports and entertainment, you’ll see the light. 

Give It a Try

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An LA resident agrees that while city officials try to keep everything clean for tourists, life happens. “Our modern world is imperfect. It’s worth a visit. Be patient while on the 405, or relax and take PCH [Pacific Coast Highway], one of the most picturesque routes you’ll ever drive along. LA is a unique city.” 

Some Things Never Change 

Traffic jam.
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Take it from someone who’s lived in LA their entire lives: some things are improving, while some problems appear permanent. Among the good? “The air is dramatically cleaner than when I was young.” But, they fear that jammed freeways and poor street paving will always be an issue. 

Source: Quora

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