How to Fall in Love with L.A.

Cuz let’s face it, if you want to rise to the top of the TV world, living here in Lala Land is way more than half the game:

LAby Paul Haddad

At first blush, Los Angeles is like a supermodel at a cocktail party — foreboding and hard to approach. Its 468 square miles make it the sixth largest city in the continental United States. But live here long enough and you come to see L.A. the way natives like myself do — as a catch-all for the 272 neighborhoods and municipalities within its borders. Whether you’re new to the city or simply searching for a new apartment in another part of town, finding your bliss is as simple as remembering these five easy rules.

1. Choose Your Own Reality. One of the advantages of a sprawling metropolis is that somewhere there’s a region that’s right for you. Want a place that reminds you of your horse ranch back home in Texas but is still close enough to freeways and businesses? Settle near Burbank’s Rancho Equestrian District. Are you an actor/waiter who prizes a walkable neighborhood with lots of coffeehouses, theatres, and Metro lines? NoHo has you covered. If you’re a beach person who can’t afford to live there, consider Mar Vista, Palms or Culver City — all within biking distance of Ballona Creek, whose bike route is a straight shot to Marina Del Rey. They also straddle the Expo Line, due to reach Santa Monica in early 2016. Bottom line: Know thyself. What environment makes you most happy? Now find a way to live there. Once you do…

2. Make your hood your world. Los Angeles’ downtown makes our city run, but unless you live there, it’s largely irrelevant to our day-to-day lives. The happiest Angelenos are those who love the neighborhoods in which they reside. I’ve spent entire weekends never leaving my Los Feliz turf. After a morning hike in Griffith Park, I might stroll down to Yuca’s for tacos, duck into Skylight Books and Half-Off Clothing Store, meet friends for Happy Hour at 1739 Public House, and catch a movie at the Los Feliz 3 — with a quick jaunt across the street to House of Pies for dessert. Patronizing your neighborhood doesn’t just lighten your environmental footprint, it’s good for the local economy, beneficial to your health, and makes you feel connected to the city.

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