View Full Version : NYC vs. LA

August 31st, 2006, 01:11 AM
Anyone in this forum ever been to sunny LA? How does it stack up against Gotham?

August 31st, 2006, 02:37 AM

August 31st, 2006, 02:52 AM
A couple of years old but still not far from the mark ...


Despite the region’s low marks in mobility, air quality, education,
income, employment, housing and safety, people keep coming.

Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-scag6feb06,1,7058235.story)
By Kurt Streeter and Sharon
Bernstein, Times Staff Writers

Why on earth would anyone want to live here?

In the six-county region surrounding Los Angeles, traffic is the worst in the nation, jobs are tough to come by, a home costs a fortune, the public schools are largely a shambles and the air, after a short spell of getting cleaner, is smogging up again.

“We’re in a crisis situation,” said Grand Terrace Mayor Lee Ann Garcia, one of a handful of local politicians who unveiled a study Thursday on the quality of life in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties. “We’ve got to wake up and realize the mess we are in.”

For proof, Garcia pointed to a report card accompanying the annual assessment by the Southern California Assn. of Governments, or SCAG, which has judged the region since 1998 in seven categories: employment, income, housing, mobility, air quality, education and safety.

Drawn mostly from data SCAG compiled in 2002, the report card describes an L.A. area that is rapidly adding poorly schooled residents and providing them with jobs that pay badly, a region of ever-increasing rents, perpetually clogged freeways and little elbow room. Roughly one of every 17 people in the United States lives here.

In short, the region is a mess.

Just getting around is a huge hurdle, a factor that led SCAG to give its lowest grade, a D-minus, in mobility.

Traffic in the six-county region remained the nation’s worst, with people spending an average of 50 hours a year stuck in traffic. What’s more, the use of mass transit stayed low, carpooling declined and highway fatalities were higher than the national urban average.

Transportation wasn’t the only category near complete failure. The report card gave education a D, noting that eighth-graders in every county but Orange and Ventura scored below the national median in standardized math and reading tests.

In all counties, fewer than 40% of high school graduates finished courses required for admission to the state’s university system, and the region ranked last among the nation’s largest urban regions for the percentage of adults with at least high school diplomas.

Housing received a D-plus, largely because the costs of buying and renting continue to rise, the report said. The number of building permits soared to the highest level since 1990, but housing affordability fell compared with levels in the rest of the nation, a trend that began in 1997. Only a third of the region’s residents could afford median-priced houses in 2002.

Elsewhere, half the residents could afford them.

Rating only slightly better were air quality and personal income, which received grades of C and C-minus, respectively. Typifying the pollution problem was an area including Orange County and southern Los Angeles County, where the ozone measurement in the air failed to meet federal standards on 49 days in 2002, up from 36 days the previous year.

Incomes fell along with employment in a region that lost 22,000 jobs in 2002, according to the report. One sliver of good news: With the influx of people, the number working in retail has increased. But that was said to underscore more trouble: Retail jobs tend to pay less than work in manufacturing and construction.

The struggling state of the region has economists and government planners struggling to offer solutions.

Jack Kyser, senior economist for the L.A. Economic Development Corp., a nonprofit business group, said top officials must think more creatively and not reach for simple “sound-bite solutions.”

Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, who oversaw the SCAG study, echoed those sentiments, stating that the region needs to embrace “big concepts,” like the construction of a high-speed train system that could push the economy by creating jobs, and improve traffic and air quality. Loveridge was downcast as he studied the report, noting that it was full of “terrible news.” But he saw a silver lining. The region continues to grow, adding about 330,000 people, to push the population to 17.4 million in 2002.

August 31st, 2006, 02:57 AM
Why LA Sucks....

issa's world (http://issasworld.typepad.com/issas_world/2006/05/why_la_sucks.html)
May 30, 2006

Really guys, you know I love LA. I really do, I say it all the time. But sometimes when I read some of your blogs, it sounds like it might be neat to live where you do. Let me share with you the things that suck about LA.

1. My house, the kids day-care and my work are all within a seven mile radius. I leave my house an hour before I have to be at work and half the time I am late. Only half the time. The other half the time I am way early. There is no way to know. I don't get on a freeway, I only take major streets, side streets are worse.

2. On any random morning, like this morning for example, some stupid crew is filming in front of the house across the street. No warning, no courtesy to not park their big ass truck in front of my driveway. When you have to find a miscellaneous guy to move said truck, he acts like you have harmed his life. That the moving of said truck will cause him to be in therapy for years to come.

3. To get anywhere on a weekend it takes one hour. Doesn't matter where you are going, one hour. Down the street, 15 miles to Target, 6 blocks to the grocery store, one hour. It has something to do with the construction. The never ending construction, on the same area that has been going on for three ****ing years. If you need to take a freeway to get where you are going, two hours.

4. There is no free parking anywhere. It does not exist in this state. If you find free parking on the street, you need to make sure you look at the sign that says you may only park here between the hours of 2-4am on Tuesday. Any other time, you will get a ticket. People who try to find a place instead of just parking in a lot and paying the $10 fee, crack me up. I mean really, what is $10? You will just be sorry and end up paying $50 to the state anyways. And if you do somehow find a spot, it is in the Valley. And you the hell wants to go there?

5. Unleaded gas is $3.54. Enough said.

6. People in my neighborhood are so anal retentive about their yards, that they put up signs to tell you not to let your dog piss there. Ugly hand written signs.

7. People with no money at all, who are eating hot dogs every night will drive a BMW. They then think they are better than me.

8. People think they can tell everything about you, by where your kid is going to elementary school.

9. This one is all about me. I can't tell you most of the peoples names who live on my street. But my Starbucks Barista near my home is named Lindsay and she is going to UCLA and is going to be an architect. James, my Starbucks Barista at work is studying to be a High School History teacher. I bought them both a Christmas present last year. See where my priorities are?

Ok, some of those have nothing to do with LA. But you see my point, right? What things do you despise about where you live?

August 31st, 2006, 02:59 AM
I had extremely low expectations for LA so I've always enjoyed my visits there (3 times). There are a lot of iotneresting msueums to visit and other attractions. The major problem is that the public transport is crap and the distances are huge so you're driving all the time. I could NOT live there, I don't think, happily.

Thye're really developing downtown alogn more urban lines, though, and some surrounding neighborhoods so it will get better, IMHO.

August 31st, 2006, 03:23 AM
Never forget that LA is built on a DESERT -- 'nuff said.

At least some who live there know it sucks -- and even have a sense of humor about it ...

http://www.losanjealous.com/img/smlogo.jpg (http://www.losanjealous.com/)

Gregory Tenenbaum
August 31st, 2006, 03:50 AM
Feel like this when your in LA?


No seriously, LA is a cool town. It has energy. The problem is that you need to be there on holiday. Forget working there and having to commute. That is just plain wrong.

I love the downtown area myself. But the whole city is cheesy and straight out of TV Land from the 70s and 80s. So it's kind of familiar even if you've never been there.

I have a few places I like to go to:

Pacific Car Diner (as seen in Training Day): http://www.pacificdiningcar.com/history.html


Cliftons Cafeteria

If the city had better buses, a metro, less houses with gardens and more inner city development - the streets would be full of people and it would be liveable.

The idea of driving a car in a city is foreign to me.

August 31st, 2006, 01:08 PM
I tell one GOOD thing about LA if yer young, male and single: an unbelievable ratio of hotties/striaght guys. :)

So, of course, I had to be visting as a happily married guy :rolleyes:

August 31st, 2006, 03:20 PM
Im born and raised in NYC, but give me Los Angeles (or San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Clemente, La Jolla, Malibu, Carmel, Sonoma, Monterey) over NYC, Buffalo, Ithaca, Elmira, Syracuse, Buffalo or Schenectady any day.

If you live in Los Angeles you have the Mountains (some with snow during the Winter), the Desert, the Beautiful Pacific Ocean all surrounding you.

The Catskills and Poconos do not even hold a candle to the beautiful scenary of California, and the beaches.

Coney Island or Santa Monica, like that's a hard choice (not).

The Weather, perfect, the Scenary, Beautiful, the ladies, all hot skinny model/actress wannabes, the beaches clean (cleaner than anything NJ, Long Island have to offer).

Also no humidity, Summers in the Northeast are disgusting, the Winters depressing. The only nice time of year is Fall.

If your going be the density of skyscrapers or something yeah NYC has LA beat, if your going be quality of life Los Angeles runs circles around NYC.

August 31st, 2006, 04:28 PM
The way this forum looks: NYC kills LA. Well maybe everyone is just rooting for the home team. :rolleyes:

August 31st, 2006, 05:30 PM
If your going be the density of skyscrapers or something yeah NYC has LA beat, if your going be quality of life Los Angeles runs circles around NYC.

I, as well as some well-respected sources, would beg to differ with that. For all its "perks", Los Angeles does not offer a high quality of life, especially if you're not employed by the entertainment industry. Mercer Hospitality (http://www.finfacts.com/qualityoflife.htm), one of the leading surveyers of quality of life in cities, recently released their updated rankings for 2006. Out of the top 51 cities on the list, New York ranked 46th, and 7th out of 11 total U.S. cities listed. Neither Los Angeles, nor, surprisingly, San Diego, were listed. Honolulu took the top U.S. place at 27th worldwide, with San Francisco trailing at 28th.

You're right about a lot of upstate cities like Buffalo & Syracuse: with their loss of manufacturing jobs, and drain of youth (especially the educated ones), those cities are dying economically and socially. Combined with the crappy climate, they are ultimately very undesirable places to live.

I'll give you climate, but while definitely more pleasant for most of the year, I think LA, or San Diego, or San Francisco, would become a little too monotonous after a while. I like having the changing seasons because it keeps things interesting, but that's just me.

As for jobs, education, culture, even air quality, I think New York has LA handedly beat. I liked San Diego when I visited, but it seemed a little too quiet, almost suburban, for a city. San Francisco is without a doubt the most resemblant of New York in its urbanity and socioeconomic characteristics, but I've been there a couple times in the summers, and it can get downright cold. Plus, the fog gets annoying after a while, as does the constant threat of earthquakes. If you're looking for an urban city that has really high quality of life, but doesn't make you change your lifestyle too much, think about Vancouver. I visited recently, and was absolutely stunned at how much beauty it had - natural and man-made - and how well it seemed to be doing, in almost every aspect.

August 31st, 2006, 06:14 PM
I think all this talk about LA and how bad it is are exaggerations.

I know several people who live in LA and live quite happily. Most public schools in New York are simply terrible. So when we talk about the quality of the school education in LA, we have to keep in mind that except for some upscale neighborhoods, most public schools in New York City are not any better. And one can certainly find good schools in LA (if you do your research and buy a house in a good area, you will get a good school - the same as here).

As far as commute and jobs are concerned - it really depends on where you live. I know so many people in my profession (computers) that commute for 1.5 hours from NJ to Manhattan every single day. They take a car to the train station (or, someone else helps them because there's no parking there), they take a train to Newark, they take PATH train into Manhattan and then sometimes they need to also take subway. Is it better?

Commuting from many places in Brooklyn and Queens in a train that is filled with people like sardines is hardly any better. I know people who live and work in Pasadena (home to many financial firms as well as California Institute of Technology) who commute 5 min. One of them actually walks to work.

I know that people with good education and good professional skills (finance, computers) are doing quite well in LA and actually have a much better bang for their buck.

One of the previous articles talked about lack of free parking in LA. It's not free but the cheap parking is plentiful. I parked for $2 for the whole day in Santa Monica. Where will find those kinds of prices in New York?

Don't forget about the weather - it's nice in LA 99% of the time. It's rarely very hot, and it's never too cold. And the air is dry and nice. Once can ride a bike or rollerblade 300 days in a year. And that's not bad at all.

August 31st, 2006, 08:56 PM
NYers don't pretend that the air is clean here.

As to the argument that the air in LA is "nice" (and don't tell me this is "coastal haze") ...

LA ... the SMOG (http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv8898.php) capital of the US (Houston has nothing on us!)

BTW, the smog is the brown layer in the picture ...


In the late afternoon light the smog almost has a dreamy quality ...


NYC has the Hudson River.

LA has the Los Angeles "River" ...


Down by the pool and surrounded by trees you'd barely notice the smog ...

From up in the Hills it's another matter: L. A. VISTA (http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=5215) ...


August 31st, 2006, 09:04 PM
This is why I will pick NYC over LA.

LA doesn't have Lofter1 :D

August 31st, 2006, 11:02 PM
Seeing how an entire post of mine was posted above, I have something to say. I love LA. I was born here and have lived here my entire life. The day I wrote that post, I was trying to be funny. Hell, I was funny.

While I did...um 4 months ago post something negative about LA, I tend to talk about how much I love it all the time. I could post a list five times as long with things I love. In fact this week, in a post, I mentioned tons of things which I love.

Just thought I'd share that.



September 1st, 2006, 12:06 AM
Welcome aboard, Issa.

I could tell you loved LA when I read your post (although still can't figure out WHY ;) ). But the headline was too enticing to pass up.

In the spirit of full disclosure: I was born, raised and spent the better part of the first half of my life in the great state of Northern California (where LA gets most of its water from and thereby can pretend its not a desert); besides the obvious reasons (better scenery up north, cooler people ... and it's where most of the good food / wine comes from) NoCal folks just never found much to like about the bottom half of the state.

Nothing personal :cool:

September 1st, 2006, 01:26 AM
Really? sounds like North Jersey and South Jersey. :D

September 1st, 2006, 12:16 PM
Actually, I figured it wasn't personal. In fact, I found it kind of cool that you'd posted some silly thing I wrote in May. I just wanted to respond, because most of the time I adore where I live. Hell, if I didn't, I'd move. :D

Now I see the problem though. NorCal people always say their half is better and we always say ours is. But I know the truth. :D

September 1st, 2006, 03:32 PM
So, what part is better? ;)

September 1st, 2006, 04:53 PM
The south part of course. :p

September 1st, 2006, 09:19 PM
Don't wear out your welcome ;)

The northern and southern parts of the state are really two different worlds (or at least they were until the entire state became an exurbian sprawl). This goes for climate and topography as well as state of mind. Apples and Oranges really.

But of course the north kicks ass on the south ...

September 1st, 2006, 09:43 PM
Ahhh, I love regional wars!

September 2nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
Could it be that the move west has sapped this writer's creative juices ???

Hates California, It’s Cold and It’s Damp

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/01/books/01book.html?ref=books)
September 1, 2006

Books of The Times

THE reporter Amy Wilentz is what Saul Bellow might have called a “first class noticer.”

She notices the little plaques in California on some garages, hotels, museums and restaurants that read: “This area contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

She notices the quotation from the 19th-century statesman John Lubbock that hangs over the ticket machine at a parking garage in Los Angeles: “When we have done our best, we should wait the result in peace.” And she notices the Southern California towns with names that sound like titles of Robert Stone novels: “Bombay Beach comes to mind, and Niland.”

In her 1989 book “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier,” Ms. Wilentz used her gifts as an observer to give the reader a powerful and deeply resonant portrait of that tumultuous, unhappy country, weaving together reportorial and personal vignettes with historical asides and portraits of famous, infamous and obscure Haitians. In her new book, “I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen,” she tries something similar with California, but her keen eye and descriptive skills fail to enliven that familiar and widely written-about subject, a subject difficult to make fresh in the wake not only of modern classics by the likes of Joan Didion (http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/2003/10/20031006_b_main.asp) and Reyner Banham, but also by a daily tsunami of musings by novelists, reporters, filmmakers and television writers. Once again we are given snapshots of California as the final frontier, as a damaged Eden, failed promised land, dangerous magnet for dreamers and seekers and people on the lam. Once again we are given glimpses of Los Angeles as American Babylon, celebrity factory and Magic Kingdom of noir.

Once again we are given riffs about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s symbolic status, the weirdness of the Terminator becoming the governor, the appeal of a superhero turned politician in a post-9/11 world.

There are portraits of familiar Los Angeles celebrities like Warren Beatty, visits to familiar counterculture sites like Esalen and musings about familiar California madmen like Charles Manson: all selected for inclusion in this volume in a seemingly random and arbitrary fashion.

Ms. Wilentz tells us that after living through 9/11 in Manhattan, she initially thought that California might offer a respite from the anxieties of living in New York, but soon discovered that the Golden State manufactures anxieties all its own: earthquakes and mudslides and fires, not to mention the hazards of driving on freeways, where people tailgate at 60 or 70 miles an hour. She becomes convinced that beneath the sun and fun and Juicy Couture glitz, “California has a dark heart,” and in the course of the book she rattles off some famous murder cases, prattles on about Nathanael West and Raymond Chandler and talks about noir and apocalypse and the symbolism of La Brea Tar Pits.

She learns that there is an “emergency command chain” at her son’s school, and that parents are encouraged to supply their children with “comfort bags” (including a favorite stuffed animal, a change of clothes, perhaps a family photograph) just in case of an earthquake. “My new friends advised me: Cash and water in your car (Tampax too). Full tank, always. Slippers or flip-flops next to each bed (for walking on the inevitable broken glass). Flashlights everywhere, especially in night tables; make sure the batteries are live.”

Ms. Wilentz recounts this in an entertaining enough fashion, but there is nothing remotely new about her insights, and her observations about Mr. Schwarzenegger — who is supposed to serve as a kind of leitmotif in this book, tying together the author’s random musings — feel stale and shopworn as well. Although she expresses all sorts of political and intellectual doubts about this former movie star — “the campaign pretended to be for the popular good when it merely furthered the status quo, alleged it would help the little guy when it was clearly intended to make things easier and better for business interests” — she admits that the anxious part of her, the “catastrophist” in her, wants to believe in him.

“A man like that fed my rescue fantasies,” she writes. “Like the superheroes he played, he seemed above the fray (no fire dared to lick at the back of his house in Brentwood) but at the center of it too. He liked to present himself as shoving aside all ideology and storming through controversy as if it couldn’t get its tiny, weak hand around his great big biceps.”

Later, after he is elected and his approval ratings plummet, she thinks: “I was saddened, dejected; if Arnold couldn’t stand firm, what hero was going to be big enough, steadfast enough, to pull me from my predicament? What hero was going to be sturdy and strong enough to bolster the state, my state?”

The recall vote against Gray Davis, Mr. Schwarzenegger’s campaign, and his ascension to the office of governor: all this feels very much like yesterday’s news, the same way that Esalen and Charles Manson feel like yesterday’s California.

It is subject matter that has been done to death by others, and in this case even a writer of Ms. Wilentz’s talents fails to turn it into a compelling book.



Coming to California in the Age of Schwarzenegger

By Amy Wilentz.
322 pp. Simon & Schuster. $26.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

September 2nd, 2006, 04:39 PM
So you're telling me that California sucks.....? :(

September 2nd, 2006, 05:27 PM
Just the part south of the Tehachapi_Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Mountains) ...



September 2nd, 2006, 05:45 PM
I have a friend who lives in Bakersfield. Is Bakersfield okay?

September 2nd, 2006, 09:12 PM
"OK" is a good description for Bakersfield (http://www.bakotopia.com/home/index.php) ...


Bakersfield has come a long way since its days as an oil town (http://www.bakersfield.com/static/special/oil100/s-vignettes.asp) ...


PS: My south of the Tehachapi's distinction is a bit unfair as that would include in the "SUCKS" category
some magnificent places like Joshua Tree National Monument (http://www.visitusa.com/california/photos/joshuatree-nationalpark.htm) ...

Hale-Bopp Over Joshua Tree :

© Wally Pacholka

... Joshua Tree after a storm has passed :


The Pacific Coast from Laguna Beach ...

Laguna at Dusk :


... south to La Jolla ...

La Jolla Caves :


and on to Coronado ...

The Hotel Del Coronado :


http://mk23.image.pbase.com/u49/paul/large/26161017.coronadoh.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/paul/coronado__ca)

And when you're feeling really bleak there's always this edge of the southland to put things in perspective ...

Death Valley :


... parts of which can transform to this in the springtime ...

by Yaqui (http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/5fcc8/)


September 4th, 2006, 02:49 AM
Ah...finally, a NYC vs. LA thread.

I was born in LA, and I have to say that the place of my birth is one big, sprawling superficial city of congested highways and shallow people who are interested in you because of the car you drive and the things you own, rather than a genuine interest in who you are.

I hate people who love LA just because of its weather.

I hate waking up 2 hours early, and still arrive late to work just because of the 5 mph traffic stretching all the way from the San Gabriel Valley to the Westside.

I hate LA for its lousy public transportation system where the metro rail stops all of a sudden between stops just to change drivers.

I hate LA for all its banal superficiality, its car-obsessed culture, getting stuck in parking lots at strip malls because there is a long line of cars getting in, and a long line of cars getting out.

I hate LA for its smog.

I hate LA for its third-rate museums (Getty Museum my ass).

I hate LA for its people giving you dirty looks for no reason at all.

Give LA to the Russians. If I was the man with my hands on the trigger to drop a nuclear bomb on LA, I'd press the button without hesitation.

NYC is no doubt the king of the world. I'm already eyeing property east of Second Avenue on the Upper East Side in preparation for the completion of the Second Avenue subway. I heard the first phase is scheduled to begin towards the end of this year.

September 6th, 2006, 12:59 PM
You heard it from a person who knows LA very well. NYC wins this one! :D


NYC vs. Chicago! ;)

September 6th, 2006, 04:37 PM
I hate LA

I hate LA

I hate LA

I hate LA

I hate LA

Give LA to the Russians. If I was the man with my hands on the trigger to drop a nuclear bomb on LA, I'd press the button without hesitation.

Oops, you went to far ...

If only because the fall-out would drift east :(

September 21st, 2006, 11:27 PM
I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood.
They're beautiful.
Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic.
I want to be plastic.

Andy Warhol (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/andywarhol162032.html)

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 26th, 2006, 09:16 AM
Welcome to Watts, LA

Interesting but real look at life for some in Watts.



Fantastic documentary - It even makes a gritty film like Training Day look "Hollywood"

September 29th, 2006, 05:12 PM
Why's everybody bashing the hell out of LA. It's an awesome city. They have crappy public transportation but they have great scenery and plenty of things to do. The mountains are beautiful, the ocean is beautiful, all the scenery's beautiful. LA's scenery sure kicks the crap out of NYC's scenery.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 30th, 2006, 06:00 AM
Why's everybody bashing the hell out of LA. It's an awesome city. They have crappy public transportation but they have great scenery and plenty of things to do. The mountains are beautiful, the ocean is beautiful, all the scenery's beautiful. LA's scenery sure kicks the crap out of NYC's scenery.

Hey NY Jets - I for one will not knock LA - the City has ENERGY - and you are right, great scenery.

The documentary was just an interesting look at the seedy side.

After all, LA is a lot better than some European cities I have been to. ;)

Gregory Tenenbaum
October 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM
And make sure you head down to the corner of San Julian and 6th:



October 11th, 2006, 10:59 PM
Anyone in this forum ever been to sunny LA? How does it stack up against Gotham?

i lived in cali and have been in la.

October 12th, 2006, 03:34 AM
...After all, LA is a lot better than some European cities I have been to. ;)

Had to get that in, didntcha? :D :mad: :rolleyes:

Last time I drove through LA, 90% of it looked like some sort of tawdry slum. Like any very big city, though, there are lots of intersting things to do / see. Nice weather too.

October 13th, 2006, 10:47 PM
Actually, I figured it wasn't personal. In fact, I found it kind of cool that you'd posted some silly thing I wrote in May. I just wanted to respond, because most of the time I adore where I live. Hell, if I didn't, I'd move. :D

Now I see the problem though. NorCal people always say their half is better and we always say ours is. But I know the truth. :D

i am norcal people:D and i'd say-neither!that's why i am in my ny!:)

October 13th, 2006, 10:48 PM
i am norcal people:D and i'd say-neither!that's why i am in my ny!:)

don't get me wrong..cali was like a big village for me...i love city.so i moved away.to the city!

October 24th, 2006, 10:10 PM
I have never in my life been to LA.
In travel plans it has always taken a backseat to foreign locales. My curiosity has been growing lately though. I've always wanted to see the natural wonders of California. Anyone here been to Yosemite?

October 24th, 2006, 10:15 PM
Yes - highly recommended. A spectacular natural wonder that rivals the Grand Canyon for title of best national park, IMO. The Central California Coast is no small wonder, either. If you've driven the Amalfi Coast, I'd say it rivals that in its natural beauty, though you don't have all those picturesque villages. Hearst Castle's up there too, as a destination in its own right.

California's got a lot worth seeing. LA, in my mind, is pretty far down on that list.

October 24th, 2006, 10:49 PM
Yosemite is truly unbelievable -- but it's highly advised NOT to travel there from June to August when the traffic & crowds are worse than you can even imagine.

September is a perfect time to go ... the crowds have thinned and the weather is still great.

Info: Travel Tips For Autumn Visits (http://www.yosemitepictures.com/2001 _trip_planning.htm)

If you've got some cash and want to splurge the amazing Ahwahnee Hotel (http://www.webportal.com/ahwahnee/) is definitely worth it ... and is fantastic in the wintertime.

October 25th, 2006, 10:49 PM
thanks guys.
Sounds and looks incredible.

October 27th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Todd Skinner, a Pioneer of Free Climbing, Dies at 47

Bobby Model
Skinner in 1995 in Pakistan.

nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/27/sports/othersports/27skinner.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries&oref=slogin)
October 27, 2006

Todd Skinner (http://www.beyondthesummit.com/accomp.html), an internationally renowned rock climber who made first ascents on dozens of the world’s most treacherous routes and shared those adventures as a motivational speaker, died Monday after falling several hundred feet during a climb in Yosemite National Park in California. He was 47.

http://www.toddskinner.com/ (http://www.toddskinner.com/)

Park officials and his family announced his death. Mr. Skinner and his climbing partner, Jim Hewitt, had completed a first ascent of a route on Leaning Tower in the Yosemite Valley and were descending when the accident occurred. Yosemite officials were conducting an investigation yesterday.

Leaning Tower (http://www.bcs.rochester.edu/people/alex/climbing/leaningtower/index.htm),Yosemite

Mr. Skinner emerged as a pioneering climber in the 1980s, espousing “free climbing” methods, in which no artificial instruments are used to advance on a climb; ropes and other equipment are used only as safety devices in case of a fall.

“The whole idea of bringing free climbing to big walls — nobody believed it could be done or that anyone would even try it,” said Steve Bechtel, a climber who accompanied Mr. Skinner on many expeditions. “He brought free climbing to the great ranges.”

Some of Mr. Skinner’s methods were controversial in the climbing community. The traditional protocol for climbing a route was to do it from the bottom to the peak without falling; if a climber fell and his ropes supported him, he was expected to return to the bottom and start over. But Mr. Skinner defied this approach. If he failed to execute a maneuver during a climb and fell, he would hang from his ropes before practicing the move several times and continuing the ascent, a tactic known as hangdogging.

“Todd would hangdog and retry the move until he learned it,” said Bobby Model, who joined Mr. Skinner on several international expeditions. “Lots of tactics he used in the ’80s now are accepted.”

In 1988, using only their hands and feet to move upward, Mr. Skinner and his longtime climbing partner, Paul Piana, completed the first free ascent of the 3,600-foot Salathé Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite, a seminal achievement in American climbing.

“He proved that it was possible to free climb El Capitan,” Mr. Model said. “Now it’s common.”

© Mark Kroese
The Salathé Wall (http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/zoom.html?r=ybelsala) ascends the most natural line up El Capitan.

Perhaps Mr. Skinner’s most renowned feat was his team’s free ascent, in 1995, of the East face of Trango Tower, also known as Nameless Tower, a 4,700-foot rock face in the Karakoram Range of the Himalayas in Pakistan. No one had tried to free climb it before.

Mr. Skinner and three climbing partners from Wyoming — Mr. Model, Jeff Bechtel and Mike Lilygren — spent 60 days at more than 18,000 feet and reached the peak of about 20,500 feet. Mr. Skinner described the expedition in a cover story for National Geographic in 1996.

“We faced serious objective dangers — avalanches, rock falls, we were trapped in hanging tents for days at a time,” Mr. Model said.

Trango Tower (http://www.beyondthesummit.com/exp_gal.html)

Todd Richard Skinner grew up in Pinedale, Wyo., where his parents owned a hunting and outdoor guide camp. His father, Robert, was an avid climber.

Mr. Skinner gravitated to technical rock climbing while attending the University of Wyoming, where he earned a degree in finance. After leaving college, Mr. Skinner immediately began his life as a professional climber.

He lived in a tepee for months at a time during his early years of climbing. It allowed him to save money, and it enabled him to travel the world and live close to the rocks that he was trying to conquer.

“I realized that you had to live with the rock,” he told Outside Magazine in 2002. “That was the only way to fully comprehend and then test the boundaries. After awhile, I began to see the limits of possibility in different places and started searching. I didn’t have an apartment for seven years. I was looking for rock with a future.”

Mr. Skinner eventually made his home in Lander, Wyo., an international destination for climbers, and for several years he also lived part time near El Paso, near the entrance to Hueco Tanks State Historical Park, also a Mecca for climbers. His house at Hueco Tanks served as something of a commune for climbers from around the world.

Bobby Model
Todd Skinner, in 1998, climbing
War and Poetry on Ulamertorsuaq
in Greenland, a location of one of his
first free ascents of a new route.

Mr. Skinner claimed to have made 300 first ascents in nearly 30 countries, and he excelled in several styles of climbing, establishing a reputation as one of the most well-rounded climbers in the world.

In addition to giving motivational speeches, Mr. Skinner wrote “Beyond the Summit (http://www.beyondthesummit.com/)” (2003) and “Modern Rock Climbing” (1993), and appeared in several documentary films.

He is survived by his wife, Amy Whisler Skinner; their three children, Hannah, Jake and Sarah; his sister, Holly Skinner; his brother, Orion Skinner; and his father, Robert Skinner.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

October 29th, 2006, 02:43 PM
ur better off puttin a state vs nyc

November 1st, 2006, 03:10 AM
After living in California for three years -- L.A. for one -- I can honestly say I would rather live in Buffalo, Fargo, or even Anchorage. I'll take real people over a nice climate any day.

November 14th, 2006, 01:07 AM
i lived in santa monica and west l.a for about 1 1/2year. these aren't anything major important factors but for sake of humor value i would like to say l.a has many beautiful womens compare to nyc......thats just my personal oppinion lol. i went to this korean club called "le prieve" in korea town, and it was like the most fun club ive yet been to. not to meantion the girls were hot.

Gregory Tenenbaum
November 14th, 2006, 04:05 AM
Someone here likes the Girls of the Orient. As a Japanologist I can understand why (however I am not one who is so inclined).

November 14th, 2006, 11:04 AM
well im korean and im only interested in korean or japanese. alot of it is because of similarity in culture and due to that factor i find my self lot related to that person. :D

November 14th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Tenenbaum falls down the Stereotype Hole.

November 14th, 2006, 12:12 PM
I've always wanted to see the natural wonders of California. Anyone here been to Yosemite?

INCREDIBLE 3-D Fly-Thru of Yosemite:


The Wheeler Survey of the Territory of the United States West of the 100th Meridian made the first accurate map of Yosemite Valley in 1879 and published the map sheet below in 1883. In this 3D GIS version of the map, the scanned historic map image is combined with the modern day USGS DEM (Digital Elevation Model), allowing us to "warp" the historic map images into 3D ...

Images copyright © 2003 by Cartography Associates. Images may not be reproduced or transmitted unless for personal use.

June 2nd, 2007, 08:48 AM
June 3, 2007

Surf’s Up, but the Water Is Brown

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times


Los Angeles

TO the naked eye, Surfrider Beach in Malibu, Calif., couldn’t be lovelier: on a recent Friday, in 60-degree weather, the patch of the coastal mountains behind Malibu Pier was shrouded in morning fog. A flock of birds flew low over a sparse crowd of sunbathers, bobbing surfers and a lifeguard doing abdominals on a beach towel in front of his tower.

But Eric Gross, a 28-year-old creative director at his family’s graphic design studio who has been coming to Surfrider since childhood for its smooth, manicured wave, quickly shattered any postcard-quality impressions of this premier surfing beach.

Take the stench emanating from the nearby lagoon, where Malibu Creek meets the sea, he noted.

“You see discoloration and big brown blobs, like in a sewer,” Mr. Gross said of the days when the lagoon overflows and dumps untreated sewage on the waters he uses three to seven times a week. “Sometimes the water just stinks. You wash off in the shower and you’ve got this smell on you all day.”

Then there’s the taste. “Have you ever tasted bong water by accident?” he asked. “It’s just this muck.”

And the sore throats. “Sometimes you don’t know if you have a cold or you’re sick from the water,” Mr. Gross said. “Who knows what the long term effects are.”

If Los Angeles County conjures images of a warm paradise of curled waves and palm trees, the locals know better. They live along a coast with the dubious distinction of having 7 of the state’s 10 most polluted beaches, according to the latest report card from the environmental group Heal the Bay, which has given beaches like Surfrider a failing grade year after year.

Many Southern Californians find contentment just looking at the ocean from their sun decks, grateful for their views and the clean air. But there are those who persist in braving the water, never mind the historic counts of bacteria from fecal matter and other sources that can cause skin rashes, ear infections and gastrointestinal ailments, or the signs that spell out the dangers with warnings like “contact with ocean water at this location may increase risk of illness.”

So who are these people? Among the fearless: inlanders escaping the suffocating heat; tourists who don’t know any better; and die-hard surfers who try to protect themselves by taking vitamins, by making sure their hepatitis and tetanus vaccinations are up to date, and by rinsing body cavities with hydrogen peroxide.

“You get all your shots, you stay away certain times,” said Mr. Gross’s father, Paul, 60, another longtime surfer who comes out three to four times a week. He matter-of-factly detailed his post-surf regimen: “You take showers here and put hydrogen peroxide in your ears and gargle with hydrogen peroxide diluted with water.”

But many tourists come for the lifeguards, or at least settle for them. Gabriel Campos, a lifeguard for the last 35 summer seasons at the beach by the Santa Monica Municipal Pier, which is a perennial environmental underachiever, said the tourists want their pictures taken with a real-life model for “Baywatch.”

“I’ve done five shots with people today,” said Mr. Campos, 52. Residents often don’t bother with the water. Investigators studying beach attendance for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission say the beaches of Santa Monica Bay — a 60-mile stretch from Malibu south to the Palos Verdes Peninsula — are drawing almost one million fewer visits each year, largely because of public apprehensions about the water.

Water quality typically plummets when it rains, with contaminated runoff from the street and storm drain systems ending up in the ocean.

This year’s Heal the Bay report card, released on May 23, found that the state as a whole had above-average water quality because of a drought over the last year, but a dramatic drop in quality in the Long Beach area meant that Los Angeles County retained its status as the state’s leading “beach bummer.” (Right before the Memorial Day weekend, about 5,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the waters off the Venice district of Los Angeles because of a blocked sewer line, prompting a two-day closure of several portions of two popular beaches.)

THOSE craving a dip can easily drive to cleaner beaches. Sometimes the closest clean beach is less than a mile away, and 57 percent of Los Angeles County’s beaches still score an “A” or “B” in dry weather. But many of the dirty beaches have their own storied appeal and social scenes. Last weekend, the beach by the Santa Monica Municipal Pier, which sits at the foot of luxury hotels and a bustling commercial district, was packed with the usual mix of tourists, cliques of young people and families, many of them working-class Latinos.

“I try not to swallow the water,” said a 26-year-old accountant from Pasadena after taking a dip.

The accountant, who adamantly refused to give his name, said he came to this beach to swim as often as twice a week in the summer because it was near restaurants and bars and he could “tan and go party.”

“It’s a hub,” he said. “Obviously you want to go where there are people.”

But Jameel Chahal, 22, a friend in the accountant’s group who was visiting from Canada, looked around almost in disgust. The water was brown and two dead sea lions had washed up, hardly an enticement to dip in as much as toe. (It was unclear what killed the animals, but a higher level of marine-mammal and seabird deaths this year has been linked to an increase in a naturally occurring toxin produced by algae.) “I’ve never seen this color,” Mr. Chahal said of the water. “If you look out 100 meters, you don’t see water that’s clear. Why jump in the water when it’s dirty like that?”

Many beachgoers come for everything but the water. Charlie and Lizette Figueroa said the temperature had reached 80 degrees by midmorning at their home in Ontario, 35 miles east of Los Angeles. They decided to pack up a cooler, shovels and buckets for their two children and drive one hour west to Santa Monica. On the beach, the children, ages 2 and 4, made a hole to bury their father while the couple sat on beach chairs fully dressed, enjoying the cool breeze.

No one was getting wet.

“We’re here just to relax and for the kids to play in the sand,” said Mrs. Figueroa, 23, a supervisor for a bus company. “My kids would rather go in the swimming pool. My son doesn’t want to go in here. He says that the water looks dirty.”

Linwood Pendleton, a professor in the school of public health at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is the principal investigator on the study on beach attendance, said that Southern Californians have become unnecessarily fearful of the ocean. He said that the area does a better job at testing water quality than elsewhere in the country, so public awareness of the issue is high.

“People should look around at all the beaches and choose the ones with the lowest risk, but don’t stay home,” he said. “The beach in Southern California is our Central Park, our open space.”

Mr. Pendleton is co-author of a study, released last year, that said as many as 1.5 million cases of sickness in Los Angeles and Orange Counties each year could be attributed to bacterial pollution in the ocean. Mr. Pendleton said that represented only a 1 percent chance of becoming sick. Even at the worst beaches, he said, the chance of becoming sick is relatively low, 5 to 15 percent.

State and county officials say that this area has the most polluted beaches because it is the state’s most populous region, noting that both development and people’s behavior — such as not cleaning up after their dogs — contributed to the problem. The county also is among the first in the state to collect samples directly in front of storm drains and creeks, where the water quality is worse.

But the officials said that cities are facing new requirements to limit bacteria at their beaches, and that $135 million in state bonds is going to cover the treatment of storm-related sewage problems at the worst sites.

“California is cleaning up its beaches,” said William L. Rukeyser, a spokesman for the State Water Resources Control Board.

Even Surfrider has been on a roll lately, with a string of passing grades in Heal the Bay’s weekly report card. For surfers like Eric and Paul Gross, forgoing the beach they consider home base is not an option.

“No matter what the dangers are,” the elder Mr. Gross said, “this is still one of the best breaks.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

June 2nd, 2007, 09:02 AM
But the officials said that cities are facing new requirements to limit bacteria at their beaches, and that $135 million in state bonds is going to cover the treatment of storm-related sewage problems at the worst sites.

“California is cleaning up its beaches,” said William L. Rukeyser, a spokesman for the State Water Resources Control Board.The folks who own beach-front property in California... can't they afford to clean them up?:rolleyes:;)

June 8th, 2007, 06:35 PM
“Have you ever tasted bong water by accident?”
Heavens, no (perish the thought!).

July 17th, 2007, 05:03 PM
It is funny to think that NJ has cleaner beaches and ocean water, than California.

I seen this issue on another forum and I wonder what do you guys think. Do you think that LA will ever pass NYC in terms of population? It seems the boys out west think they can pass NYC just because they hit the 4 million mark.

July 17th, 2007, 05:20 PM
Yes, eventually.

But that all depends on how hight they want to build their city. they have a much larger footprint, all it will take is containment of sprawl (dificult in Cali) and providance of utilities (not enough H2O as is...).

July 17th, 2007, 07:37 PM
NYC and LA growth rates are currently about the same, so assuming the growth rate of either city doesn't change, LA will never catch up to NYC.

July 18th, 2007, 01:07 AM
I'll never consider all of the LA County sprawl to be one City. It just isn't a City.

July 21st, 2007, 11:58 PM
Omega not really suprising, NJ has some of the most stringent water testings for the shore and cleaning laws for the beaches. NJ has some of the most prestine beaches on the East Coast. LA's enviormental laws and testings are lax when it comes to this area.

July 22nd, 2007, 08:53 AM
Omega not really suprising, NJ has some of the most stringent water testings for the shore and cleaning laws for the beaches. NJ has some of the most prestine beaches on the East Coast. LA's enviormental laws and testings are lax when it comes to this area.

It's surprising, pristine and environmental.