I have been living in Los Angeles for 12+ years now. I left Seattle not only to avoid the overcast, dreary days but to chase an opportunity. There are a few things I miss about Seattle, but I especially don’t miss the weather. LA has provided me with more than I could have imagined. I met my amazing wife and we had two incredible boys. My wife and I cannot think of a better place that we would want to live and raise our boys.
Why Los Angeles, besides the weather?
In Los Angeles, we can find anything we want and we can find things we didn’t even know we wanted. We can see concerts large and small, eat at amazing restaurants, walk through museums all around town. There is always something going on.
My wife and I want our kids to be world citizens, and what better way than to have our kids attend a language immersion school program. We chose Mandarin, and couldn’t be happier, the fact that it is available to us excites us. Learning about different cultures and experiencing things such as Chinese New Year in Chinatown provides our boys with the opportunity to be immersed in another culture, a different way of life.
Art & Culture
L.A. County is home to 100 museums and range from those that specialize in fine art to La Brea Tar Pits, where you can see fossilized dinosaur bones – kids will enjoy it!
Large music venues include Disney Concert Hall (home to L.A. Phil) as well as the very popular Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theatre. Getty Center (“The Getty”) is one of the world’s largest art organizations a favorite museum for many locals and tourists. Located on a 24-acre hilltop campus, overlooking the L.A. Basin, The Getty is home to two things: 1) One of the best views of Los Angeles, and 2) A world-class art collection. Best of all, it’s free! The Getty is funded by a very large trust. All you have to do is pay for parking, then hop on a tram ride up the hill. People spend the whole day taking in amazing art and city views.
Some neighborhoods are the cultural focal point for certain ethnic groups, the list below are some must-visit neighborhoods, rich in gastronomic opportunity.
- Thai Town – Thai
- Koreatown – Korean
- Boyle Heights – Hispanic
- Little Ethiopia – Ethiopian
- Tehrangeles – Persian (Tehran + Los Angeles = Tehrangeles)
- Little Armenia (or Glendale) – Armenian
- Little Tokyo (or Gardena or Sawtelle) – Japanese
- Chinatown (or Monterey Park) – Chinese
Living in LA isn’t just about finding things to do in the “concrete jungle” either. We are only a few hours away from camping at Joshua Tree National Park, and close enough to play in the snow at Big Bear, we have options at every turn. One off top misconception about Los Angeles is that it’s a city. It’s not. It’s like 12 cities smashed together, bisected by a bunch of freeways and a mountain range. The point is, L.A. has something for everyone.
Being a stay-at-home dad in LA is the best. We have adventures all over town and, surprisingly for us, there are still more adventures awaiting. One of the greatest opportunities is to be able to swim and surf outside all year long, and we take full advantage of that. Our boys have been swimming since they were merely months old. My oldest has been known to surf on a chilly February morning undaunted by the water temperature and our youngest is able to participate in soccer camps during any time of the year.
Hopefully after reading this, you’ll conclude that Los Angeles neither monolithic in terms of the people who live here or the work they do. Nor is the landscape a barren urban jungle of concrete and cars. In fact, this city is quite livable and downright fun and interesting. There are so many museums, activities, sights, sounds and foods to discover and enjoy. Living in Los Angeles is never dull. Los Angeles has become more than just a home for us, it is our lifestyle.