The stardust sprinkled in the air, the perpetually warm weather, and the proximity to a beach where they can show off their bod, have all turned the local population into something of a phenomenon. Here are some of the more peculiar aspects of the popular city and its popular people.
Oh, the Sign Is Fine, I Guess
Every tourist stepping foot in L.A. has that fantasy of climbing the Hollywood sign, striking a cool pose, and having their picture taken. But that would be a dead giveaway to your tourist identity as L.A. residents wouldn't be caught dead doing that. You see, a key element to the signature L.A. aloofness is acting like nothing is ever a big deal. Not even the most famous sign in the world.
Besides, going all the way up is strongly not recommended. Well, that's is a gentle way of putting it – just step. Away. From the sign. Please! It's actually super dangerous. The closest safe viewpoint is at the intersection of Ledgewood Drive and Mulholland Highway. Knock yourselves out.
Who Needs a Fridge?
Los Angelenos love to vent their first-world problems to anyone with functioning ears. One complaint that's completely unique to them, though, is how Los Angeles apartments rarely come with refrigerators. It's just not a thing. So, looking for an apartment in L.A. always means there is simultaneous fridge hunting too. And that's like, such a pain. *Slurping on the nearest Starbucks cup.*
Why the no fridge? It's a mystery to us, too. Please email us at email@example.com if you ever find out.
Chinatown? For Chinese Food? You Must Be New Here
This may come as a surprise to out-of-towners, but true Angelenos who want to grab a Chinese bite to eat won't be looking to Chinatown to spend the money they made as micro-influencers. The very best Chinese food in L.A. is actually to be found in… San Gabriel Valley (i.e., SGV).
No disrespect for Chinatown eateries, but if you're really looking to step up your culinary game while blending with the locals, take a 15-minute drive to SGV. You'll thank us later. Promise.
People Never Park Their Own Car
Most of us are used to thinking of valet parking services as a fancy luxury saved for special occasions, but in L.A., it's a lot more common than you'd imagine.
People can literally get their car parked by a professional at the nearby IHOP, and some places even have valet parking services for bicycles. We wouldn't be surprised if the locals lost all ability to park their own vehicles. Well, far be it from us to judge.
For Angelenos, Rain Equals Apocalypse
For most people in the Northern Hemisphere, winter without snow is not true winter. Go say that to L.A. people, though! Once it starts pouring in the City of Angles, people just tend to stay in, turn the heater on and wait until all that craziness blows over.
And honestly, if you happen to – God forbid – find yourself outside on a rainy L.A. day, prepare to see some major panicking, mostly among drivers.
If you're an original Angeleno, you don't call it "showbiz," nor "the entertainment industry" – it's "the industry." If you want to try and pass as a local, we highly recommend that you stick to this term at all times!
They'll know exactly what industry you're referring to as they sign up for another casting call. They will easily mistake you for one of them never knowing you may have meant the carpentry industry or the oil industry.
L.A. Traffic Is, Like, the Worst
One of the city's most notorious identifiers, which causes quite a bit of distress to the exhausted locals, is traffic jams. Like, a lot of them. Let's just say: if you've never driven a car in Los Angeles, don’t dare talk to Angelenos about bad traffic (if you want them to continue liking you, that is).
For people who live in the city, spending hours in traffic on their way to and from places is just a normal (albeit sucky) part of their daily routines.
Everyone's Trying to Make It
It's no news that about 30% of the people in L.A. are part of the entertainment industry, and the remaining 70% are trying to get into the entertainment industry. If you come to L.A., prepare for your Uber driver to be an aspiring singer and your waitress at the café to tell you about her uncredited guest appearance on a show you've never heard of.
Oh, and everyone is auditioning. Like, constantly. If you're thinking of moving to L.A. to make it big, you better be ready to try and outshine nearly anyone within earshot.
L.A. City vs. L.A. County
This one's a shocker: did you know there's actually a difference between the city of L.A. and the county of L.A.? Obviously, the city is a part of the county (some say, the best part of it); but they are not one and the same and locals would be appalled by the thought of you getting the two confused.
Places like Santa Monica and even Beverly Hills are actually not part of the city of L.A., peeps. Who would have thought?
When someone becomes an L.A. local, they have to recite a pledge of allegiance, part of which requires them to claim to know the best sushi in the area. One place to swear by is a culinary L.A. gem known mostly to locals — Little Tokyo, located in downtown Los Angeles (though they would definitely call it DTLA).
This traditional Japanese microcosm offers top-notch Sushi and mouth-watering noodles that are only second to the ones you can find in actual Japan, and we're not just referring to California Rolls. L.A. is one of the best places to taste world-class Japanese food.
It's Sizzling Hot in… Thanksgiving?
While in most areas Thanksgiving is identified with the emerging cold weather and the iconic fall looks, in Los Angeles this is in fact the absolute hottest time of the year.
Instead of wearing fall-colored coats and boots and basking in fall romance, for Angelenos, the month of November is all about trying to wear as little as possible and taking to the beach.
Venice Beach? Sure, But Where?
Out-of-towners would probably know Venice Beach from movies and TV shows ("Californication" anyone?), but what's the best way to hang out when you get there? Let us tell you how the locals do it.
Ride a bike, sweat it out on Muscle Beach, check out the incredible (and often unsettling) variety of street performers (remember not to appear too impressed if you're trying to pose as a local), and then take a surfing class or try out fishing at the Venice Pier.
Netflix and Chills
After handling the cutthroat industry of L.A. showbiz, nothing in the world can scare you. Just ask the nearest Angeleno about the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Apparently, a perfectly legitimate, and legitimately fun idea of a date in L.A. would be watching a movie outdoors (so far so good, right?) at that literal graveyard (now it's getting a bit creepy).
Seriously, during the summer, there are nocturnal movie screenings at this iconic cemetery, and people actually buy a ticket and enjoy a romantic evening under the stars. And among the dead.
L.A. people are chill. But it's a special kind of chill. The kind you sometimes encounter when you hear a Kardashian talking about how she can't stand being followed by cameras — yeah, it bothers her to an extent but she's also very used to it. That applies to the local version of road rage. We're not quite sure how, but commuters don't get as angry as you'd expect.
The city is full of so many awful drivers and, obviously, plenty of traffic and very little parking – but it's actually rare to see two Los Angeles drivers getting mad at each other on the road. Unreasonable? Yes. Magical? also yes.
It turns out that during the months of August and September, blackouts are a pretty common thing in L.A., which a true local would surely know. The scorching heat can quite literally set circuit breakers on fire, which in turn causes the blackouts.
L.A. residents don't even get too worked up about it anymore. Unless it's getting in the way of their coffee machine tending to their newest Italian roast, that is.
Parking Tickets Are Normal
Seriously, it's hard to make it through the week without getting one. There is no escaping L.A.'s strict and exaggerated parking laws, and any resident of this city would testify to it.
Not even the locals really know exactly where and when they're allowed to park their cars, and so, a parking ticket is always, quite literally, around the corner. Just watch out when you park your car, is all we're saying.
It's THE 405
People who live in L.A. have that weird thing with referring to freeways using the definite article "the" before the actual road number. Therefore, please make sure to memorize: it's not 405, but the 405; it's not 605, but the 605; and it's not 101, but… well, you get the picture.
You don't want to walk around sounding like a tourist, now, do you? The locals will eat you alive! Just add the "the" before the road number and you'll fit in perfectly.
Mexican for Dinner?
This is definitely the most iconic culinary item on the list: Angelenos go absolutely crazy for Mexican food and swear by their neighborhood Chipotle. You're not a true L.A. resident if you don't have a favorite Mexican place and your own regular food order.
Whether it's tacos, burritos, or quesadillas, Mexican food is a staple in the traditional L.A. diet, and we can see why – we're getting hungry just writing about it.
A Celebrity Mountain Lion
L.A. was the home of a famous mountain lion with the rather unimaginative name "P22." He is essentially more famous than 70% of the local population, who would gladly sell their firstborn for an infomercial audition.
The male mountain lion once referred to as "the Brad Pitt of mountain lions," used to live in Griffith Park in Hollywood Hills and was a huge sensation all over the city. Coming all the way from the Santa Monica mountains, P22 was the only mountain lion living in the Hollywood area. Sadly, a collision with a car combined with his age-related condition, he had to be euthanized.
Whose Humps Are You Looking At?
Before you start attacking us for objectifying people, we're just talking about Los Angeles speed bumps. We honestly can't figure out why – and neither can people who actually live there – but for some reason, in L.A. those little things in the middle of the road are called "speed humps."
Maybe it's the local snowflake mentality. They just had to be different from everyone else, didn't they?
If you're a summer type, you've come to the right place. In L.A. it's summer pretty much all year long. When people are freezing their bums off in other parts of the globe, Angelenos get to waive any and all use of boots and sweaters and bask in the warm sunlight on a regular basis.
How else will they maintain their tan for a new batch of Instagram photos nobody cares about?
Not the Home of Disneyland
Many people mistake L.A. to be the home of the famous Disneyland amusement park. But the truth is, it's simply not! Disneyland is and always has been in Anaheim, Orange County; which is in the same state as Los Angeles.
It's about half an hour drive from the city but is definitely, we repeat, NOT in L.A. And please, if you don't feel like pissing off the locals, don't make that tragic mix-up in front of them. They will roll their eyes so hard you'll have to call an exorcist.
Shh, It's (not so much of) a Secret!
One of the best semi-kept local secrets is that the iconic L.A. food chain In-N-Out doesn't only have what you see in its regular menu. The burger place actually has a secret menu! Well, a 'not-so-secret' menu, to be exact.
But who cares? It sounds good, and it has the 3X3, 4X4, and Animal Style burgers on it. The locals, though, might only get these when they are having a cheat day from their custom-built goji-berry-based diet.
Angelenos Have Their Own Standard of 'Cold'
If you don't want to risk looking like a tourist, make sure to dress properly whenever the temperature drops below 60°. Water might freeze at 32°, but L.A. people really don't need temperatures to get that low to do the same and run for the nearest pumpkin-spice latte.
So, to disguise yourself as a local, please make sure to pull out your coat and scarf at the sight of any hint of chill, as tiny as it may be. Trust us.
Sitcom Tapings Are Less Fun Than You’d Think
Look, obviously, sitting in the audience when they're shooting the opening monologue of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" is a cool experience. The thing is, once you've done it once, you realize the epic comic bits are actually a rather tiny portion of the whole thing.
Over five (long) hours are dedicated to unsuccessful attempts and reshoots. But hey, if you live in L.A., you gotta do it at least once. It's in the handbook. Look it up.
Beware of Them Jaywalking Tickets
Yes, you are reading correctly: in Los Angeles, it's not uncommon for people to get a ticket from a local police officer while crossing a road where there's no marked crosswalk.
Not only is it possible to get a ticket for jaywalking in L.A., but this type of ticket can be up to four times more expensive than a ticket for illegal parking! Oh, and the cop won't really care if the jaywalker was rushing to meet Steven Spielberg himself. Don't say we didn't warn ya.
Commuting to Work? That's Cute...
Obviously, we can't all be as lucky as living within a walking distance from work, but in Los Angeles, the closer to work you live – the better. If you're a true Angeleno, you surely know that one of the greatest blessings for a local is living close to where you work.
Time is money, and time spent in L.A. traffic is money lost so the locals just can't be bothered to drive to work — and we aren't even talking about public transportation, which a local would rather give up a year's supply of avocado toast than using.
Looking for Celebrities in Hollywood? Think Again
Tourists and enthusiastic out-of-towners tend to believe famous actors and other L.A. celebs can be found in, where else, Hollywood. With Hollywood's reputation in this department, we can understand that line of thinking.
If you're an L.A. local, you know that the famous peeps don't often get coffee or grab lunch inside Hollywood. Where should you look, then? Try Beverly Hills or Venice. Best of luck!
L.A. Is Not a Desert
Shocking, we know! Many people tend to get confused with this one. If you're one of them, we hate to break it to ya, but even though it can get insanely hot in the City of Angels (the locals will gladly tell you just how hot, they can't get enough of the sound of their own voice), it's not what you think it is.
Even though rain only makes uncredited guest appearances on rare occasions, Los Angeles is actually not considered a desert climate system. Crazy, we know!
Watch Out for Name Duplicities
Public transportation in L.A. is very much of the female word for a dog, so it's best to make sure you get to the place you intended to go. The thing is, the local PT system will do its best to laugh in your face at your poor attempts to decipher it.
For one, there are actually two different Rodeos and two different San Vincents in Los Angeles – so have a good look at your Google Maps before you head out. And during. And maybe ask around for good measure too.
Ready to hear a locals' secret? If you're an art fan, Los Angeles is undoubtedly the best place to be. The reason is that a ton of museums in the city will actually let you in for free! From the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Bowl Museum to the Institute of Contemporary arts – there's so much free art there, you'll be wowed.
Even the famous Getty Museum offers free entrance! How else do you think the locals maintain their artsy image? By taking art courses? Ha!
Starbucks: Not What You Thought
When asked "what is Starbucks?" most Americans would probably answer "a place where you grab a coffee." That's a perfectly reasonable answer, but the residents of L.A. would probably say "a place where you see a bunch of aspiring screenwriters trying to write their breakthrough script."
Yes, that's a pretty long answer, but hey – you asked! Well, technically you didn't, but there's no need to be petty.
L.A. folks are not into plastic bags, and if you hop into a local supermarket or grocery store, you'll notice it right away. A true local doesn't pay 10 cents for a brown paper bag – they bring their own personal bag from home. After all, they do need to start saving if they want to be able to afford their regular supply of matcha.
So if you want to pass as a local, or just protect the environment (two equally important goals), make sure to bring your own bag, too. And complain about the matcha prices.
The City of Flip Flops
Locals of L.A. will wear flip-flops anywhere. And we mean ANYWHERE. Walking around L.A., you're bound to spot numerous flip-flops on the tanned feet of most people walking down the street. It's so common, it's almost a dress code.
Other places might consider wearing flip-flops outside of the beach area to be strange or even rude, but not Angelenos. It's hot out, and feet need ventilation. What other explanation do you need?
Not Book People
L.A. locals are abundant in hobbies: from surfing and yoga to biking, hiking, and brunching. (Yes, brunching is a legit L.A. hobby.) Some of them even go to museums and watch movies, believe it or not!
But the one thing you probably won't catch an Angeleno doing is… reading a book. Sorry, they're just not into that kind of stuff, ok? They are far too busy preparing for their improv class. Besides, They'll just watch the movie when it comes out.
No Craigslist for Apartment Hunting
If you've ever looked for an apartment in L.A., you probably know that people there always tend to recommend that you use Westside Rentals to find one.
We're not sure why, since eventually most people just use their mother-in-law's sister's son's password to Craigslist and do their apartment hunting there. Hey, why break such a beautiful and ancient tradition?
A Remnant of Pre-GPS Times
Once upon a time, the Angelenos of Yore didn't have GPS devices and had to use an actual paper map to get around. Some of them, for some reason, still have them. It was collected in an atlas called the Thomas Guide and some drivers still have it in their cars for safekeeping.
You know, there used to be a time when Waze and Google Maps were nothing but strange words no one would understand. People actually needed atlases and maps to know where to go! Especially in a huge city like L.A. which pretty much makes driving a car a must.
True Angelenos know better than paying for a gym membership they'll never use because there's no parking near the gym! Especially since there are so many 100% free alternatives around.
From going up (and down, but mostly up) the Culver City Stairs to Surfing at El Porto or doing yoga in Grand Park – the possibilities are numerous. Just put on your workout clothes and start breaking a sweat!
The City Is Effing Huge
If you ever feel like Los Angeles is quite big, you're far from being wrong. L.A. is huge both land-wise and population-wise: the city covers an area of over 500 square miles and is populated by almost 4 million people, all somehow trying to avoid each other in a true, local fashion.
Los Angeles is the largest city in the state of California and the second-largest city in the United States as a whole. The locals will complain about all the people around but wouldn't dare to consider moving.
Furbabies Over Actual Babies
The people of L.A. are a unique species, and as such, they have all sorts of special customs. One of those customs is taking their (super sweet!) dogs with them while going grocery shopping, and if possible, putting them in their shopping carts. It's all part of being a dog parent, which apparently, is taken way too seriously in the city.
If you're not a pet owner and are in need of some furry TLC, all you need to do is visit the nearby supermarket. The dogs will be cool, but their owners might bite.
Earthquakes? No Biggie
Lying on the San Andreas Fault, Los Angeles is prone to frequent earthquakes and experiences quite a lot of those on a pretty regular basis. That's probably why the locals don't tend to be overly dramatic when a mild earthquake occurs.
There could be dozens of earthquakes a week, but if the magnitude is below 3, the people of L.A. will probably just go about their day. Oh, and laugh at anyone who panics when the ground literally starts to shake.
A Front Door? That's, Like, Ancient
As part of their obsession with always being on top of the latest trends, Angelenos won't just go to any bar for drinks. It has to be cool, it has to have a twist, and it has to serve the most photogenic cocktails in existence. Good Time at Davey Wayne's is one such bar.
This L.A. bar is located on 1611 N. El Centro Avenue, and it's every bit as specific as its name implies. First, to go in, patrons have to walk through a refrigerator door. What comes next is fine drinks and good company, making Davey Wayne's one of the city's most popular bars. (Though the locals might consider deserting it now that the internet knows.)
Hugh Hefner and the Hollywood Sign
Here's a local anecdote that out-of-towners would never know: the Hollywood sign, one of the most well-known symbols L.A. is recognized for, didn't always say "Hollywood!" The original sign, built in 1929, actually said "Holly-Wood-Land" and contained no less than 4,000 light bulbs.
But the story get's even weirder than that: when they wanted to ruin it in the 1970s, no other than Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was the one to fight to rebuild and preserve it. Way to go, Hugh!
Abnormal Arts, Anyone?
This is not for everyone, but if you're looking for a unique attraction in L.A., you might be interested in the following intel: the California Institute of Abnormal arts is located on Burbank Boulevard, Los Angeles, and is filled with bizarre items from clowns who have seen better days to mummified people.
Also, the place is a rather popular nightclub. Trust the locals to turn a freakshow into a legitimate entertainment venue. Not for the faint of heart.
Fast and Furious
Car chases (you know, those action-ridden events where a police car chases a suspect's car) don't only happen in the movies – for people living in Los Angeles, they're actually a part of life.
We’re not saying that you'll see a police chase every time you go out of the house, but we do promise about one chase per day on the local news.
Coyote Ugly in L.A.?
Well, the answer is yes, but it's not a rendition of the famous 2000 movie – it's real life! While out-of-towners might get startled at the sight of a coyote walking down the street, a true L.A. local won't be remotely phased by it.
Not all street coyotes are ugly – some are even kinda sweet-looking – but it's best to keep away from them, if possible, and refrain from feeding them.
The Santa Monica Pier
Not even the chillest of locals can deny the Santa Monica Pier charm, though some of them might try. Before you come at us saying this one's too touristy, let us put your mind at ease: the Santa Monica Pier is popular among tourists and locals alike. Why? Because it's awesome, that's why.
You've got the beach, you've got a Ferris wheel, you've got good vibes and chill people. And you get to enjoy all this awesomeness entirely for free!
Get Your Car Washed. By Hand
People in L.A. have fancy, flashy cars they like to show off. It's all part of what makes or breaks your identity as a local. While we do understand the general attachment people have with their cars, the abundance of manual car wash stations in this city is just ridiculous.
Rather than just going through the tunnel – literally – Angelenos seem to like knowing that their car is in good hands (again, quite literally). No judging here.
Angelenos can't do things the way normal people do. It's too basic, and the locals will die trying to prove how non-basic they are. For example, mowing the lawn using a regular lawnmower is just so bland. You know what's not bland? Goats.
The famous Getty Museum is one of the biggest symbols of Los Angeles and to maintain its grounds in tip-top shape, the museum hires no other than goats (yes, the ones who bleat). The goats eat the brush in the hills surrounding it and help keep the land tidy.
Come to Randyland
If you're a local, there's no way you haven't heard of Randell Lawrence. Randell lives in Echo Park and is famous for his self-made colored glass sculpture, called Phantasma Gloria. The sculpture is situated in front of Randell's house, beautifully reflecting the sunlight.
Locals refer to the whole shebang as Randyland, which we think is just a great name regardless. Rumor has it that Randell isn't going to stop there and is planning to surround his entire house with glass!
The Best L.A. Radio Station
When listening to music, L.A. locals would normally resort to whatever semi-obscure indie tracks they have saved on Spotify. On the rare occasions when they feel like jamming to something different (or if the internet is dead, which would be no less than apocalyptic) they tune in to KCRW.
So, for anyone still listening to the radio and wanting to do it the local way, the best listening choice – mainly if you're stuck in traffic, which is pretty much 50% of the time – is KCRW.
The Ashton Fender Bender
Los Angeles is undoubtedly a unique place to live: only in L.A. can one casually get hit by a celebrity's car, then take a picture with them.
That's what happened to a young man who got hit by the car of no other than actor Ashton Kutcher and then had someone take a cool picture of the two of them hugging. We think this is both sweet and disturbing.
OK, we get it: it's hard to find parking in L.A. but you haven't really wrapped your head around how hard it truly is to park without getting a ticket until you've seen one of those monstrous, multi-tiered parking signs with like ten different instructions on them. Yes, it's a thing.
Los Angeles is notorious for its parking distress and the constant tickets that residents get on a weekly, if not daily basis. To avoid tickets, the locals must become masters at deciphering parking signs. Tourists will just have to keep scratching their heads at the enormous signs wondering if they should just turn around and drive back the way they came.
Hey, L.A. is the home of all the most famous superstars, isn't it? So why not have murals with VIP entrances? Well, apparently, someone already came up with this ridiculous idea!
Believe it or not, you can actually find murals in L.A. where only social media influencers and verified users are allowed to take a picture. Will someone get us a blue checkmark, please? Stat!
A Smokin' Hot City
This entry kind of takes out the "fun" out of "fun fact" – but we can't really talk about life as an L.A. local without mentioning fires (yes, those dangerous, flaming, smokey things).
Seriously, burning palm trees have pretty much become one of the city's symbols by now. In fact, you can easily spot a local by how they walk past one of these burning trees and not be even the slightest bit worried about it. The reason for fires in L.A. seems to be a combination of vegetation, topography, and rainfall patterns. Thank God for LAFD!
You Don't Surf? Then What Do You Do?
What can possibly be perfecter as a pastime – or even a legit profession – when you live in L.A., than surfing? It's no wonder that every other person in this city of eternal sunshine is a surfer of some sort.
If you really want to vibe with the locals, we recommend that you hurry up and get yourself a surfboard! The locals will obviously have their own personalized gear, but you might just make the cut for a day or two with some rental options. Venice Beach awaits.
Shorts and Boots
Yes, at the same time! In most parts of the world, this look might seem ridiculous or is simply never weather-appropriate, but in L.A., it's not that rare to see someone getting out of the house wearing shorts and boots at the same time.
Well, when you live in a city where winter is almost a far-off fantasy, you don't have a choice but to create your own opportunities to show off your chic UGGs.
Swiping Left on Long Distance
You might be looking at this title right now and are like "What's L.A. about that? Isn't that a global thing?" So let us enlighten you: for Angelenos, "long-distance" is anyone over 30 miles away.
Look, in Los Angeles, where 30 miles can potentially mean up to two hours of sitting in traffic, and nobody in L.A. has that kind of time. Everyone is too busy choosing a filter to post their latest brunch with.
Dude, Where's Your Car?
This might sound like a rude custom to someone who doesn't actually live in L.A., but for locals, it's perfectly reasonable to stalk someone walking to their car in order to be able to catch their parking space before someone else does.
Hey, don't judge – in a city with so few legitimate parking spots and so many cars, we're pretty sure you'd do the same.
Indifference to Fame
There's a great way of knowing whether someone is a true Angeleno or not: the look on their face when they spot a celebrity. While tourists will probably be excited about every single sighting of a famous actor, singer, or reality star, true locals will barely even notice them if they stand in front of them in a Starbucks line.
Ryan Gosling? Rihanna? Kim Kardashian? Been there, done that, now move and let me get my Frappuccino.
Watching Planes at In-N-Out
For most Americans, In-N-Out is just a place where you grab a burger. But for people living in L.A., an In-N-Out, or the Sepulveda Boulevard In-N-Out, to be precise, is also a killer airplane landing viewpoint!
Since the branch is located right next to LAX, you can literally see planes landing while you chew on your burger. The locals will go there to eat the second they land when coming back from their yoga retreat in Hawaii.
Drink Like Bukowski
Hey, if it was good enough for one of Los Angeles's most famous authors, it's good enough for you: L.A.'s local dive bar scene. These are the two of the most prominent bars in this scene.
Roger's Exciting Tattle Tale, where you can see drunk Angelenos singing off-key on Karaoke night; and The Frolic Room, which was a Bukowski favorite back in the day, making it possible for locals to maintain the appearance of people who know something about poetry.
They're Filming Something. Again
Look, if you live in Los Angeles, having movies and TV shows filmed all around you kind of goes with the territory. It's not uncommon to step out of your house, trying to find your way to your car (which you somehow managed to find a parking spot for) only to discover the road is, once again, blocked.
This can only happen in L.A. because somebody's filming something. That's just part of life in there and if you wanna move here, you better get used to it.
Weird and Fancy
Looking to discover the weird side of L.A.? You might want to check out the Magic Castle in Hollywood. While sounding like a Disneyland ride, this castle is nothing of the sort! It was built in 1909, but in 1962, things took a strange turn; and today, visitors can enjoy fake bookshelf doors, card tricks performed by cowboys, and many other weird shenanigans.
Also, you gotta love the strictly formal dress code. Angelenos are suckers for dress codes. It's just one of their favorite ways to show that they know something you don't.
Constantly Going to Disneyland
Hey, just because California's arguably best amusement park isn't literally in L.A., it doesn't mean that Angelenos don't go there, like, all the time. Because they do, just to be clear.
Well, it's got awesome rides and life-size Disney characters strolling about all day long – what's not like? If you had Disneyland 30 minutes away from you, we bet you would have visited there every month, too.
Sorry, Can't Make It!
One of the notoriously charming (but mostly just notorious) habits of L.A. locals is canceling. Canceling what, you ask? Pretty much everything, from business meetings to coffee with a friend and a romantic date.
Why? Because it’s raining, because there's filming and/or a car chase is blocking the entire street, because they don't want to lose their parking spot, or because traffic is just really bad. Sorry, they just can't make it!
Hang at the Museum of Death
Everything in L.A. is art. Even death. And you can't convince the locals otherwise. Unusual spot tourists would probably never know is the Museum of Death located in Hollywood.
And yes, this is exactly what it sounds like: a museum presenting all-things-death: from pictures of famous murders' crime scenes and art created by serial killers (we kid you not) to a special exhibit dealing with the life and death of deceased punk musician GG Allin.
Over Ten Miles of Unused Tunnels
Did you know that the City of Angels is also the City of Tunnels? L.A. has no less than 11 miles of abandoned tunnels! Back in the early 1900s, the now-empty tunnels served as routes to transporting illegal booze and organizing literally-underground speakeasies.
If you want to visit those tunnels, one of the entrances is through the basement of the King Eddy Saloon, and there's also another entrance through an old elevator on Temple Street. Good luck!
Where Wrestling and Comedy Meet
It's so L.A. to have an event combining Mexican food with comedy shows and burlesque dancing. That event is called Lucha Vavoom, and it lives up to its exotic name.
Lucha Vavoom usually takes place at the Mayan Theater and is a huge attraction among locals. Even actor Jack Black is a well-known fan! So don't forget to check it out if you really want to kick it L.A. style.
Coffee and a Cat
Yes, L.A. people are huge dog fans and are known for treating their dogs pretty much like their children. But hey, they're still into cats, too; and the city's Cat Café Lounge is a living (and purring) proof.
Cat lovers can enjoy a cup of coffee while petting a roomful of cats. By the way, did we mention that those cats are also up for adoption? Because that's the whole point, duh!
Bowling, Cocktails, and Secret Photo Booths
A weird and wonderful bar that is really popular among L.A. locals is The Spare Room. This super special place on 7000 Hollywood Boulevard is actually located inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
While it used to be somewhat of a secret bar, only known to a few, today it's well-known among all Angelenos, who go there often to enjoy top-notch cocktails along with a vintage bowling alley, secret photo booths, Jenga, and much more. And you can always assume their fun is never complete without posting about it to their social media followers.
The Ideal Spot for Time Travelers
No one time-travels like Angelenos! Well, no one time-travels, period (that we know of), but if time travel actually existed, L.A. locals would do it best thanks to the awesome store on Sunset Boulevard.
The Echo Park Time Travel Mart sells all the essentials anyone could possibly need, and the proceeds are used to support the creative writing efforts of local kids and adolescents. After all, the city does need to cultivate its next generation of screenwriters.
Korean Food and Titanic Fans
These two things might sound unrelated, but to many L.A. residents, they are. If you go to Koreatown in Los Angeles, you'll find the eccentric-yet-lovely Café Jack, named after the owner, Jack Shin, who actually changed his name as a homage to Leo's famous "Titanic" character.
The place is in fact a Korean restaurant designed in the spirit of the 1997 blockbuster, where people come to eat good food and enjoy Jack's tarot card readings. Fun guaranteed!
Gjelina for Lunch
If you want to grab lunch (or breakfast, or dinner) like a local, the Gjelina restaurant in Venice is the place to go. It's pretty clear why locals love it so much.
The food is just incredibly tasty and they only use fresh produce, which is great for all the raw food/vegan/keto/all of the above diets the locals seem to subscribe to. But beware: if you don't reserve a table in advance, there's no way you'll be able to get in.
Locals can't be bothered to walk on Venice Beach – they scoot. A Bird scooter is pretty much one of the most popular ways to get from one spot to another along the beach.
Other than being affordable (15 cents per minute, if you really want to know), it just means you don't have to spend two hours looking for a parking spot.
Hour per Mile
True Angelenos don't measure distances by miles, like normal people – they measure them by time. Want to know how many miles it is from Hollywood to Beverly Hills? Sorry, no one will know how to tell. But if you want to know how long you'll have to spend on the road in order to get there – well, now we're talking.
The reason for this probably lies in the fact that in such a traffic-ridden city, time spent in traffic is truly all that matters.
Fancy Food Trucks
Upon hearing the term "food truck," many people tend to imagine a simple and oily culinary experience. But let us tell you that in L.A., getting your food from a food truck can be nothing short of a gourmet meal!
Look, L.A. locals just adore their food trucks, and some even follow their favorite ones on social media. So, if you're in town, ask a local to make sure you get some proper food truck guidance. But just know that they won't shut up about it.
Don't Take the Bus
It's no secret that L.A. is a city made for cars. But if you absolutely have to use another means of transportation, we have to give you a heads up: don't take the bus.
Yes, public transportation sucks as a whole in the City of Angels, but while the L.A. metro has gotten way better over the years, buses, well, haven't. So, consider yourselves warned.
Take an Uber. Or a Lyft
The typical local would opt for an Uber or a Lyft to get from point A to point B. That is, if they're not a car owner, or they are but you simply don't ever – and we mean, ever – want to risk losing a perfectly good parking spot for all eternity.
It's affordable, it's highly available, and it takes you to where you need to go without having to drive. That's our definition of perfect.