Los Angeles

So, it looks like I’ll be going to Los Angeles in October.  Tell me, wise and knowledgeable readers, since I have never been there, is it really so terrible to drive there?  I’m kind of nervous.  Is that the most hick question you’ve ever been asked?

I wonder if all this upcoming travel means I should finally break down and buy a laptop.

30 thoughts on “Los Angeles

  1. yes traffic in LA sucks but there are alternatives such as flying into a local airport rather than LAX as LAX is what you avoid like the plague. what part of the city will you be spending the most time?

  2. Never been to LA. But on the subject of travel, I’m off to eastern KY, where every ridge has a cell tower but a sister can’t get wireless up the holler to save her life. So adios and I’ll see you next week.

  3. Driving in LA sucks. But public transport there sucks even more. Rent a car if you must travel far & away from your hotel. And get a good map of LA & surroundng areas (or borrow one). Even my friend, who grew up in Burbak, travels with a comprehensive map of LA. It’s just that fucking huge. Do you really need to drive? Oh, and yes. Buy a lap top. . . nothing like having the freedom to carry it around. . . don’t know what I did with out one for so long. . . this way, you can be super cool while you sit at the Mothership & type away on your uber-cool lappie (then again – Knuck probably doesn’t have wi-fi there, does he?!?!) ;)

  4. I thought I answered this, and it’s gone. Fly into either Ontario or Orange County (John Wayne Airport)…the flights may be a bit more annoying, but it’s worth it to stay out of LAX.

  5. Aunt B., there ain’t no easy way around it: driving in L.A. sucks. However, it is manageable if you’re expecting it. Just make sure you have a map of the area, give yourself plenty of time to travel (if possible), and don’t be shy about asking for directions (even if you’re just trying to find a better path than you might be seeing on a map), especially from the front desk personnel if you’re staying at a hotel. Angelenos are pretty friendly about giving directions, in my limited experience. Also, Aunt B., if you have time, I recommend a couple of spots for dining: In ‘N’ Out Burger, and Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. You won’t go broke at either place, and the food’s pretty good. Oh, and Aunt B., don’t take public transit in L.A., whatever you do. The buses are cute, but taking them seems kind of like taking calculus. The rail system is a cruel joke.Have fun in E. KY, Bridgett. My wife has family in Prestonsburg, and it is a nice place to visit (though maybe not in August, unless you can catch a Squirrel Festival somewhere).

  6. I hate to frighten you B., but picture the worst traffic ever in Nashville. Moving at 80 mph. Bumper to bumper. 24 hours a day.Get someone to go with you and make them drive. LA proper is awful to navigate. If you’re anywhere inside the valley and you can’t cab it, I’d stay in my hotel.I’m sorry, but the informed truth hurts. If your reason for going involves a mostly self-contained conference or something, it’s bearable.Meet a nice guy in the airport and make him let you use his limo. That’s what I say.

  7. Better yet, shell out the $80 for the limo. It is worth it.LA is a nightmare. The 405 connects LAX to UCLA. That’s the worst stretch of highway on the planet. For the Pomona leg, try to fly out of the Ontario airport, it is closer. The drive from UCLA to Pomona is about 40 miles, which means it will take 2.5 hours. My cousin lives out there if you want to hook up with a greasy dumbass of Middle Eastern/Lower Alabama extraction.

  8. All good advice based on my experience..Pay special attention to the ‘BUILD IN EXTRA TIME’ to get anywhere. The traffic at 2:30 on the interstates in LA is pretty much equivalent to I-40 heading west out of Nashville with an overturned truck spilling pond scum and subsequent rubbernecking (which actually happened a couple of months ago..)Actually pretty much anytime on the LA insterstates is like that. LAX is truly a nightmare.

  9. The problem with LA is that it is huge. You can drive three solid hours and still be in "LA."The traffic does get backed up, but getting off the interstate is a work of art.You will be fine. It’s an adventure, BUT, Sarcastro’s limo idea isn’t a bad idea.

  10. I didn’t like RIDING in a car in LA. As a passenger I was nearly in an accident every day. They are fucking maniacs out there.Other than that, LA is awesome.

  11. They’re right, it is a nightmare. If you aren’t used to driving in that kind of traffic, you seriously might want to get a taxi or the limo idea is good too…except get a town car instead of a *real* long limousine. I hope you have a blast! Can’t wait to see the posts from L.A.

  12. Here’s one thing to watch out for: if you are sitting at a stop light, with long lines of cars on your left and right, don’t be surprised when motorcycles ride right past your windows, between the lines of cars, to get to the front of the line. Apparently it’s legal in CA, but it kind of freaked me out the first time I saw it. And yes, it made me wish I had rented a motorcycle. But don’t rent a motorcycle!

  13. Wifey and I are in LA once or twice a year. We have never had any problems flying into LAX and driving anywhere and usually our preferred method is to rent a car at LAX and drive to San Diego. We have done so 3 or 4 times and never had any problems. Yes there is traffic, but it is no worse than traffic in any major city. Yes it is big, but it not that big and the freeways are easily managed and the surface streets are clearly marked. People don’t drive worse in LA than they do anywhere else, and I find the drivers in Chicago far worse than anything I’ve experienced in LA. Bringing a map is a fine idea, but really the driving is not that bad.LE

  14. The descriptions above are pretty accurate. The sheer scale and sprawl of LA and Southern CA will be the biggest difference. An accurate traffic comparison would be trying to navigate rush hour traffic on the interstate in Downtown Nashville by getting on 40W at 2nd avenue and trying to cut across to 65S illegally at 80mph but across 6-8 lanes of traffic with no directional signs.Inside local areas and neighborhoods you wouldn’t have any problems. Especially going to UCLA and Pomona. If you’re going to drive any distance to see something, plan your time, otherwise there will be plenty that is exotic and different right around you.My sister lived in the Ontario/Rancho Cucamonga area for a few years and I was in Long Beach for a while(post riot but during Snoop Dogg’s reign), since then I go mostly to San Francisco and Northern CA on trips.The weirdest thing about being around LA is that everything looks familiar because you’ve grown up watching it on television. If you have time, take a drive on Pacific Coast Highway just for the scenery and to say that you did. You could also go Hunter S. Thompson and trek across the desert to Las Vegas for adventure before returning East of the Mississippi. Lots and lots of options.

  15. Sort of a co-inky-dink. I’m off to San Diego in October for my annual dreaded vendor conference. Maybe we can rendezvous in San Fran for a highball, perhaps…?

  16. "The weirdest thing about being around LA is that everything looks familiar because you’ve grown up watching it on television. If you have time, take a drive on Pacific Coast Highway just for the scenery and to say that you did."Yes, yes, yes. I loved that feeling. A sort of dream-state de ja vu where buildings and beaches look familiar but you can’t quite place them. I went for that drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, and it was my favorite day. Absolutely breathtaking. Also, take a winding drive up Mulholland if you are in the area, but wait until nighttime.Here are my LA photos:http://brittney.typepad.com/photos/los_angeles/

  17. Huck, you can rendezvous with me down to the Mellow Mushroom twice a week if you’d but say the word….and with that, it’s a race to see if Malia or Huck’s wife shoots me first. I’m kidding gals, I’m kidding.

  18. Spot on, saraclark.I lived in both 213 and 714 from the age of 4 to 11. When I see a location on television that looks like someplace I remember from childhood, I have to really wonder if it is an actual memory or just a location I’ve seen before on a different show or movie.

  19. Okay, Huck. Tomorrow, 11:15. Be here and we’ll go over to the Mothership and harass Newscoma. Then, we’ll run away together to Mount Juliet where we will live in a trailer under assumed names.LE, thanks. I kind of needed a Chicago to LA comparison.Does it make sense to stay off the interstates and just use city streets if at all possible?

  20. On my first excursion to LA,I flew in to LAX and my friend picked me up at the airport. We were sitting in traffic on the interstate and that song came on the radio "I’m going to DisneyLand" and I looked around at the traffic, the street signs and I thought "Wow, I’m not in Tennessee anymore!"I was fairly cushioned from the culture shock by my fellow members of the Displaced Southerners Club, but the first time we were in some local mexican place it took me 5 times to understand "Cerveza!?" and finally someone said yes for me. It’s the little things that get you.I learned that I did not want to live there but a 30 day sabbatical from time to time keeps me very happy.The reverse culture shock for my California friends coming to Tennessee is always funny for me. It’s like we’re a foreign land to them.

  21. I forgot–Griffin(th?) Park Observatory. You’ve seen it a thousand times on television as well as the road leading up to it and you can see the Hollywood sign pretty well from there.

  22. "Also, take a winding drive up Mulholland if you are in the area, but wait until nighttime"listen to Brittney! That was my favorite part of my last trip to LA..wow

  23. The reason you see such diverse descriptions of LA traffic in these responses is that a lot of the experience will depend on which direction you’re going – at what time of day. I drive from Burbank to Century City (2 miles from UCLA) every day. With a brief exception I stay off of the freeway and travel across the hill through the canyons (Coldwater is best). The drive isn’t bad and the scenery is beautiful. I go out to Pomona twice a month for the computer show. If you’re coming from the Valley take the 210 the whole way and it’s a breeze. If you’re coming from LA proper you have to take the 10 or the 60 and they both suck.Shoot me an e-mail when you’re going to be at UCLA and we’ll do lunch on the Fox studio lot!Have fun!

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