I have lived in L.A., just behind LAX for the past five years. My wife and I moved up from San Diego, due to job related actvities. During all of those five years I have travelled to and from Compton for my job and my wife has travelled to and from HOllywood. For those of you who don't know L.A., both of our work locations have a very mean and nasty reputation for gangs, drive-by shootings and such. We both have managerial positions, dress professionally and drive middle classs automobiles. Neither of us have had any fear or any problems travelling to and from our jobs or anywhere within the city. We have never once come even close to being preyed upon in any way, shape or form while living in L.A.
The crime rate in L.A. is at its lowest point in 30 years and the economy is one of the best in the US and you just can't beat So. Cal. weather.
BTW, Dave the next time you are in town send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll take you to a Uechi workout.
The serial rapist you had mentioned was shot and killed by police this very day after he had attacked another woman. The rapes of the two 11 year olds were tragic but were very uncommon. We have had no other such incidents this year.
Your comment about Century Blvd. being like a freeway is quite true. But remember Century Blvd. is the main drag for access to LAX.
There are other sections of L.A. that are very pleasant to walk around. Did you go to Koreatown, Japantown, or the Music Center?
Did you spend any time on Montana Ave. or the 3rd. St. Promenade in Santa Monica? Did you go over to the famous Venice Pier for some amusement or walk the byways of the Venice canals? Did you walk the Venice beach blvd.?
My own neighborhood is right by the beach with stately homes overlooking the ocean. My wife and I sometimes take the time to meander over the hills to gawk at the homes and enjoy the ocean view.
Your comments about the hype over the Oscars is right on target but remember that all of the major studios are located in our city limits. L.A. was built on Hollywood money and movie production still brings in huge amounts of revenue for the city. New York City has the Metropolitan Opera and the ballet. L.A. does have cultural activities but its movie reputation brings in tourist dollars. BTW, did you go over to the Walk of Fame or Mann's Chinese theater? Did you find yourself wandering Griffith Park or take time to go over to the LA Zoo?
I would also like to remind everyone that L.A. is a basin that is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. These mountain ranges allow for a variety of hiking, camping, fishing, skiing and other outdoor actvities. I can travel from beach to mountain top within an hour.
I love Boston, New York, Philly and all the other east coast cities but their streets and buldings all look grimy and dingy compared to West Coast cities.
If you don't believe me just come out and see for yourself and don't forget to bring a gi!
All the best,