Author Topic: What would turn you off the US in LA?  (Read 18174 times)

LouLou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2015, 11:20:28 AM »
I'm with the posters who say that visiting and exploring will handle her perceptions of LA and the US in general.  I say this as someone who grew up there: LA is expensive and over-crowded.  LA also has excellent proximity to many different natural environments (beaches, mountains, deserts, everything!) and great weather.  Getting around is a hassle, but your life can actually be really glamorous. And lots of people there are really attractive.  Anyway, all of this is obvious to anyone who visits.

I went to NYC when I was 12. It was great! Just like the movies.  Bustling, fast-talking, huge buildings, glamorous hotels and fancy stores.  I also learned that while I love visiting NYC, I could never live there.

I now live in a smaller city in the US Midwest because I like never driving in traffic, a low cost of living where I could buy a house near the city with an acre of land, and friendly people.  I have friends who rent tiny places in LA, work for pennies in entertainment, and LOVE it.  One of my friends actually enjoys his traffic-y commute.  As you said, different strokes!

I say have fun and let your niece dream!  Youth is the time to let your mind wander with unrealistic expectations and vacation is the time to explore and learn. Enjoy some showbusiness if you can.  Go see an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. All shows are under $10 and famous people randomly participate.  Go see a free taping of a late night show.  Unlike a sitcom, they don't do repeated "takes" so the taping is shorter, and they are taped during the day.  The tickets are free.

As for the gun control threadjack, the right to bear arms is in the US Constitution.  So the American relationship to guns and gun control is going to be very different than that of other countries. Most the gun deaths in the US are suicides (I think its 2-to-1 but not positive) and a significant portion of the homicides involve illegally purchased guns / unregistered guns.  So the reaction to gun control is "why are you interfering with my ability to hunt / constitutional rights when it won't change anything?"  I vaguely remembering researching gun violence in university for a paper, and found that even long before modern gun control laws (i.e. 1800s), the murder rate in New York City was overwhelmingly higher than the rate in London.  Regardless, the violent crime rate in the US has been free falling over the last few decades. Why do Americans love shoot themselves or others while other places with high gun ownership don't have that problem (see Iceland)? Not an issue relevant to your vacation!

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2015, 11:45:49 AM »
Let her drive a rental car on the highways. Let her see first hand the anger that many Americans have - more than anywhere else I've been.

OttoVonBisquick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Denver
  • Eisen und Blut und Pfannkuchen
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2015, 11:55:07 AM »
Let her drive a rental car on the highways. Let her see first hand the anger that many Americans have - more than anywhere else I've been.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?!?!

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2015, 12:20:45 PM »
Let her drive a rental car on the highways. Let her see first hand the anger that many Americans have - more than anywhere else I've been.


Where else have you all been? And where have you all driven in America? Comparisons are useless without specifics. I highly doubt you are comparing it to Kathmandu or Kigali which I found to both be more aggressive drivers. (And Western Nepal close to India was insane) Up here in Wisconsin it's a pain in the ass, you come to a intersection and nobody will go first, they wave each other to go. :) Overall the Midwest isn't slow, but pretty polite drivers. Then there is downtown Chicago which can be really aggressive. Not so much angry, more impatient in intolerant of waiting for anything, lots of honking and yelling at times. Comparisons across countries are entirely useless, it's more about specific cultures and cities when talking about larger countries.

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2015, 12:31:32 PM »
When I was 18 and living in California, a good friend wanted to move to Australia. At the time I thought she probably had an unrealistic, idealized notion of what Australia was like, since Australia was very popular and trendy in the U.S. at that time (Crocodile Dundee, Men At Work, etc.). Thirty years later, she still lives there and loves it.

I say let the niece decide for herself what she thinks and wants. If you go on the trip, I recommend keeping quiet about any negative things you might experience, as it will probably have the opposite effect you want.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10309
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #55 on: July 28, 2015, 12:52:09 PM »

As for the gun control threadjack, the right to bear arms is in the US Constitution. 

Technically the 2nd amendment guarantees the rights of people to from a well armed militia.  The amendment references the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but there's been endless debate about whether 'the people' can be extended to sole individuals or whether it applies only to individuals who are part of a regulated militia.  The US Supreme court has both upheld an individual's right to own guns as well as agreeing that limits can be placed on ownership by federal and state governments (e.g. US v. Miller).

Here's the 2nd amendment, in it's entirety:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2015, 02:34:42 PM »
I don't know if it would phase a teenager, but based on informal conversations, the thing that frightens many of my international colleagues out of moving to the US is our healthcare "system".

Can you be specific?  Is it the actual care?  I've had a few minor surgeries and received amazing care.

Not the actual care, but the fear of bankruptcy due to medical costs. I think they are generally correct that this is one of the biggest financial risks of living in the US vs. other industrialized countries, although the ACA helped at least a little.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 02:43:02 PM by vhalros »

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10309
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2015, 03:03:19 PM »
I don't know if it would phase a teenager, but based on informal conversations, the thing that frightens many of my international colleagues out of moving to the US is our healthcare "system".

Can you be specific?  Is it the actual care?  I've had a few minor surgeries and received amazing care.

Not the actual care, but the fear of bankruptcy due to medical costs. I think they are generally correct that this is one of the biggest financial risks of living in the US vs. other industrialized countries, although the ACA helped at least a little.
As a US citizen who lives in Canada, I'm fascinated by the perception of health care by citizens of different countries.  One thing I've noticed is that people in Quebec overwhelmingly think the US system is very bad, and people in the New England overwhelmingly think the Quebec health care system is very bad.

My personal experience is that, if you have medical insurance the care in the US is very, very good.  Statistics back this up with low wait times, very high success rates for complex surgeries and low rates of post-op complication.  One area where the US does terribly is that the per-patient care is much higher than in many other developed nations.  This becomes a huge problem if you need medical care and you are under-insured or uninsured.  One of the goals of the ACA is to make everyone has some level of coverage.

In every health care system that I know about there are some circumstances where necessary care for a certain condition isn't covered by the insurance (whether it's private or public insurance).

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #58 on: July 28, 2015, 04:18:44 PM »
Let her drive a rental car on the highways. Let her see first hand the anger that many Americans have - more than anywhere else I've been.

I've driven in 22 states of the USA, did two decades of commuting in one of the largest cities in the US, and have driven in 5 countries outside the US.  I simply do not believe you've driven outside America if you think traffic is worse in the US than western Europe.  All the big cities in Europe I drove in had traffic that was as bad or worse than the typical big US city, but with the added issue of far worse diesel smog in European cities.  On a plus side, when people were honking and swearing at me in Europe, at least I couldn't understand what they were saying.  Actually road rage laws are so strict in America nowadays that you'd have to be crazy to actually go after somebody in public.  I've also seen a certain 9/11 style of "not on my watch" heroism where ordinary folks are willing to step up and save a stranger's life simply because that's the American way.

sunday

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2015, 09:15:25 AM »
As a resident of LA, I'm pretty fond of my city. If you go to Santa Monica, Hollywood, Venice, and the South Bay beaches, you're going to get the glamourous/beautiful people side. Venice does have a large homeless population also, so it depends on what streets you are on. But of course, there are normal, residential neighborhoods throughout LA, especially as the city is so spread out. You can go to Hawthorne, or Burbank (away from the studios), Glendale, or Lawndale if you want to see the regular folks just living their regular lives. But I wouldn't take a teenager down Skid Row or Watts just to give her a scare.

astvilla

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2015, 09:28:01 AM »
Hilarious. 

I agree with many others in that foreigners to the US have this distorted view of what America is actually like.  I'm sure illegals have the same but are probably more familiar now with America.

Internationals from Asia expect most of America to be like TV dramas or Hollywood movies.  I know a couple who said they were surprised to see the USA was really just a place to buy cheap crap.  Work, drive, shop.  Work, drive, shop.  Not much else. 

Germans are flabbergasted by the low price, on clothes especially.  But once you go into the neighborhoods where Americans live, it's pretty boring actually.  I'd say with all the suburbs and my experiences abroad, that America is 1 of the most boring countries to live in actually unless you're in a HCOL like a city.  As a society, America is nothing to envy about.  There are large swaths of poor that you can avoid but it's not a pretty country.  Then again I'm basing it mostly off being in NJ.  I'd think taking her to LA in itself will upend any delusions someone has. 

I also enjoy watching foreigners be disappointed in our country with lofty expectations.  Just sets in the reality that the grass isn't always greener.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10309
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2015, 09:31:20 AM »

I agree with many others in that foreigners to the US have this distorted view of what America is actually like.  .  As a society, America is nothing to envy about.  There are large swaths of poor that you can avoid but it's not a pretty country.  Then again I'm basing it mostly off being in NJ. 

I also enjoy watching foreigners be disappointed in our country with lofty expectations.  Just sets in the reality that the grass isn't always greener.
huh.

morning owl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • Location: Canada
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #62 on: July 29, 2015, 10:04:28 AM »
I dont think you have to try too hard to turn someone off LA. It's a very extreme place, that I'm guessing your niece will either love or hate. Personally Ive been once and would never go back. Lack of public transportation, bad traffic, crazy highways, lack of walkability, sense of classism and racism, superficial people, etc... Blech. (No offence to those who enjoy living there, but that was my personal impression of it, over the course of one week's visit. San Fran, on the other hand, was totally fun...)

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #63 on: July 29, 2015, 11:04:13 AM »

I agree with many others in that foreigners to the US have this distorted view of what America is actually like.  .  As a society, America is nothing to envy about.  There are large swaths of poor that you can avoid but it's not a pretty country.  Then again I'm basing it mostly off being in NJ. 

I also enjoy watching foreigners be disappointed in our country with lofty expectations.  Just sets in the reality that the grass isn't always greener.
huh.

Ha Ha, that's what I thought!  Hey, why don't you step over the state line and enter beautiful Pennsylvania - filled with amazing mountain views and rolling farm lands.   But I agree, I'm not overly-impressed with NJ either.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5490
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2015, 09:45:48 AM »
Hilarious. 

I agree with many others in that foreigners to the US have this distorted view of what America is actually like.  I'm sure illegals have the same but are probably more familiar now with America.

Internationals from Asia expect most of America to be like TV dramas or Hollywood movies.  I know a couple who said they were surprised to see the USA was really just a place to buy cheap crap.  Work, drive, shop.  Work, drive, shop.  Not much else. 

Germans are flabbergasted by the low price, on clothes especially.  But once you go into the neighborhoods where Americans live, it's pretty boring actually.  I'd say with all the suburbs and my experiences abroad, that America is 1 of the most boring countries to live in actually unless you're in a HCOL like a city.  As a society, America is nothing to envy about.  There are large swaths of poor that you can avoid but it's not a pretty country.  Then again I'm basing it mostly off being in NJ.  I'd think taking her to LA in itself will upend any delusions someone has. 

I also enjoy watching foreigners be disappointed in our country with lofty expectations.  Just sets in the reality that the grass isn't always greener.

Well, if you think the 0.23% of the USA that you're familiar with isn't pretty, maybe you could try visiting the other 99.77%.

http://i.imgur.com/eNht2HN.png
http://i.imgur.com/tf7U1EM.png
http://i.imgur.com/BgD1CVS.jpg

There's a sample for you.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8560
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2015, 03:30:04 PM »
There IS a premise to this post that there are a lot of wonderful things in the US.

I COULD engage in picture warfare, but I won't. I just wonder why a dead tree made it into the photos. In Australia, we have the second and third tallest growing trees - the Mountain Ash and the Kauri. In the 1800's someone saw this enormous Mountain Ash, and decided to chop it down to measure it. It is still the longest tree ever measured, but that was before measurements were authenticated. It is interesting that many of our wonders don't make it to the lists. For instance Wikipedia doesn't include our largest lake in its lists (Lake Eyre). As the internet started in the US it does tend to have a bias toward US information, so it is no wonder that the amazing things in other countries with much smaller populations are not represented as well as they might be.

BCBiker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
  • Location: Colorado
    • Business Casual Biker - Health, Wealth, and Mental Stealth BTYB Bicycle Commuting
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2015, 07:41:01 PM »
Hilarious. 

I agree with many others in that foreigners to the US have this distorted view of what America is actually like.  I'm sure illegals have the same but are probably more familiar now with America.

Internationals from Asia expect most of America to be like TV dramas or Hollywood movies.  I know a couple who said they were surprised to see the USA was really just a place to buy cheap crap.  Work, drive, shop.  Work, drive, shop.  Not much else. 

Germans are flabbergasted by the low price, on clothes especially.  But once you go into the neighborhoods where Americans live, it's pretty boring actually.  I'd say with all the suburbs and my experiences abroad, that America is 1 of the most boring countries to live in actually unless you're in a HCOL like a city.  As a society, America is nothing to envy about.  There are large swaths of poor that you can avoid but it's not a pretty country.  Then again I'm basing it mostly off being in NJ.  I'd think taking her to LA in itself will upend any delusions someone has. 

I also enjoy watching foreigners be disappointed in our country with lofty expectations.  Just sets in the reality that the grass isn't always greener.

Well, if you think the 0.23% of the USA that you're familiar with isn't pretty, maybe you could try visiting the other 99.77%.

http://i.imgur.com/eNht2HN.png
http://i.imgur.com/tf7U1EM.png
http://i.imgur.com/BgD1CVS.jpg

There's a sample for you.

Could have done without the truck in 1st pick! ;0  I agree there are many pretty places around this country, even in the greater Los Angeles area. I like to see beauty in everything though. There is no part of the world that I have not appreciated the beauty at least a little bit.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5490
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2015, 10:08:06 PM »
There IS a premise to this post that there are a lot of wonderful things in the US.

I COULD engage in picture warfare, but I won't. I just wonder why a dead tree made it into the photos. In Australia, we have the second and third tallest growing trees - the Mountain Ash and the Kauri. In the 1800's someone saw this enormous Mountain Ash, and decided to chop it down to measure it. It is still the longest tree ever measured, but that was before measurements were authenticated. It is interesting that many of our wonders don't make it to the lists. For instance Wikipedia doesn't include our largest lake in its lists (Lake Eyre). As the internet started in the US it does tend to have a bias toward US information, so it is no wonder that the amazing things in other countries with much smaller populations are not represented as well as they might be.

Engage in picture warfare to prove that the US "is not a pretty country"? Note that the entire subject of this thread is "what would turn you off of the US" -- not "what would turn you off of Australia".

If the message I was responding to indicated that Australia was not a pretty country, I would've responded with some photos from there - but these are ones I took myself. I haven't been to Australia yet (and even if I had, the photos would've been wholly irrelevant to this conversation).

I am hoping to circumnavigate Australia in a few years, though. I am looking forward to it.

On an unrelated side note...out of three pictures that I like, people have criticized two of them. Goes to show that perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder...if you find no beauty in NJ, perhaps you won't find it elsewhere either.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 10:14:18 PM by JLee »

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8560
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2015, 01:14:48 AM »
Sorry - they are nice pictures!

Ocelot

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2015, 01:32:36 AM »
For instance Wikipedia doesn't include our largest lake in its lists (Lake Eyre).

(offtopic) Because Lake Eyre only completely fills once every few decades, and the 'normal' volume isn't enough to make the lists. Not because Aussie lakes are discriminated against. (/offtopic)

Astatine

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3623
  • Location: Australia
  • Pronouns: they/them
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2015, 05:41:14 AM »
I don't know if it would phase a teenager, but based on informal conversations, the thing that frightens many of my international colleagues out of moving to the US is our healthcare "system".

Or visiting. There are a few of us who are nervous about visiting due to our pre-existing health conditions. Even with travel insurance, it still costs a lot to go to emergency (a friend's husband racked up a $3k bill when he had kidney stones during a work trip to the US) and I've already been to emergency 3 times this year. Which is free in our health system, but not in the US from what I've heard.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5490
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2015, 10:05:00 AM »
I don't know if it would phase a teenager, but based on informal conversations, the thing that frightens many of my international colleagues out of moving to the US is our healthcare "system".

Or visiting. There are a few of us who are nervous about visiting due to our pre-existing health conditions. Even with travel insurance, it still costs a lot to go to emergency (a friend's husband racked up a $3k bill when he had kidney stones during a work trip to the US) and I've already been to emergency 3 times this year. Which is free in our health system, but not in the US from what I've heard.
Health care here can be absurdly expensive, even with insurance (coverage varies wildly between different companies/plans). :(

LeRainDrop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2015, 09:40:03 PM »
Sorry - they are nice pictures!

I like the pictures, too!  I take it the "dead tree" is from the Redwoods -- awesome!

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2015, 04:05:53 PM »
Just to further threadjack, I remember meeting some Australians in Turkey (we were all tourists staying at the same hotel in Cappadocia). I was gushing about the amazing rock formations there, and the Australian girls were like, "You really think it's better than Bryce Canyon?" (in the US) I had barely ever even heard of Bryce Canyon! But when I went there a few years later I had to admit they were right, the rocks in Bryce are way cooler than the ones in Cappadocia.

Anyway, lots of cool things in America. Lots of cool things in Australia. Lots of consumerism in both countries, too, I think.

pk_aeryn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2015, 10:50:47 PM »
I live in LA.  I have an Internet friend that lives in Argentina. She came to visit, along with her family, and I took them to all the touristy areas in a day.  Their reaction to rodeo drive was this:  "But we have all these stores in Argentina?! Why is this so special?!"

I shrugged and said exactly.  Just like any high end mall in any city anywhere.

Otherwise, you can tell her that the average person in LA spends 50% of their income on housing.  I'm below that, but I live in an apartment that would probably qualify as a slum. (Not joking, I can't get my landlord to fix water flooded living room, bathroom and kitchen.  I can't afford to move out.


(For everyone wondering why I don't move to another city, I'm in a highly specialized but low paying career and I don't have the foggiest of how to change careers)

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6251
  • Location: BC
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #75 on: August 25, 2015, 11:11:10 PM »
For instance Wikipedia doesn't include our largest lake in its lists (Lake Eyre).

(offtopic) Because Lake Eyre only completely fills once every few decades, and the 'normal' volume isn't enough to make the lists. Not because Aussie lakes are discriminated against. (/offtopic)

Yah!  If that is the criteria, filling every few decades, then the Red river flood zone qualifies for sure!

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10148
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: What would turn you off the US in LA?
« Reply #76 on: August 26, 2015, 01:53:15 AM »
I was thinking of staying at an AirBnB place close to the subway, so we could see a more normal place than a hotel, and use the transit system rather than a car (I am really not sure I could drive everywhere in a city on the wrong side of the road).
OMG! You have answered your own question brilliantly! This!! Trying to get around in LA without a car should achieve exactly what you're aiming for. Public transportation in all but a few cities in the US sucks. LA is a lot better that it used to be, but it still stinks. 

Which reminds me of this '80's classic by Missing Persons...

One thing's for sure, he isn't starring in the movies.
'Cause he's walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A.
Walkin' in L.A., only a nobody walks in L.A.

Nobody rides the bus, either and the few subway routes are very limited. She will definitely see a different side of LA via public transportation. Oh, please do keep us posted!