Maybe I was there on a good week, but the air was clean. I met some guy at yoga class who told me he is an official government 'air tester'. He confirmed my suspicion that the air quality has vastly improved. It sounded like he had a primo job. How many of us can take yoga class at 10:30 am?
Myth #2: L.A. is full of beautiful, rich, snobby people
I didn't hang out in Beverly Hills, where the rich and beautiful were probably hiding, but my hotel was in Hollywood. I was surprised how friendly and nice everyone was. Lots of normal looking people. Very culturally diverse. My yoga class did not have anorexic actors or maniacal musicians.
Myth #3: L.A.'s traffic is the worst in the nation
So this isn't a myth, this is true. I took the bus and metro, thus avoiding some of it. I now understand why road rage is rampant.
Myth #4: L.A. is culturally deficient
New Yorkers like to bash L.A.--full of vapid entertainment low brow culture. L.A. has a great art scene. Lots of interesting work. So avoid the grammy, ripley and disney museums. The visit to the Getty for an evening gala was worth the entire trip. What spectacular architecture and grounds. MOCA has a comprehensive Dan Graham retrospective and there are over 300 galleries. The L.A. art critic scene puts Philly to shame.
Myth #5: L.A. is full of gang-bangers and scam artists
This one is kind of true as well. I just wasted $35 (how embarrassing to admit) going on the WORST sightseeing tour ever--Haunted Ghost Tour. It was 'research' for my Dark Tourism in Philly class that I'm teaching next Fall. Not only did the guy charge me $10 more than the other 'tourists', but we didn't even get to ride in the 1961 Caddie featured on the brochure. 12 people squished in a van with a guide whose jokes were awful. "This is the house where Michael Jackson transformed from a black boy to a white girl." I didn't get to see the haunted Marilyn mirror in the Roosevelt Hotel or even enter into a haunted house, as promised. Stay AWAY from Starline Tours.
I was prepared to HATE L.A. and confess to LOVING it--except for the scammers.