My Free Marketing Newsletter

Los Angeles

I recently moved to Los Angeles for 3 months. It’s been a dream to live near the beach and experience Southern California weather.

Thought it’d be interesting to share what I’ve observed since being out here for a bit.

Right away you notice the billboards… they’re ALL about entertainment. The newest movie, the latest TV show, some musician you haven’t heard of… yet.

This is life in Los Angeles.

When going around the city, you can’t help but want to be, or feel, or see someone famous. It’s addicting.

I assume that subsides over time as people just get used to being in this environment.

When you enter the city, it’s also interesting how you feel the need to appear rich, too. No joke. I saw 3 SUPERCARS within 15 minutes on the same street driving. I’m not sure I’d say this is a city of excess, but it’s a city that wants you to believe its excessive.

When I visited Los Angeles in the past, I didn’t realize HOW big it is here (over 16 million people) — and how DIFFERENT the areas of the city can be.

Venice, Santa Monica, and Marina Del Rey are beach living. This area is also called Silicon Beach. Lots of tech companies have established large presences around here… like Facebook, Snapchat, and Google.

Silicon Beach is much different from the glamorous Hollywood Hills, which feels like it’s in a different state. And both areas are different than hipster living in Los Feliz, or the up-and-coming area of Downtown LA which is right next to famous Skid Row (homeless mecca).

When you can live and work in the same area, and mostly avoid LA traffic (I’ll get to that later), it’s an amazing place.

LA living is a stark contrast to my original home of Bay Area and my recent home of Austin, TX.

The Bay Area is about tech companies, hoodies, talking about tech all the time, and appearing poor but being very rich. In the Bay Area, you have the most expensive real estate in the world… and at the same time one of the dirtiest cities in the world.

The billboards in the Bay Area are about tech, tech, and more tech. I guess billboards say a lot more than we thought.

And then you have my current home and one of America’s fastest growing cities: Austin, TX.

Our billboards are all about beer, drunk driving, and lawyers that rock (if you live there, you know what this means).

So what does it all mean?

Every place is great to live, it just depends what’s important to you and where you are at in life.

Here are a few other high-level comparisons I’ve noticed in my short time “vacationing” in Los Angeles.

Traffic. It’s here and it ain’t going nowhere. BUT I’ve noticed traffic in the Bay Area is almost worse, and lately Austin’s freeways are jam-packed.

The main difference I notice with traffic in Los Angeles is that you KNOW there is traffic and expect it. That makes it easier to handle. You figure out when to leave for places (1 hour earlier to go 8 miles like I did yesterday). You bicycle, Uber or electric scooter as much as possible. You prepare for it with amazing radio, audiobooks, or podcasts. And you start figuring out the best times to drive.

Another cool thing about LA being such a large city is that Uber + Lyft out here are shockingly cheap because of so much supply.

Music. This is not something I expected, but being in the heart of entertainment and having to sit in your car so much means the music out here is noticeably better. Higher variety, better DJs, and just overall great selection.

Real Estate. Los Angeles is expensive, but so is California. Limiting your mortgage interest deduction to $750k, and the general high cost of homes, make it nearly impossible for normal wage earners to buy a home in California. This is huge disadvantage for being out here.

I’ve checked a few places and it costs around $2 million for an OK bungalow near the beach. It’s expensive, plus it’s pretty shitty that after you buy a home a homeless person can sleep for FREE right outside your door.

Gentrification is a whole other story, but home prices are a huge reason many people are fleeing California for places like Austin, Denver, Portland (where you can actually own a home).

It’d be different if $2 million got you an amazing home, but check out Redfin and you’ll see what I mean. What’s happening now in LA is that more people are moving to lower-income areas like Inglewood and gentrifying. Not sure where those original residents are going. Seems like a problem in popular areas or areas with high-tech and high-wages.

Food. Yes, there are a lot of tacos here. It’s great in most places depending on what you like. The notable difference in LA is that the food is VERY expensive compared to other areas BUT there are a lot of great restaurants. There’s great food in Austin but just not as many options.

Tech companies. They are definitely here and bringing good talent with it… but at the end of the day, Silicon Valley is where it’s at. It’s the mecca. Austin has some great companies like my own (#shamelessplug) but if you want to be in tech, you know where you have to live. There are trade-offs to living in Silicon Valley, but it’s cool to be around the emergence of tech and entertainment.

It’s also interesting that companies like Bird Scooters came OUT of Los Angeles. That’s a first and promising. You also have SpaceX nearby Hawthorne, so LA is showing promise that more may come in the future.

Weather. You don’t realize how much great weather makes life better until you give it up.

Years ago, I left California for Austin and I didn’t realize how painful the summers could be in Austin. Yes, you are in AC all day and yes there’s a ton of lake and boating options available in Texas. However, when you walk around the block on a phone call and then you’re covered in sweat, you notice how much the heat can limit you.

You can’t beat LA since most days are around 75 F with low humidity. Weather tax is worth it.

Beach. Having an amazing beach nearby is dope AF. It makes you feel alive and realize how big the world actually is. A lake and river are nice, don’t get me wrong Austin people, but it doesn’t stand in the wave of a beach. Pun intended.

When the sunset hits the beach of Santa Monica… you just can’t top it. I’ve had a few days off, and when I’m on the beach I feel amazing and appreciate being alive.

Cost of living. Holy F it’s expensive out here. Not just the real estate. Sales tax is higher. There’s 13% state income tax. There’s a bottle tax when you buy a bottle at a store. For real. Most breakfasts are $20 a person, lunch is around $20-$30, and dinner is $40-$50. This is not just because I eat bougie food. Life is more expensive here in general.

People. When I think of LA people I imagine this scenario:

Noah: “Hey, want to come over to my party Friday night?”

LA-an: “Sure, sounds like fun I can be there at 7 pm.”

1 day before party

LA-an: “Hey, I’m not sure if I’m coming, something came up” (another party for them to go to)

Noah: “Okay, no sweat. I’ll see you another time”

Day of party

LA-an: “Okay, I’m coming” (after evaluating every option they determined my party was highest status)

LA is a city with long-ass commutes which limits friendships, a shit ton of flaky people in general, and a lot of different egos you’ll meet.

Austin is shockingly friendly, but I’ve noticed it’s gone downhill since I moved 8 years ago with all the new people moving in from out of state.  As with any new location, making friends takes time and there are great people all over the world.

Time Zones. You kinda forget going back to Pacific time zone how most of America is already doing a bunch of shit by the time you get up. I forgot how in Central time zone it’s great for all customer service calls and getting a bunch more shit done before the work day is over.

Airport. LAX is a major hub for whole world which is magical. Austin’s airport has grown a ton but for most major flights you still need to connect through Houston or Dallas. LAX also has amazing lounges throughout the complex and having a Turo parking lot is surprisingly convenient.

Access to local areas. Even with traffic, traveling around SoCal is pretty easy from LA. It’s simple to go down to San Diego, Joshua Tree, 1 hour flight to SF, and easy access to Mexico. This is nice because I’ve been able to see lots of different areas and try new things in only a few hours driving.

California as a state is its own planet. The highest taxes imaginable. Restrictions on everything. Minimum wage to $15. High cost of living (the cheapest breakfast I’ve had is $20 just for myself). It’s the weather tax you pay to live in this state.

What are your experiences with LA — or your favorite place to eat in LA? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear.

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55 responses to “Los Angeles”

June 11, 2020 at 11:28 pm

Solid post about LA. Been here for 6 months. I think Michele’s post down below is pretty accurate. Can’t beat the lifestyle just got to find your niche.

Todd Foley
October 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

LOVE this. I was in LA for a week in Feb (base camp in Long Beach, day trips to Malibu, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Laguna) and I loved the beauty and chaos of it all. Totally agree about traffic! Way easier to navigate than our small vancouver suburb. The trip inspired my novel I just released (think “Pulp Fiction” meets “Love, Actually”). This post makes me want to plan another trip!

Marc “tbone” Chester
October 12, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Yea, LA is a crazy place. Lived here for close to ten years, before that Aspen, and Orange County. I do love the drive and hustle, but don’t like feeling you have to do it all or be such a materialist. Moved from Culver City to the Eastside…and really enjoy it here. Closer to the mountains and tons of hikes. Not sure how to work around those housing prices yet…maybe a tiny house 🙂

Enjoy LA. Got it Grand Cnetral Market – so many good options there! Good food in eagle rock area: taco spot, tender greens, alcove, Granville, honey hi, and Amara’s kitchen.

October 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Yes, there are egos. Yes, the traffic is crap. Yes, the food is expensive. Yes, you have to hustle super hard to be able to afford a house in an area that you like. BUT… you can’t beat the lifestyle. There are great people here without the egos, an amazing mix of cultures from all over the world, the best food (restaurants, fresh organic produce, etc.), it’s a hop and a skip from anywhere you want to go in the world, and the weather never disappoints. If you get the work/life balance right – its the best place to live in the world. I may be slightly biased…

JJ in LA
October 12, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Great post, Noah. I’ve been living in LA for 15 years and agree that there are a LOT of flaky people here. But like any big city, you just need to find your tribe! It took a couple of years, but I’ve found mine – and those friendships will last a lifetime. One of the things I love most about this city is that no matter what you’re into, you’ll find “your people”. And as a music lover, I am in heaven. From hole-in-the-wall jazz spots in Little Tokyo, to the world-famous Forum, to the gothic Theatre at the Ace Hotel, Los Angeles has the best music venues and I feel lucky to live here.

For food, I recommend:
Loteria Grill at the Farmer’s Market (3rd and Fairfax)
Eggslut (avoid the long queue in DTLA by visiting their Venice or Beverly Center location)
Crossroads (amazing vegan(!) food on Melrose Ave)
Grilled Cheese Truck (follow them on Twitter to know their locations)


October 12, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Moved to Ocean Park (SM and Venice border) 5 years ago, from Atlanta. People on the Westside are MUCH less douchey. It like a happy amalgamation between Jimmy Buffet types that are cerebral and friendly. Lots of dogs, too.

Bring a group of friends to Kang Ho Dong for some Korean BBQ. It’s a great social experience and they’re in Yelp’s Top 100 restaurants.

And make sure you take lots of hikes. Malibu and Palos Verdes have some great destination hikes – mansion ruins, waterfalls, etc.

Ronnie Christopher
October 11, 2018 at 12:57 pm

LA is good but San Diego is the best weather IMO. I need to make a trip out there, it’s been too long!

October 11, 2018 at 6:53 am

Are you sure about that state sales tax? I think it’s 9.5 percent in LA (CA’s actual STATE sales tax is 6 percent – then municipalities add to it).

I lived in the Bay Area my whole life. Moved to WA state last year. Same damned sales tax (it’s actually higher here at 10 percent).

But the weather here is amazing compared to where I lived, where it was humid AF (Delta) and got to 100+ nearly all summer long.

Seems like you’re enjoying LA! Great synopsis of SoCal.

Steve O'Bryan
October 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Much like people who live in Manhatten and think of the rest of NY as the frontier I often find that people who live on the West Side see the East Side of LA as the hinterlands. Simply not true. No denying that the beaches are fantastic but so are the mountains. I live in Glendale and have the Verdugo Mountains to one side and the Angeles National Forest behind me. It’s incredible! Yes, all of LA is expensive but a $20 breakfast? That’s crazy! I had just had a fantastic bacon and egg breakfast, toast and hash browns for $8 Wildlife is abundant, good schools, shopping and more. I can be driveway to a parking spot at Staples in 30 minutes. The best part of where I live? Community! Let me know if you want to experience another side of LA!

Sheralyn S Jones
October 8, 2018 at 6:45 pm

I’ve only visited LA, I’d say 15 times over the past 10 years. I have a good friend from Brooklyn who’s been living there since 2001, in a crummy rent controlled dump who’s barely making it as an actress and yoga instructor, but she’s happy? At least she says so. I think you settle, stay in a “hood” and don’t leave most of the time. The smog is extremely noticeable, so I’d worry about my lungs! The people I’ve met have been kind of wishy washy. When you meet them for the first time, they’re friendly and talk about their lives and yours and are chummy, then the next time you see them, they’ve forgotten who you are. I lived in Manhattan for 5 years and experienced the exact opposite! No one was friendly and once you did get through that ice wall, they were your true paisanos. Still friends with a hand full of New Yorkers today after 20 + years. I’m an Austin Texas native so I am “too friendly” probably, and yes I have migrated outside the city to Driftwood and Dripping. I’ve found most people there are Austinite ex-pats, who , like me, have given up on ever experiencing the cool vibe Austin was again. LA on the other hand has always been a bit pretentious, materialistic, trendy, and just what it will be all along. I don’t think you’ll see any change there years from now. It’s fun to experience, but not a firm base for building a posse of friends 🙂 We have better tacos here anyway :)!!

October 4, 2018 at 10:31 am

I lived in LA for 5 years and now I’m in the Bay Area. The major difference up here is that salaries are higher than in SoCal so it helps with the higher cost of living, but it’s still difficult for must people to buy homes. No different than Manhattan however. Personally I think it’s not worth it to live here unless you’re making a tech salary with stock options.

October 4, 2018 at 9:21 am

You’re on point, Noah. I work in Silicon Valley and recently spent a month in LA. I agree with your observations.
I grew up in the San Francisco and was therefore biased against LA. However the reality is LA is probably a more desirable place to live if you’re not from California and want the typical “California” experience.
I’m Black and I think LA overall has a larger, more affluent and more established Black community. I live in Oakland which has been thoroughly gentrified, for better and for worse.
I work in San Mateo, which is quite diverse but not very many Black people.
You’re right about traffic in LA but depending on where you live it is now worse in the Bay Area. The commute from Oakland to San Mateo sucks.
LA is great as long as you live and work in the same area

Jan Smith
October 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

I visited relatives in LA back in 1965. The traffic was so bad then. Can’t imagine what it’s like now.

October 3, 2018 at 9:05 am

Hi Noah,
I’ve spend 3 months in LA as well, back in 2006. Although I might not got the “actual” LA feel since I was staying at my buddy’s aunt in East L.A. (Think Mexican gangs lol) Although, I never had an issue there, the overall feel was a bit ghetto still. We often took the bus to Santa Monica, which was about a one hour drive or so..

We drove around a lot and I really like Monterey Park, very nice over there.. Anyways.. Enjoy Noah, let us know how things go 🙂

October 3, 2018 at 12:25 am

Never to LA but definitely on my bucket list. Love this kind of post, always easy to read and informative . Enjoy your time down there

September 26, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Hey Noah! I’ve lived in LA for 15 years now. You are spot on about the weather. When we travel anywhere, we are always grateful to get back home to our pretty much perfect weather year-round. Not too cold, NO SNOW thank goodness, not too hot, no humidity. I’m originally from Vegas, and I say no thank you to Vegas summers. We host our yearly Super Bowl party outside, in the sunshine, food on the grill. Can’t beat it. If you find yourself needing some excellent TX BBQ, don’t go anywhere other than Bludso’s! You won’t be disappointed. (609 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Matthew Baker
September 26, 2018 at 7:54 am

Flying there in 2 hours from London. I’ll let you know!

September 25, 2018 at 10:45 am

I love nature: I just did a backpacking trip on Santa Rosa island in Channel Islands National Park. Leave from Ventura, 3 hour boat ride with a chance to see dolphins and whales. Hiked 11 miles in and spent 2 nights. I highly recommend it. Also Death Valley is amazing in November/Dec!

Restaurants: inn of the 7th Ray is a beautiful spot in topanga canyon. Great food. I love malibu seafood for no frills experience with great fish. Consistent and high quality. When I ate meat, I loved saddle peak lodge in calabasas. Really unique and special spot. And Brents deli for the Matzah ball soup 🙂 it’s no Katz, but hey you’re on the west coast now.

Mike Wamungu
September 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Welcome, Noah!

Pretty spot on. Re experiences — it’s what you make of it. It’s easy to get stuck on the westside and the bubble of the tech/advertising space. I’ve tried to combat that by experiencing a bar, food, or event in each part of the city. Def worth the effort and will give you more robust view of all LA has to offer.

Some of my favorite places to check out in LA include:

– UCLA campus (one of the most beautiful in the country)
– Hammer Museum
– Gushi’s (hole in the wall Korean Food)
– Wellsbourne (cocktails)
– UCLA botanical garden (great for a walk and reflection)

Arts District:
– Blue bottle Coffee
– Urth Cafe (great place to grab coffee/food with a friend)
– Comunity (premium leather shoe shop/comunity space. Owners are great people. Will welcome you happily. Tell them Mike Wamungu sent you)
– LA Clean Tech Incubator (Excellent place to work and meet entrepreneurs)
– EightTwo (arcade, bar)

– The Last Bookstore
– El Dorado (drinks/dancing – saturday nights are good)
– Comfort LA

-Tenants of the Trees

Windsor Hills/Ladera Heights:
Simply Wholesome — Caribbean Food and Market

West Adams:
– Underground Museum

K Town:
– Pharaoh Karaoke lounge

Happy exploring,

Tom Elliott
September 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

Excellent read Noah. I already knew most of this but enjoyed the article.

Dani Shalmone
September 19, 2018 at 10:54 am

Here’s a list of good food options from cheap to expensive as best as I remember:

Marisco Jalisco taco truck in DT LA – get the shrimp tacos
Homestate – best freakin breakfast tacos – get the Trinity
In And Out Burger – (google their secret menu)
Eggslut – breakfast/lunch
Honey Hi – good for lunch
Sqirl – breakfast/lunch
Gjusta Bakery
Malibu Farm – good lunch spot if you’re out there
Sugarfish – solid fixed menu
Pine And Crane – solid Asian fusion
Night + Market Song – yummy Thai

My wife and I live in Brooklyn, NYC but have a growing love affair with LA for all your reasons listed above. Since starting my own agency biz, we’ve had more flexibility and have been visiting LA more frequently. It also doesn’t hurt that the city’s surrounded by mountains and that pools are commonplace. You wrote that food and cost of living in LA in expensive, but I would say it’s cheaper and higher quality than NYC. In NYC, it’s a dichotomy of cheap+bad or great+expensive. LA has a lot more middle ground options. We’re thinking about going for 1-2 months this winter, but we need to figure out some logistics.

For ex, what did you do about a car while you were there or did you just Uber?

carla holden
September 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Woohoo!! I love hearing your perspective of LA.
I’m born and raised here (grew up near Redondo Beach) but now reside in Franklin Village. If you haven’t made it over here come visit. It’s worth the trek…There’s a cute strip with $5 comedy improv at UCB theatre and decent french food at La Poubelle and it’s close enough to walk to Griffith Park.

Gianni Quintana
September 11, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Noah, cool post and it brought back memories. I lived in SOCal Laguna Beach, which is fucking beautiful, small but very bohemian life-style. I lived in Long Beach, yes Snoop Dog’s casa con bud, along the condos behind Long Beach convention center. The folks not all but most were for sure flaky and my condo was a 2/2 of 1,300 square feet for almost $2,200/mo., beyond expensive with a roomate you are sorta okay.

In terms of food in LA and traffic, tacos, sushi, spanish/mexican food and yes chicken and waffles are just a little bit of LA, but trendy places remind me of South Beach type ripoffs.

The commute for me was PCH, so I rarely ventures much on I-10 or 405 and when I did I tried it a 8pm to not be in a suspended state of turtleism.

I guess you are taking your good friend Tim Ferris and his change up geo for 3 months to gain new perspective and recharge, excellent move. I did a 2 year stint in Medellin, Colombia and it was refreshing as fluck, not a day goes by that I think, why not just do 2 years in a different city/country. Life is too short, and I have a 4yr old, 2yrs old both boys and that makes radical moves a little more difficult but not impossible.

Keep it real as always, enjoy biking and sabattical type trips are the best, like your recent trip to Israel.

Good luck with your next destination, if your ever in South Florida and want good eats, a pretty cool bike trail or just a beach to feel alive, let me know happy to offer up a place to chill!

Jason L
September 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Vegas FTW. Better in nearly every way. Traffic- not even notable, Real Estate- STILL CHEAP AF, Music/Entertainment- best of the best, Weather- 9/12 months it’s amazing, Sunsets/mountains-world-class, Airport- 10 mins away from everything. Tech companies? Ok there’s Zappos. I give it 4.5 tacos out of 5. Just missing the beach. But (of course) there’s a fake one at Lake LV. 🙂

September 10, 2018 at 10:34 am

Love the post brother, but would want a little more meat on your perspective on where you want to go long-term? Is it LA? Is it NYC? Does Austin feel small? Are you going to raise a tight little family somewhere?

Isn’t is overwhelming how much awesome shit is happening all of the damn time with people who are far out of your circles? THE NATURE THE NATURE!?


Austin hater #1

Mike Schwab
September 8, 2018 at 11:33 am

My experience with LA is totally indirect. Living in Brooklyn for the last decade, the difference in attitude between our hip neighborhoods and those in LA began as pretty stark. Over the years, more of the same energy started flowing through both cities, though. Now there is almost a full-scale relocation among a lot of the people I look up to the most. Being in LA has some obvious challenges and it’s incredible to see so many people finding the benefits to be so rewarding!

Sean Adams
September 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm

I don’t do LA much at all, I love Carlsbad though. That’s our vacation spot year after year. We pile in the car and drive from Denver to Carlsbad. I’ve thought about living there, but wife said, it’d ruin our vacation-like perspective on the place.

Erin Fenton
October 2, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Sean – Carlsbad for the win. Lived there.

Makoto Kern
September 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Been contemplating moving to Cali (originally from Chicago) and checked out LA and SD twice. Might move to Carlsbad since it’s a sweet spot in between…

Ben Whitehair
September 5, 2018 at 11:11 pm

Been in LA for nearly a decade and this is a great summary.

I would add a couple observations.

One of the great things about LA is that so many people are here to live their deepest passion–be it entertainment, finance, tech, or reading people’s chakras. Walk into any coffee shop and you’ll see a dozen people all working on what they love.

In a city of 16 million people there are SOOOOO many incredible humans. Anyone who says that everyone here is shallow and egotistical better look in the mirror to see how you’re surrounding yourself with those types. Do they exist? Of course. In any city–and perhaps at a higher concentration here. But there are multitudes of gracious, loving, positive people at every turn.

Dating, and building communities, takes a bit of extra effort simply because drive time and effort must be factored in to any in-person meeting. Plan on being the person who organizes dinners, networking events, and beach dates and you’ll have yourself a wonderful community.

noah kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:13 am

Thanks for the comment Ben. Completely agree!

Sean Lee
September 4, 2018 at 12:37 am

Estimating arrival times in LA is like, “It’ll take me 30 min – 1 hr, depends on traffic though it’s an additional 15 to find parking.” Also, some of the parking restriction signs keep my mind sharp with 10 different rules some of which are mutually exclusive. Oh well, it’s what you pay for with this awesome weather.

noah kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:12 am

Agreed on the weather tax!

Rick Planos
September 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm

I agree with everything you say. Plus I noticed after moving to Los Angeles from Chicago that appearance is far more important, almost unnaturally so. It becomes commonplace to notice who has been surgically altered and how much. I loved the weather but noticed that the drop at night from 80 to 60 also affected me more than ever. I always had to carry a sweater where 60 meant a golf shirt in Chicago. Lastly the schools were a big disappointment. I was the parent to two youngsters then and philosophically opposed to private school, but we found very quickly in the Los Angeles suburbs the school standards were far less than Chicago suburbs.

Justin Jackson
September 5, 2018 at 9:05 am

This! I’ve heard this a lot from parents.

noah kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:14 am

Appreciate your insights Rick. Agreed on appearance. Plus the cold is funny as hell. Gets cold at 65 degrees for me, ha!

Alex I
September 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Awesome post! LA has been on my mind lately as a possible destination to move to. I will be testing out myself for 1-2 months this winter. Before having a child, I would never consider LA with my wife but the lifestyle in LA is very appealing especially if you can live by the beach. We’ve been in London for last 5 years and it’s been great. I highly recommend to anyone who want to be in a global to easily travel to Europe and the world.

Would you consider moving yourself to LA? Seems from this post you are highly considering it.

Btw… Best line from your blog post – “The Bay Area is about tech companies, hoodies, talking about tech all the time, and appearing poor but being very rich.” From what I know about LA it’s the opposite. Many appearing rich but many of them broke.

September 3, 2018 at 10:41 am

You’ve nailed why I won’t move to SoCal for work right here Noah! Of course I live up near Sacramento so the taxes and weather are the same but none of the commute, billboards or general excess.

Do you feel it was a good experiment and learning experience? I’m curious what you would advise someone spending their first summer in Austin!

September 3, 2018 at 10:26 am

Noah- if the beach is one of your highlights of being here in LA, make sure you don’t limit it to Santa Monica and Venice. Come on down to the South Bay (Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo) and feel the vibe of being in a bubble but still very connected to LA. Happy to show you around.

Pete McPherson
September 3, 2018 at 10:23 am

I love the hell out of L.A., and prefer it over the bay area (for visiting though. Like you said, cost of living is insane).

This might sound dumb, but L.A. might be the only big city whose “touristy stuff” I actually enjoyed. Probably because I’m a massive movie geek 🙂

I enjoyed checking out local diners/dives where movies were filmed. +1 for Randy’s Donuts as well.

Enjoy your stay!

Emerson Dameron
September 3, 2018 at 9:26 am

I’ve sometimes wondered if sleeping on the beach in Santa Monica with free showers would be a better deal than my tiny, expensive apartment in DTLA. But, kidding aside, most of the homeless would much rather be sleeping inside. It’s easier and easier to end up on the street here – it really is stupidly expensive to find a place – and as hard as ever to come back. There are a lot of organizations with very different political philosophies (Abundant Housing LA, the LA Tenants Union, etc.) working hard to solve our totally ridiculous housing situation. We need our best minds working on this.

Bill Odell
September 3, 2018 at 9:23 am


You nailed it. I grew up in LA and started my career there, post Cal. Great beaches, lots of entertainment overhang and nuvo-rich visuals.

I love the bay area, but always entertaining to go back to my old haunts.


September 3, 2018 at 9:14 am

I lived in Cali for 10 years. Mostly in Santa Barbara and a stint in Santa Monica. I moved back home the Jersey Shore 8 years.

I loved California but as you said it’s expensive AF! But… The weather!!! It’s simply the best! I have visited Austin 5-6 times since 2015. It’a great city. I wish I had discovered it back in the 90’s. (I went to grad school with a guy from Austin who said “I know you love New York. But, you gotta go to Austin! You’ll love it!) Probably would have moved there then. I have not lived in ATX but over the last 3 years I have seen the city changing…

I agree that where you choose to live all depends on where you are in life. And finally… There’s nothing like the Ocean! Even with huge lakes you simply don’t get that expansive feeling.

September 3, 2018 at 8:51 am

Nice writeup! I think the food cost is a little misleading though. There are plenty of places where you can still get a meal for less than $15 here.

noah kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:14 am


October 5, 2018 at 11:11 am

Hey Hoah! Roosevelt Hotel diner access on Hollywood Blvd. Scrambled eggs and Hash Browns only $8. I had to do a double take, but it’s true and good 😉

September 3, 2018 at 7:45 am

You are right on the money! I’ve lived in the the LA area and Austin now live in Phoenix. CA in general is SUPER LIBERAL which translates to super high taxes on EVERYTHING and ANYTHING and tons of regulations on everything and anything! CA is the worst place in America to have a business, Texas is the best. I wouldn’t live in CA even if I won the lottery. I much prefer Phoenix, Las Vegas, Austin, for overall livability and less govt control over my life.

Andy Humphrey
September 3, 2018 at 5:01 am

Awesome. Enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

We used Solid Commerce as one of our software providers. They are in Marnia Del Rey. I find an excuse to go visit with them every year. It’s just so nice there.

Pro Tip: Jamaica Bay Inn is dope. They have amazing fish tacos.

See you at the Austin bike ride ?

Noah Kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:15 am

Hell yea man. Be awesome to ride with you soon.

September 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Noah , spent summers in Laguna when young. OJ was my neighbor, Matt and Gunner Nelson (Nelson twins) were my childhood playmates.. it’s a whole different game.. better or worse.. now I visit. I like Jersey better, get the beach and ski. Close to nyc.. you should do a Few months here.. everybody is friendly.. as long as you hustle.

Greg Meece
August 31, 2018 at 12:36 pm

> Weather tax is worth it.
Oooh, not sure I’d agree with you there. I was born and raised in SoCal. Yes, the 2/7 A.C. is a plus, it’s a pretty high tax to pay. While I agree with you that the Austin summers can really wear on you, for most of us, the trade-off is well worth it on the Austin side of things. I love it here, and I can afford to visit SoCal now and then (was there a couple of months ago) precisely because I can actually afford to live in Austin.

Noah Kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:16 am

Don’t disagree with you sir. Just exploring life out here 🙂

Definitely get the appeal WAY more now why people migrate to Austin (no state tax, cheaper cost of living, less rat race, different type of peeps, etc…)

Josh Teunissen
August 31, 2018 at 8:43 am

Thanks for the shout out on your thank you podcast. Im honey mooning in Cali from Sonoma valley down to santa Monica in Sept. Been a listener since ep.1

Noah Kagan
September 7, 2018 at 1:17 am

Awesome Josh. Appreciate the support 🙂

Anthony Russell
September 11, 2018 at 11:37 pm


Glad to hear you’re in town. Try these Culver City based/area spots:

The Wood for breakfast. Tangaroa for delicious seafood dishes. (Love the oysters.) FIN for Asian-style tapas dishes. Maple Block for smoked brisket. 310 Coffee. Alana’s Coffee. Venice Grind Coffee.

Pitfire Pizza. Samosa House (Vegetarian Indian) Ginger’s Ice Cream. Small Batch Ice Cream. 26 Beach for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Patrick’s Roadhouse in Santa Monica Canyon. Lobster & Beer (Get the Connecticut Roll, fries and whatever Lager/Pils they have on offer that day. That grub is so good you’ll want to slap the snot out of the chef.)

JnJ’s Barbeque on Adams and Fairfax. (Good eatin’!) The Father’s Office (Santa Monica & Culver City. Great burgers! ) Sugarfish for great sushi. The Reel Inn, Neptunes Net and Paradise Cove. All on PCH in Malibu. Friday/Saturday you need to hit these spots, early! Delicious eats. Great atmosphere. Beautiful views; these days are when you forget about the weather tax.:)

I hope you enjoy your trip and get a chance to try out some of the above joints. If you want some company, holla at your boy. It’d be an honor to buy you a meal. You’ve added a lot of open hearted value to my life.

Be Well, Taco Man!:)


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