Dear people who just moved to L.A.:
No amount of beachside real estate investment, yoga classes in Silver Lake or paddling out on ginormous longboards built for a family of five will make you a local.
You think you're blending in by sporting Hollister T-shirts and scooting around in flip-flops, but we can spot you from a mile away. Here are the telltale signs:
The 7-Eleven is three blocks away. You actually walk there.
You complain about how vapid the Westside is, but you pay $3,500 a month to live in a Silver Lake duplex because it has "character."
You moved to L.A. a year ago and bemoan the gentrification of Echo Park, downtown and Venice. "Who are all these new people," are the words actually coming out of your mouth.
You honk when another driver screws up. (We all should, but we don't -- not in L.A.) You think a yellow light means that just one car gets to make that left turn through the intersection. (We know better; it's actually three cars.) You stop at stop signs, causing the car behind you to rear-end you. You drive a sensible, Japanese economy car because, rightly, you think money is better spent on other things. But just wait 'til you get settled in. That will change.
After planning a high-end window-shopping trip, you end up on Rodeo Road in South L.A. You went to Hancock Park to see Beverly Hills. You looked for Kitson on South Robertson Boulevard but found only marijuana dispensaries and Playboy Gangster Crips graffiti. You think Mar Vista is Marina del Rey but never once wondered where all the boats are. You think Mid-City is South L.A. because there are black people there. You think Westlake is the Eastside because there are Latino people there.
Do us all a favor: Buy a Thomas Guide map. Study it.
See also: The Six Types of Transplants Ruining L.A.