10 Things Native Angelenos Can Learn From Transplants | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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10 Things Native Angelenos Can Learn From Transplants

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Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 7:50 AM
click to enlarge PETER WITTERHOLT, VIA FLICKR
Native Angelenos, for all their surfboards and their Hollywood and their elaborate freeway system, don't know everything. In fact, they could learn a thing or two from those of us who've grown up elsewhere.

Here are the things transplants could teach the locals, things that have the potential to turn L.A. into an even better city. Bring on the hate mail.
click to enlarge Pictured: Michael Cera standing behind his best friend at Medieval Times. - BRANDI KORTE, VIA FLICKR
  • Brandi Korte, via Flickr
  • Pictured: Michael Cera standing behind his best friend at Medieval Times.
10. Your friend's cousin's boyfriend being best friends with Michael Cera is actually pretty neat.
Rumor has it, everyone is best friends with Michael Cera, so maybe this is a bad example. Who doesn't feel like they know the guy? But our point is that you shouldn't dismiss the fact that you're three degrees of separation from a really good actor - or intimate that your brother being the chubby kid in Hot Tub Time Machine is "no big deal."

Gee dangit, it is a big deal!

The most famous person most transplants know before moving to L.A. is our local news anchor (we're looking at you, Jeff Gianola). This is much less fun than having occasional Sunday brunch with Grandma, Aunt Susie and Blink-182's former tour manager.

Trust us on this: We really want to meet that one particular celebrity you kind of know, and the fact that your girlfriend's sister has a couple lines in the new Transformers movie is probably the only chance we'll get to stand within 12 feet of Marky Mark and his funky bunch. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Own it!

click to enlarge Pictured: Not the zipper merging method. - MALINGERING, VIA FLICKR
  • Malingering, via Flickr
  • Pictured: Not the zipper merging method.
9. The fine art of the zipper merge.
All you natives grew up fighting traffic, risking life and limb to make it the 20 miles from Echo Park to El Segundo in under 45 minutes, and without killing more than one motorcyclist. But there's something Angelenos apparently never learned during all those high-anxiety drives, and it's called the zipper merge. 

It's pretty simple, really - in fact, it's standard driving practice in the rest of the country. Basically, when merging onto the freeway, or when alongside someone attempting to merge onto it, you allow for one car to merge in front of you and then provide space for a car behind you.

Simple.

What the zipper method is NOT is mad-dogging the driver next to you as you pull alongside him while he attempts to merge, effectively forcing him to either merge behind you or drive into those big water barrel things that people love to crash into in the Fast and Furious franchise. This could seriously hurt someone, or worse, create a traffic jam. Which might explain the traffic around here.

click to enlarge A. TRACHTA
  • A. Trachta
8. An appreciation for all the totally cheap and incredibly accessible valet parking.
Back in the neck of the woods that is not Los Angeles, valet parking is something you only do on special occasions. And by "on special occasions," we mean if you're rich.

But the valet is, like, six bucks here. Which is about 10 bucks less than in most other big cities. The valet is even free at the L.A. university attended by this writer, which is almost as bizarre as the fact that at least one L.A. university has a valet. There's even valet at the IHOP in Miracle Mile. An IHOP! Which is wonderful, because valets shouldn't just be for the one percent; they should be for all. Way to lead the revolution, guys. 

7. The fact that even L.A.'s bad beaches are nice beaches.

If you're going to complain about how terrible Dockweiler is, we suggest you take a trip to Coney Island sometime. Last time we visited Coney, we were almost impaled by glass, like, six times. And one of those times wasn't even from broken glass buried in the sand. It was from some crazy-ass Russian guy in a Speedo who tried to bottle us for kicking sand near his trophy wife's towel. 

El Segundo, Dockweiler, Manhattan, Hermosa, Santa Monica, Redondo and even Venice are some of the best beaches in the continental U.S. No guidos, no excessive kite flying, no fat guys in speedos, no Florida - - L.A. beaches are a dream. Maybe you natives don't appreciate them because you have no idea how bad the rest of the country has it, but take it from people who've been there: You are lucky.

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