50 Reasons Los Angeles Is the Best Effing City in America

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Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
See also:

*Our Best of L.A. issue and our Best of L.A. app

*Best L.A. Novel Ever: The Tournament

*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

*10 Best Stand-Up Comedy Shows in Los Angeles

John Lennon once said of Los Angeles, "That's just a big parking lot where you buy a hamburger for the trip to San Francisco." Pretty rough stuff from a supposedly nice guy. Clearly, the Eggman (or was he the Walrus?) missed the endless taco stands, the pupusas, the pho, the donuts, the bulgogi burritos or whatever other ethnic comfort food we're deliciously mashing together right now. He was right about one thing: We do have amazing parking (see number 8 below).

I believe we can speak for ourselves.

More than a city of gustatory delights and fantastic parking, we're the one place on the planet where people come exclusively to dream and create - and that's a great start to a killer burgh. Proud Angeleno Werner Herzog said of his adopted city, "Los Angeles is the city with the most substance in the United States -- cultural substance. Things get done in Los Angeles." (And this is coming from a guy who dragged a steamboat through the jungle and finished an interview with a freshly fired bullet in his arm.)

What else is there to say about Los Angeles' awesomeness? Lucky for us, we've recently and painstakingly assembled our annual Best of L.A. issue. Clearly, we know the Best of L.A. is just about the best of anywhere. Here are 50 reasons why Los Angeles is the best effing city in America.

50. We've got the best architectural profile of any city in America. We're America's living sketchpad. We're like a post-post-post-modern poster child. The Ennis House. The Bradbury Building. The Hollyhock House. Neutra Houses. Or just watch Blade Runner.

49. Yup. We make movies here. I'm sure you've heard. We've got the best places to watch them, too: the Arclight, Gold Class Cinema, the Egyptian, the New Bev and Cinefamily.

48. What about outside? Vineland Drive-In.

47. How about in a cemetery? We've got Cinespia, where you can watch movies right next to their stars' graves.

46. Not to mention variety shows, including unintentional ones, like Taiwanese Hooters steeped in good-natured pseudo racism.

45. Moms and dads with Black Flag t-shirts and neck tattoos, pushing shopping carts and strollers, and getting into mini-vans.

44. Thrift Stores where you won't break the bank. Some where you will.

43. The Rose Bowl Flea Market. Where else can you elbow Beck out of the way for vintage blazers from someone's dead grandma's basement?

42. Motorized transportation is king in L.A. Fine, complain about the lack of public transportation, we're with you. As Metro steps up its game, our car culture will still be a better relic than yours will. We've still got rides to pimp here and here, as well as museum-quality motorcycles here and here.

click to enlarge STEVE PARKER
41. Views. For views of N.Y., you have to be on a bridge, in a building, or defying death in a helicopter above it. In L.A. we've got mountains, hills, hillocks, vistas, canyons, you name it.

40. You can actually raise your kids here without them turning into a Larry Clark / Harmony Korine nightmare. Sure, they may ride out a Less Than Zero phase, but at least they'll make a good movie or two about it.

39. Farmers markets with citrus and some fruits you've never heard of. Bostonians, Washingtonians and Chicagoans can ponder that while they're sifting through another boring version of the same old apple.

38. Porn star karaoke and porn star skydiving. Yeah. You read that correctly.

37. We invented the T-shirt (arguably).

36. Hip street culture happened here: Skateboarding, surf gangs, real gangs, car clubs, drag racing and graffiti (arguably the first of which was sprayed by Mexican American cliques long before New York picked up a spraycan) all got their start in the City of Angels.

35. And since you probably don't do much walking, you rare kicks will last forever. And you can expand your collection.

34. Tranquil woodsy escapes without ever having to leave the county. In addition to Griffith Park, there are hundreds of others in the city and county of L.A. and the Angeles National Forest is literally minutes away.

33. Stair climbing, outside, in (mostly) fresh air.

32. Nerds and geeks live like kings here.

See also:

*Our Best of L.A. issue and our Best of L.A. app

*Best L.A. Novel Ever: The Tournament

*5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

*10 Best Stand-Up Comedy Shows in Los Angeles

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