Monday, September 8, 2014

Guide to Los Angeles

Since moving out to LA about two years ago, we've had a slew of wonderful visitors, friends and family pop into town - either just to holiday, or to stay for good. And, as to be expected, they're always after some hints and tips and tricks and ideas. Over the years we've sent out brief emails, jotted down lists, and texted out maps, but it does finally feel like it is time to draw up a bit of a guide, to our experiences of Los Angeles, and what I think is worth visiting, and not.

So, I've split it up into a few blog posts, by area:

Silver Lake & Los Feliz (my 'hood)



LA & Surrounds

I've also made a list of the ultimate tourist things to do in this town.

And I thought I'd include here just a few suggestions for making the most out of your stay in LA:

I can't emphasise this enough. If you can switch up your meal times and grab an early dinner you can save big bucks. Or just grab a great round of drinks!

This city is packed to the rafters. If you'd like to go out for a meal on the weekend, do phone ahead and make a reservation.

Los Angeles is big, and spread out! You will need a car, seriously.

That said, uber is a fantastic option for getting around, especially at night time, when you'll pay a $10000 fine for getting caught drinking and driving.

You can find some great spots to stay in and around town on airbnb, and often get to meet some locals in the process.

You have to add a tip! A good rule of thumb is to double the tax (which will be printed on your bill), or to make sure you're hitting between 15-20%.

7. TAX
Speaking of tax, in Los Angeles you're looking at around 9% added onto everything you purchase, at the time of purchase. So be prepared to hear a much higher price when you get to the check-out than you were originally expecting.

Don't ever assume that you can just park somewhere - you can't park anywhere in this city. Or at least not without ready at least three parking signs, and feeding the meter. Pay careful attention here, the fines are hefty!

For those people looking to move to LA, these are some of the resources we found useful:

1. Immi Help
A website packed with details about visas, green cards and health insurance.

2. Craigslist
Everything from apartments to furniture to jobs to the world. There's some real junk on there too, so you'll need to sort through it carefully.

3. West Side Rentals
The best resource for finding an apartment/house. You pay a fee ($60 for 60 days), but at least that means you're finding the good stuff. We found all our apartments through this website!

4. Breaking Into The Industry
This blog has some great insight into what it means to be an actor in this town, and some good tips and tricks.

5. LA Weekly
A good daily dose of news and events around Los Angeles. I get it in my Facebook feed.

6. LA Casting
"Where the industry goes to work". Join up to network with fellow industry peeps. If you have an agent out here, they'll sign you up for free.

7. DoLA
What to do in LA - parties, events, specials.

These areas didn't quite make the cut in my book, but I can't quite leave out huge big gaps in my Guide to Los Angeles, so I'll let the internet do the talking:

Beverly Hills
Santa Monica
Beach Cities/LAX
The Valley

This is one big sprawling city, the second most populous in the United States (after New York), covering around 1,215 km2. Thanks Wikipedia!

I'll keep adding!

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