31 reasons LA kicks New York's ass

Even though we could have stopped at the weather, we came up with 30 other reasons to settle this once and for all



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This is Santa Monica Beach. It looks like this in August, December, March—oh, and all those other months too.

This is Santa Monica Beach. It looks like this in August, December, March—oh, and all those other months too. Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

In an epic battle between New York and Los Angeles, which city comes out on top? Honestly, we don't usually give it much thought, but the editors over at Time Out New York suggested we go head to head, so we're bringin' out the big guns. This list will destroy New York's list. And let it be known that half our staff moved here from New York, so a) we know what we're talking about and b) we're living proof that the West Coast is the best coast.

1. We would just be bad Angelenos if the weather weren't first on our list. Listen: anyone who says nice days are better when you've earned them after enduring a long miserable winter is just delusional. Nice days are nice days, period. And we have them all the damn time. Do you miss the fall colors? Take a day trip and get a face-full of fall foliage. What is Christmas with no snow? Um, you can see snow in the mountains from the beach—and you can be up in said mountains in under two hours. Save the "no pain, no gain" attitude for that 10k you're training for. In February. On the beach path.

2. People actually smile here. Manners, ever heard of 'em?

3. Our tourist traps aren't traps. They're actually nice places that locals like to visit too, like the Hollywood Bowl, Malibu and the Griffith Observatory. New Yorkers are inexplicably proud when they can say they've never visited the Statue of Liberty (a majorly important site in our country's history)—and never would.

4. Which would you rather wake up to in the morning? Birds singing or cars honking?

5. New York's gratuitous getaway is Atlantic City, a sad attempt at hedonistic tourism. LA's is Las Vegas, which wrote the hedonism manual.

6. LA's natural beauty. We're used to hearing that our city is just one big quilted network of suburbs, and that may be true, but the threads that hold that quilt together are trees and fauna and green space. Palms line the streets, we have canyons and hills and mountains covered in waterfalls and native plants. We don't need to corral 95 percent of our city's nature into parks surrounded by an otherwise concrete jungle.

7. Two words: medical marijuana.

Mmmm...Mexican food. They don't make it like this in NYC.

Mmmm...Mexican food. They don't make it like this in NYC. Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

8. Mexican food. Do we really need to elaborate here? Just for good measure: whatever kind of Mexican food you're craving (tlayudas, caldo de mariscos Veracruz style, brunch time tamales made by someone you wish was your abuelita, jicama con limon y chamoy from a street cart, life-changing mole, tacos from a truck—seriously, whatever you want), it's here in Los Angeles, it's authentic and chances are, it's cheap.

9. You get more bang for your buck here, especially when it comes to living space. We don't have to pay an entire month's salary for an 8x10 "apartment" with our toilet in our entryway just to be in a cool neighborhood. We can also afford to live alone (read: no creepy Craigslist roommates) if we want to. And in addition to more square footage per dollar, most of LA apartments have plentiful storage, big windows (you know, for all the sun) and—eat your hearts out, New Yorkers—outdoor space.

10. We don't humble-brag about how hard we have it in a weak ploy to get respect (or sympathy). Our quality of life is good here, and we're pretty pleased about it.

11. Farmers markets. Bigger, better, more plentiful, more often, all year long.

The Sam Maloof House: just one house in a range of architectural options in LA.

The Sam Maloof House: just one house in a range of architectural options in LA. Courtesy: Sam Maloof

12. When you live in a city that's still evolving and growing (as opposed to a city that is chronically built out and claustrophobic), you can have any lifestyle or living situation you want. A live/work loft in a historic industrial building Downtown? Got it. Midcentury-modern in a Mid-City fourplex? Got that too. Or maybe a studio on the beach that fits you and all your boards comfortably? No problem. Rustic cabin in the canyons where you can stargaze from your balcony? Italian villa next to a colonial mansion next to a Spanish bungalow? We might not be able to afford it, but we've got that too. It's all here in LA.

13. In-N-Out.

14. Cockroaches, bedbugs and rats? Not really a thing here. Enjoy your infestations (and pricey exterminations).

15. A shopping trip to Ikea/Target/any grocery store isn't a harrowing day-long event here. Our errands are stress- and crowd-free, much like the rest of our lives.

Movie screenings, live concerts, comedy and more happen here at the Santa Monica Pier.

Movie screenings, live concerts, comedy and more happen here at the Santa Monica Pier. Photograph: Courtesy Twilight Concerts

16. We've already rubbed in the fact that our weather is unmatched, but we also know how to take advantage of it. We spend a lot of time outdoors—eating, drinking, hiking, pool partying, watching movies, going to concerts—year-round. We don't have to run on a treadmill if we don't want to. Even our schools are indoor-outdoor. Lucky kids.

17. Theme parks. They're everywhere, and they're fucking fun: Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Six Flags, oh, and only the happiest goddamn place on earth, Disneyland.

18. Maybe it's because we spend a lot of time in our cars, but radio rules here. We have three public stations boasting news, entertainment and cutting edge music. KCRW is widely known as one of the best NPR stations in the country, and is probably responsible for launching most of your favorite bands. And don't forget our college stations—KCSN, KXLU, KXSC—playing obscure gems, and uh, hello, 93.5 KDAY for back-in-the-day hip hop hits. Word to your mother.

19. We can go all year without turning on the heat or the air conditioning.

Giant art installation in the desert? Yep, we can be there in an hour.

Giant art installation in the desert? Yep, we can be there in an hour. Photograph: Joshua Thaisen

20. When New Yorkers get out of the city, it involves an escape plan. You need to find a car. You need to buy a ticket. You need to worry about weather. And you need to get the hell out, because you just can't take it anymore. When we leave LA, it's about having an adventure. Impulse trip to the desert? Beach day in San Diego? Wine tasting in Santa Barbara? We just go.

21. Though we may never pronounce Marina del Rey the same way after "The Californians," no one here actually talks like that. The Valley accent is just another overused (albeit funny) trope. At their best, we're annoyed by New York accents. At their worst, we wish we had subtitles (or better yet, a mute button).

22. Our sidewalks may be cracked, but they're not covered in rotting trash. And they don't smell like piss.

23. Personal space isn't a commodity here. Want to blast pump-up songs and sing along in your car on your way to work? Not so easy on the subway. Do you prefer a detached house to the thin, TMI walls you share with your neighbor? You don't need to cross state lines to find that here.

24. Movies are made here, and we're proud of it. Not only is "the industry" great for our city's economy, but it entertains and inspires the entire world.

25. Also, you're welcome for all that porn you watch.

26. When it comes to jazzy Jews, we've got New York beat by a landslide. Woody Allen? Consensual (maybe) but creepy (definitely). Jeff Goldblum? Timeless babe. They both play weekly live shows, but Woody's cheapest tickets are a whopping $110 a pop. Jeff offers up his musical stylings (and stylin' outfits, and little dances, and eccentric anecdotes) FOR FREE, every week, and sticks around post-show to mingle with the crowd.

27. We work to live. You live to work.

Juice. We're into it. It's delicious. Who cares?

Juice. We're into it. It's delicious. Who cares? Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

28. So maybe, true to stereotype, we are really into yoga and juice cleanses and staying fit. Go ahead and call that narcissism if you want, but we guarantee it's better than being cooped up in a city that prides itself on being stressed out. Looking better is nice, but feeling better is key.

29. Coachella may be a shitshow of idiots in neon and jorts, but those idiots come from all over the world to experience it. As far as music festivals go, it destroys Governor's Ball—which no one is traveling more than four hours to attend, please.

30. New York, you're so formal. We dress comfortably and casually to do almost anything. And then, bonus, it's all the more exciting and special when we do get fancy.

31. To borrow from our homegirls in the Valley: Whatever. We know New York has us beat on some things, and that's okay. Good for them. Thing is, they're usually too busy shitting on us to realize that we don't really care. We're pretty laid back, and confident in the fact that LA is an amazing city (see above). Now if you'll excuse us, we're heading to the beach.

See New York's response: 31 reasons New York kicks LA's ass

Have your own reasons why LA kicks New York's ass? Share them in the comments section below.

Users say

Joshua D
Joshua D

People actually smile here. LOL Yeah fake ones. People are so rude in California and without manors it is sickening. 

Dustin S
Dustin S

all of this is true, however I think you mean OC, not L.A.  L.A. is all smog and pollution.


1.Ok, you obviously win the “nicer weather” argument.Congratulations.Let’s move on.

2.Is it actually called “smiling” when your face is in a semi-permanent state of paralysis thanks to weekly injections of botox?  Or maybe you’re just squinting because of all the goddamn sunshine.  Either way…no one here cares why you’re smiling and would prefer you stop looking at us anyway.

3.New Yorkers are proud to say they don’t set foot in places like Times Square or Macy’s.  Don’t confuse those tourist traps with the Statue of Liberty, which many of us haven’t visited but would never disrespect.

4.Neither actually.

5.Um, pretty sure you just tried to argue that LA’s (distant) proximity to another city-in another state-is a reason to love living there.  Weak.

6.Actually the parks here make up 14% of NYC (29,000 acres to be exact).  That’s ok though-math is hard.   So is fact checking.

7.Necessary for treating all those glaucoma outbreaks.

8.I really can’t argue with you here.  Mexican food is awesome and we don’t have enough of it. Truth.

9.Yes, an apartment in SOHO might cost you an arm and a leg without providing much space for the rest of your limbs, however, a quick ride on the subway to Greenpoint or Long Island City and you and your appendages can live with plenty of space (and a kickass view of the skyline)

10. Good point.  You guys are pretty lazy.  Don’t worry, no one is respecting you for it.

11.Yeah, ok. That’s probably true although NY also has plenty of awesome farmers markets year-round that are supplemented by amazing food halls and ethnic food stores.   You want some spices for that guacamole or just more avocados.

12.Really? Penthouse, beach house, brownstone, loft, riverboat, sixplex, whatever.  You name it, we’ve got it. 

13.Shake Shack

14.Stop being so dramatic…that stuff rarely happens…

15.Again, not sure why you are bragging about your proximity to massive commercial shopping (which New Yorkers typically try to avoid).  However, since you brought it up, Brooklyn actually has both a Target and an Ikea which are easily accessed via subway, ferry, bus, bicycle, taxi, Uber cab, or by walking on two feet.

16.See response #1.

17.Coney Island has WAY more personality than any of those places and is WAY cheaper.

18.WNYC, NPR, and Spotify.  That’s all you need.

19.See response #1.

20.Be honest…you just go…sit in traffic.  Also, again, congratulations on your proximity to OTHER cities. 

21.No one cares.

22.Not ALL of the sidewalks are covered in trash and only SOME of them smell like piss.   And most of the time that smell is covered up by the delicious smell of Hot Nuts.

23.Well I’m glad to see we are back to comparing issues within our respective state lines.  So that’s a start.  And, you know what, go ahead, blast your music and sing as loud as you want, I’m sure your windows are up and your A/C is on full speed anyway so it’s not like anyone can hear you.  In New York, we have headphones.  And self-respect.   

24.We also have movies…and theater, and dance, and opera, and all that other cultured shit that drives the economy.

25.Thank you.

26.Seriously?!  “Jazzy Jews” I’m not even going to respond to something so stupid.  Actually, I will.  Fuck you.

27.You already made your point.  You’re lazy. We get it.

28.Trust me, we love all that bullshit just as much as you.  Heard of SoulCycle?

29.Coachella is a shitshow of idiots in neon and jorts.  Your words, not mine.

30.Well, to use your earlier weather argument against you, dressing nicely 3 days per year isn’t more special just because you’ve endured 362 days of sloppiness.

31.You got us there.  We really enjoy shitting on LA 

Alice H
Alice H

3) in NY Marianna is a safe drug but in LA Mariuana is devastative drug.

Alice H
Alice H

1) The hospital in LA cure patients but the hospitals in New York kills healthy people go and see what is going on in Presbyterian Weil cornel hospital doctors are murders

2) in LA people don't have problem if you tell them " hey this way is better" but in NY if you say such things to one for end of your life will fuck you.

Chris K
Chris K

@SB Former New Yorker and converted Angeleno. Most of your rejoinders are flat wrong.

1. Thank you.

2. It must be the crappy weather that makes you so grumpy and defensive.

3. Doesn't change the fact that there is very little overlap between the tourist traps and local points of pride.

4. Great, then you can live in our desert.

5. Having convenient weekend getaways isn't weak--it's part of city life.

6. You missed the point. Compare the streetscapes.

7. You don't need glaucoma. Any individual, for any reason including anxiety, can go to one of our thousands of walk-in clinics and get medical marijuana paperwork for 40 bucks.

8. I'll switch sides and say our pizza sucks.

9. Compare the rent in Long Island City to the rent in Culver City on a 2-bedroom and get back to me.

10. We're so lazy that we probably spend 2 or 3 times as much exercising than New Yorkers.

11. I guarantee you we have plenty of access to the spices requisite for guac.

12. Rustic canyon cabin.

13. PierBurger. Same thing.

14. Did you just say cockroaches rarely happen in New York?

15. Again, you missed the point. New Yorkers rarely realize how outrageous it is that going to the post office takes more than 5-10 minutes.

16. Cool.

17. Excuse me while I laugh at that suggestion, particularly since the natural counterpoint to Coney Island is Venice Beach. The comparison between those two isn't even close. Try again.

18. No...the public radio here is actually outstanding and contributes a great deal to our sense of community.

19. Cool again.

20. You seem to think this is a fabrication when it's actually an important part of the lifestyle.

21. Okay.

22. The odors and litter are truly disgusting in New York. Go take a look at Chicago or San Francisco or even downtown L.A. That mess is not required.

23. Being a New Yorker, your sense of "personal space" seems to be tailored to your lack of it.

24. Hahahaha, movies in New York. Sure, mostly mainstream cinema in places like Times Square, and you won't be caught dead there.

25. Well, it's leaving L.A. now since voters decided to require our porn actors to wear condoms.

26. I'm not sure where to go on this one.

27. Having weekends and evenings isn't lazy. It's part of life. Remember how it was a big deal when Ford came up with that 5-day work week? Was that because his factory workers were lazy?

28. There's plenty of BS to go around.

29. Alright.

30. I'm not sure how much you used weather "against" us here.

31. Cool, you really enjoy shitting on yourselves too. In the subway.

Sarah A
Sarah A

@Alice H Are you writing in English? I'd be interested in your points if they were coherent.