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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And then, our response to New York's response: 31 things New York got wrong about LA
Have your own reasons why LA kicks New York's ass? Share them in the comments section below.