7 Love It
Save it

You know you grew up in Los Angeles when...

Thirty-one truths about coming of age in LA, as told by one Angeleno lifer

Photograph: Michael Chen
Sweeping city vista? Just another class field trip in LA.

Born and raised in LA? You’re a special (read: native) breed, one who culls awe and respect not only from transplants who just moved here, but also folks who identify as “true-blue Angelenos,” but were really born in Ohio. You, on the other hand, have LA pride in your blood. You ventured to Hollywood with fake IDs; you remember when Downtown was less hip, more scary; you’ve seen the City of Angels grow, change and stay the same. Here's our list of things only true Angeleno natives can relate to.

1. You’re treated like a magical unicorn when meeting LA transplants.

2. Your first yoga move was child’s pose… under your desk, in class during an earthquake drill.


3. You only ventured Downtown for fake IDs (on Alvarado) or fake Chucks (in Santee Alley).

4. You went on a school field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits, where you stepped in tar and ruined said Chucks.


5. You understand why people in LA are afraid of rain, because you lived through El Niño.

6. You bought weed for the first time on Melrose or the Venice Boardwalk (before it was “legal”).


7. Your entire middle school social calendar was booked with quinceañeras and bar/bat mitzvahs. Heated arguments ensued about which themes were better than others ("Casino Night" > "Winter Wonderland").


9. Mexican food was a dietary staple in your school cafeteria (and you still don’t know what was in that chalupa).

10. You can still hear Rick Dees’ voice in your head from listening to KIIS FM every single morning.


11. You felt inexplicably invested in the O.J. Simpson trial.

12. You’ve taken family road trips to Palm Springs and Las Vegas (pre-topless pool days).


13. Your school dances featured a lot of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, and half your class knew how to crip walk.

14. You loved ice skating at the Culver City Ice Rink, but always dreaded the couples-only songs. Awkward.


15. You ditched class for beach days at Zuma’s Tower 4 or Temescal’s Tower 26.

16. You discovered your allergies thanks to the Santa Ana winds.


17. You knew that the easiest place to take your driver’s test (regardless of where you lived) was in Winnetka.

18. You have lots of low-budget commercials permanently imprinted on your brain, including: “Yes, Cerritos Auto Square!”, “You’re killing me Larry!”, “You won’t get a lemon from Toyota of Orange!” and “Keyes, Keyes, Keyes, Keyes on Van Nuys!


19. You still have Chick Hearn’s end-of-game mantra memorized: “This game's in the refrigerator: the door is closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard and the Jell-O’s jigglin'!”

20. You attended birthday parties at Castle Park, Ultra Zone and the UCLA arcade (RIP).


21. You used to walk to Thrifty for a square-shaped scoop of ice cream that was only 25 cents. Now you shell out $1.79 at Rite Aid just for the nostalgia.

22. You hiked Runyon before it was #selfie central.


23. You learned social networking pre-Facebook by maintaining at least one friend in private or public school who could connect you to that whole other world of parties, drama and makeout opportunities.

24. You thought—and maybe still think—that Grad Night at Disneyland was the pinnacle of your teenage years.


25. You were afraid to drive on the freeways for years after the Northridge earthquake.

26. You’ve seen at least one of your childhood friends on TV.


27. You loved going to movies and getting approached by someone with a clipboard to sign you up for a test screening. Getting paid to watch a movie? Cha-ching.

28. You can always call out what TV shows get wrong about LA. (We’re talking to you, 90210. Beverly Hills High School is not walking distance from the beach. It will take you at least 30 minutes—probably more—in traffic to drive there.)


29. You will forever miss Chasen’s, Hamburger Hamlet, Junior’s and Ed Debevic's. At least you can still go to the Apple Pan.

30. You first learned how to multitask while driving.


31. You tell people you grew up in LA, even if you really grew up in Palos Verdes, the SGV, North OC, Ventura County...


Irma M

Number 28...Adam 12 being filmed around the corner from our house, and Police Woman filmed right in front of our duplex.

To this day, I still quote Rick Dees mantra  "No Budget"...nice memories!

Linda F

What about the Pike in Long Beach, Cal Worthington and his dog Spike, it was never a dog, Marineland in PV, cruising on Whittier Blvd, seeing national guard tanks on corner Gas stations, Watts riots, both of them, seeing Cream at the Newport Pop Festival, the Whiskey a go go,

Maria B

Wow!! Talk about taking a trip down Memory Lane!! (Carlos G) Well, I was born at a small hospital on Alpine Street in Chinatown, previously known as the French Hospitol...lol. Yes, funny but true. Once situated in a predominant French community (in the early 1900's) le "French Hospital" is now the new Pacific Alliance Medical Center. And ever since my birth back in 1974 have enjoyed countless memories and visited and revisited multiple landmarks and special spots of Los Angeles that remains close at heart for me. The First that comes to mind is my beautiful neighborhood of Los Feliz. My incredible elementary school...Los Feliz Elementary on N. New Hampshire and Hollywood Blvd. Our countless field trips to Barnsdall Art Park and Museaum!! It's beautiful huge water fountain like feature where us kids would take toy boats or simply make paper boats and watch it swift by others...awww I loved this. And then there was Woolworth where most of my friends and I would venture to after school only after having to run through this underground tunnel which connected the school to the other side of Hollywood blvd. And so, after making it over to Woolworths which was at the end of the strip mall...we would head over to Thrifty's for our whoping 15 cent single scoop ice cream (mint 'n chip) Yumm!! And from there on sweaty and everything make it home in time to watch Starsky n Hutch or catch General Hospital with Big Sis who usually would come home early from LACC...Our home was across from the famous Big Sky Blue Scientology Building which still today, towers over Fountain Ave ...Raffalos Pizzeria, Wendy's, Children's Hospital, Kaiser Hospital, And Presbyterian Hospital. Yes, even amongst all the nuisance of heavy traffic, people, sirens, and all...I miss my childhood ...Birthday cakes from Sarno's Italian Bakery...Norm's Restaurant..Griffith Park, House of Pies!! That beautiful neighborhood Library located on Santa Monica near Virgil Ave where I would spend hours devouring books!! Definately miss those wonder years and growing up meeting famous people either at school or work...Leo Di Caprio...Marshall H.S...waiting at bus stop and seeing Kin Shrine aka Scottie Baldwin of General Hospital pass by as ABC studios was just a half a mile away from school. And the list goes on...Yes these memories are golden!!

Adam H

I went to Marshall high for a little while. Your memories are awesome. This post made me rethink moving away from the loss Angeles area. I stay in long Beach btw.

Carlos G

I'd have to agree about our diverse neighborhoods in the greater Los Angeles area. Some neighborhoods have more recognition over others less known.There are several ways of identifying a true Angelino and everyone will have their own interpretation and basically it can be subjective.

Being born at the corner of Edgemont and Sunset when Kaiser Permanente was only one building at that location in the mid 60's. Both my parents met at night school while attending Stevens Continuing Adult education near Sunset and Figueroa in 1957. Both entered the country through VISA's and eventually becoming US citizens. Living the dream as my parents taught us from childhood. My father was employed at the world famous Ambassador Hotel and rightfully retired with his pension benefits from his Union affiliation.

Raised near the corner of Olympic and Normandie (11th st), we had a clear view of a open LA downtown skyline when playing on our street or for that matter from my junior high school campus or from our kitchen window facing east. Notice how I stated "junior high" and not middle school.

I take great pride being a product of LAUSD and so fortunate to have attended all my corresponding schools all within walking distance or incorporating a BMX bicycle.

Hobart Elementary

Berendo Junior High

LA High School


LA Trade Tech 

Some notable facts about my neighborhood which would eventually become "Korea Town"  Our main boulevard was Olympic and a stretch of it like between Western to Vermont was predominately Japanese businesses and other related businesses with generic construction storefronts from it's original design. What I mean for example, the traditional storefronts with sloped glass on a narrow aluminum sash and large window panes attached to a low brick wall or a wainscot wall of bedrock. Lot's of worn out neon lights still working flawlessly from the 1920's 30's. Commercial real estate of that era was very cut and dry and stood out in comparison to a masonry 3 story building with a lot of corner detail  embedded in brick. Those masonry buildings are still standing and retrofitted where you can clearly see the retro work at every floor level from the outside with a threaded rod, a nut and flat plate to help sustain seismic movement. 

Venturing out on our bicycles during the 70's to downtown LA on a Sunday morning was like a ghost town, there wasn't any activity to attract anyone outside of the old theater houses on HIll, Broadway, Main and Los Angeles. The other hot spot was the old Greyhound Terminal at 7th and Los Angeles or the newly built Bonaventure Hotel. Ride off into Griffith Park and access a fire maintenance dirt road via Fern Dell park to the Observatory when the park didn't have any regulations, it's open to anyone and those were the days.

Someone mentioned "Runyon Park" we knew it as Errol Flynn's Estate if you accessed from the top of Fuller st in Hollywood. Get past the remains of a chained rod iron gate, crawl through the guard shack and you were on your way to the perch to absorb a beautiful panoramic view of Los Angeles with the only signs of a home were a cement slab, graffiti swimming pool and bunch of weird people hanging out just like you LOL.

I also got a glimpse of the "hippie movement". On Kingsley ave between 11th st and Olympic, we knew it as hippie hill and that was always fun to walk by and see the art work on the black asphalt in a variety of colors. Lot's of creative stuff but we never interacted with them. The house sat on a hill and front of home was set back far from sidewalk. So it was very private and they kept to themselves. A run down wood structure with a giant porch with couches. Yeah, they had parties but didn't get crazy as to breaking things.

Lastly, I wanted to touch base on the historic Wiltern Theater. That was our go to spot to see newly released block buster hits. Yes, I saw ROCKY at the Wilthern in 1976 and vividly remember wanting to be a boxer. (that never happened). Just like everything else, things were starting to change and the Wiltern closed to be only vandalized  and a shelter for homeless.

Visiting Carnation family restaurant on Wilshire still had it's eloquent pride in the miracle mile district or retail shopping on Crenshaw and Santa Barbara blvd (King blvd) in a classy department store building from the 1930's.  Plus I have to include Sears on Pico/Rimpau, Olympic/Soto, Santa Monica/Western.

The #1 Schwinn store, Safety Cycle Schwinn on Western just south of Santa Monica blvd. The non working neon sign is still mounted on top of building if you happen to drive by.

Gentrification is a good thing as long as the city recognizes staple landmarks and declares them rightfully to remain and fully refurbished in it's natural state.  

Do I consider myself a true Angelino when I come across a transplant who knows every coffee house sprouting up everywhere in the greater LA area, no, I'm just that guy from Los Angeles :)

Krystin H

I so appreciate your comment. I'm the now New York transplant going on and on about how amazing Los Angeles is and how much I miss home. Your comment made me miss it even more. Sharing with my parents who grew up on Adams and LaBrea and Figueroa and MLK as the will truly appreciate the stories and place you so beautifully just brought to life.

Bin T

Just came across this article and it brings back memories! But mostly it makes me realize we all remember a different Los Angeles. In the 70's Downtown L.A. was already cool with the Atomic Cafe and artists living in cold, drafty, unfinished but enormous lofts. Every time we drove anywhere my parents would say, "when we were your age we took the Red Car to get here." My grandparents told stories about the hobos during the depression who would come knock on your backdoor and ask for a meal. They would leave secret chalk drawings on the curb indicating what kind of people you were, if you gave out sandwiches. I recall the huge freight trains passing at night many miles away but their horns so loud you could hear them across the land like the call of a lost banshee. The stories. 

I'm just sorry to hear that woman below speak ill of immigrants. Everyone came to Los Angeles from somewhere except the native peoples. Who gets to decide who is legal and illegal in this gorgeous, crazy mixing bowl of the entire world? 

And really, for most of us, we are not "from Los Angeles" until we leave! We're from Lincoln Heights, Echo Park, Glendale, Mid-Wilshire, Little Tokyo, Hancock Park, Pasadena, Baldwin Hills, Palos Verdes, Mar Vista, Westwood and a million other neighborhoods that we identify as easily as we know our names, but that no one outside recognizes. You can't say, "I'm from Larchmont Village" when you travel outside. It has to be Los Angeles. Only Angelenos understand our neighborhoods. 

So we all have a slightly different list, but this nostalgia is fun! 

Phyllis W

Born in Hollywood 1949 ..Moved out to the Westside before the 405...There were bean fields on Sawtelle and National..Great life..Not to mention the rest of history here..FABULOUS!!

Dennis L

Hamburger Hamlet is alive on Van Nuys Blvd in Sherman Oaks.

And,   Tina Delgado is alive.  Alive.

Pam M

You're too young to know REAL natives call the wind SANTANAS; crips and/or bloods were not to be messed with and felons such as Calvin Broadus were not to be praised, emulated, or looked up to; Vinnie has called *all* the Dodgers games -- several seasons with Jerry Doggett; Van Nuys Blvd. on Wednesday night was thee place to be as was the Friday night drive-in; the "westside" is theee most uncool place west of the LA river; the Chevrolet planet on Van Nuys Blvd. ran three shifts and was one of the biggest employers in the city of Los Angeles; L.A.'s own Sam Yorty (asshat extraordinaire) became the only mayor to have a national foreign policy on Vietnam; *true* Angelenos miss the Helms man, have *never* been afraid to drive the freeways -- and have never been afraid of *anything*; we've never *had* a "middle school" (Jr. high) "social calendar" because if you were from the valley your nights consisted of cruising the alleys looking for empties to steal and cash in for their redemption value of 2- or 3-cents; we never said "L.A." and NEVER, EVER, EVER said: "Cali" or allowed anyone else to say it. They were punished.

Cheryl E

Good stuff. ...could have added "have worn or knew several people with Flip t-shirts.


Cool story. the real true angleno already knows your 31 one truths are not true. But yup you nailed it with the last one for sure everyone wants to be an angeleno even they grew up in the valley.

E.A. T

Oh, look! A whole bunch of middle-aged white people lamenting the passing of the halcyon days of yore, as recounted through selective rose-colored memories.

Good luck with the grandkids. Kids these days sure aren't respectful with their elders like we were.


Tom S

By the way, there are farrrrrrrrrrr more of us born-and-bred Angelenos than the transplants realize.  Most of the transplants wind up living in the western neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where there is high transiency.  Check out the eastern neighborhoods of Los Angeles and you'll find people living in those neighborhoods for generations.

Tom S

I like this article.  I can tell I'm older than the writer because my list of things that prove you're a lifelong Angeleno are closer to Vic P's than anyone else.

To Rebecca and  Breanna:  The true LA of the 1960's and 1970's that I grew up in was as segregated as it is today but people, overall, were much nicer to each other and there was much more easier mixing of ethnic groups and races than it seems today.  There was always some racial tension but, compared to New York, Boston, or other cities, people were much more relaxed about people that looked different from them than I find today.

One big disclaimer, though.  There was TREMENDOUS pressure put on non-WASP groups and immigrants to be 100% American.  That meant not just acting like WASPs, it was also not speaking your native or ancestral languages in public. If you acted just like the WASPs, you were accepted, most of the time :-) That was a major disservice to people being themselves in every way.  The tremendous movement of transplanted Easterners and people from other countries in the 1980's ended the more relaxed Midwest-meets-Mexico L. A. that I grew up in but it has brought about great improvements in cultural opportunities, including to meet people from all parts of the world, who I can learn about the rest of the world from. 

Why is it so threatening to learn from people and like people who look, speak, act, and believe differently than one does?  I'll never understand it.

My greatest and fondest memory of past Los Angeles was the 1984 Olympic Games.  Never did the city seem like it was in "festival mode" and so exciting to be in than during that time.  Does anyone remember when city government got employers to cooperate and put all employees work schedules in one of four timeslots?  The freeways hummed at 5:30 p.m. weekdays like never before or since.

I miss the grunion runs at Hermosa Beach; Ralph Story and his tv programs; George Putnam; Hobo Kelly; the Gallenkamp Shoe Store Carousel;  Lockheed and the aerospace design companies in Burbank and Hawthorne; Currie's Mile-High Cones; Swensen's; cruising on Van Nuys and Whittier Blvds; when school field trips were amazing if we went to the Theme Building at LAX, swimming in Cabrillo Beach, the La Brea Tar Pits, and visiting dairy farms off the 605 Fwy. in Artesia.  All good memories but I'm glad I live in Los Angeles 2015, with all of it's problems but the virtues are far more.

Cheryl E

Gallenkamp's.....man that was a flashback.

Zody's, Gemco...

steve f

Rebecca is 100 % correct. NOTHING she said was "RACISS"...get over yourself. ILLEGALS are destroying us...and Demotards. 


And there was one token "negro"at your hi school but your parents were fighting for civil rights which embarrassed you and nose jobs were the Easter break routine


and the popular gilrs bought their clothes at Jax in Beverly Hills and you could afford a 10 cent coke and fries at Thrifty's counter

Alex G

There's still one hamburger hamlet in the svf valley...

Kim H

@Alex G It is owned by Killer Shrimp now, they were family friends and took it when they were selling. Still good but not exactly the same.

Brooke K

Why were people's middle school calendars filled with quinceneras? That's for 15 year olds. There is a solid 2 years between bar/bat mitzvahs and quinces!

Mike R

Remember when there was no 310, let alone 323 or 424?  213 was it, and you only had to dial 7 numbers.

J. R

@Mike R Not too many people know that, or remember that.  I remember when the Valley was changed from 213 to 818.. that was devastating ... hahaha

Cheryl E

As a 52 year old, I Still remember my elementary phone #213-3219957. I can recall being very little and my mom dialing AD34571 to call cousins.

Michelle R

@Mike R In case the link I posted doesn't go through, go to youtube and search for the song "Westside Angst" by That Dog. The chorus is "What about me, GTE, why you gotta change my 213". It's a pretty awesome little song….

Carole F

Remember Pickwick for swimming and bowling?  The La Brea Tar Pits?  Olvera Street?  Those were the days!

Don T

Palos verdes is actually Los angeles county unlike the the oc, Ventura, etc. it's just as muchlos Angeles as Santa monica and winnetka.

Dolores B

Hey Don T Palos Verdes was a small town part of Chavez Ravine which is where Dodgers Stadium. My mom grew up in Palos Verdes. I grew up not too far from there in Lincoln Heights. I went to Lincoln High when it was a Jr and Sr high school. I remember going to Olvera St (my mom worked there when she was a teenager) and Philippes for the best french dip sandwiches and they were only 55 cents. And birthday cakes from Phoenix Bakery. YUM for both places.

I also remember Pacific Ocean Park and the Japanese Deer Park. Wow what good memories!!


You missed so many things:

1) Redondo Beach Pier for dinner and makeout session on the sand with a girl from #6 below

2) Hanging out with the homies at Venice Beach POP

3) Body surfing at Will Rogers State Beach BEFORE Santa Monica Bay was cleaned up

4) Going to Knott's Berry Farm before they had an admission fee

5) Checking out the Alligator Farm across the street from Knott's, they had a gigantic albino alligator

6) Cruising Sepulveda Blvd in the valley for all the slutty white chicks and Whittier Blvd in East LA for all the Latina hotties

7) Rides up/down the original Angel's flight in Downtown LA

8) Going to The Pike in Long Beach and checking out all the weirdoes with tattoos and riding the double-wheeled Ferris Wheel

9) Going to the original Marineland in PV

10) Going to Downtown LA on Saturday morning and watching 3 B-movies for $1 at some of the most glamorous theatres (Orpheum, Million Dollar, etc)

11) Going abalone hunting at Cabrillo Beach

12) Eating the best hamburger at the original In-and-Out in Baldwin Park

13) Waiting for the Helm's truck whistle and rushing out to buy a doughnut and chocolate milk for 15 cents

14) Going to the original LA Zoo in Griffith Park near the Merry-Go-Round

15) Learning to drive in the parking lot of East Los Angeles College

Chris G

@J. R @Vic I remember my grandparents came from New York to take me and my little brother to Marineland with his early 1970's camper. When we got there it was just recently shutdown for good. I felt like Chevy Chase just discovering Wally World was closed. That was probably the most devastating thing to my brother and I in our young lives. Thanks for giving me such horrible flashbacks. jk. RIP YiaYia and Grandpa.

J. R

@Vic POP, now you're making me feel old. hahaha.  Marineland and getting those wax dolphins 

Cheryl E

Helms truck, wow. Marineland, the Pike, all stop shopping at Gemco. Disneyland ticket books....and paying for extra E tickets.


Ramona how could you not include: going to 01) Tower Records (in Hollywood or West Covina) to hang and end up spending the whole weekend there and 02) hanging out for A period lunch at In-and-Out.

Ramona S

@MARTIN Yes!! Loved going to Tower Records in Hollywood. Great one.


Ha ha ha! The cafeteria Chalupa!! Brilliant! Who remembers these things. Btw, it was World on Wheels for roller skating! Am I right? Am I right?!

Karen B

I grew up in LA area (Malibu) in the 60s and 70s and Rebecca H. is 100% correct.

Linda N

I remember a lot of graffiti and drive- by shootings! :/

Vicki A

You remember the Bel Air Fire, you took school field trips to Helms Bakery and Juniors.  Marineland and Pacific Ocean Park (POP) were great for summertime fun. and for some of us ... remember when there were pony rides on the weekend at what is now the Beverly Center

Rebecca H

You remember the first water somewhere of the freeway on the way to Long Beach.. And you remember when our sidewalks were actually free of gum and garbage that pieces of yeah themselves leave behind. When our cities were culturally DIVERSE and not overrun by illegals trashing the land, when EVERYONE actually respected each other and EVERYONE spoke the language of The U.S. of A, which is English, when we all respected each other and could leave our doors and windows open at night without fear, that we tolerated and got through the gas crisis of the Seventies, when the roller rink was the cool hangout, when you could rent a moped on Venice Beach, and you were LESS than16, when babies weren't having babies, and letting their brats grow up without teaching them respect, discipline, courtesy or manners (Since no one taught them)... I remember a once beautiful and vibrant city that was safe and clean. How sad that it is exactly opposite now. So sad the times only changed us for the worse. .

steve f

@BlazinNathan @Rebecca H Rebecca is 100 % correct. NOTHING she said was "RACISS"...get over yourself. ILLEGALS are destroying us...and Demotards. 

steve f

@Breanna R @Rebecca H Oh yeah...and all that HORRIBLE civility, technology, conveniences...people NOT eating each other...yeah...those TERRIBLE Whites with all their CIVILIZATION and all that....JUST HORRIBLE!!!!

Breanna R

@Rebecca H You remember the first time white people arrived in L.A... And you remember when our fields were actually free of brutal spanish missions and encomiendas. When our cities were culturally DIVERSE and not overrun by illegal White settlers trashing the land, stealing gold, and enslaving us, when EVERYONE actually respected each other and EVERYONE spoke one of several languages of the region, which are Hokan and Uto-Aztecan, when we all respected each other and could leave our doors and windows open at night without fear of a Spaniard or American raping us, that we fought back against and got through the invasion of the Spanish and the Mexican-American war, when babies weren't forced to have babies by the hacendados, and before whites, who let their brats grow up without teaching them to not be racist oppressors(Since no one taught them), overran the state... I remember a once beautiful and vibrant city that was safe and clean. How sad that it is exactly the opposite now. So sad that since the early 1600's, times have only changed for the worse. 

Fixed your ignorant comment.

Pam M

@Rebecca H You remember what you *think* was there. We had the Bracero program that actually imported workers from Mexico. Not everyone spoke English; many spoke the language of the homeland their parents or grandparents *legally* emigrated from. We *always* had teen pregnancy -- usually among teens of "nice, WASP" families. You "remember a once beautiful and vibrant city that was safe and clean"? Then you never went to Pershing Square where "winos" slept, peed and lived. Illegals are "trashing" your land? They're probably mowing your lawn. You're a bigot.

Hunter M

@Breanna R @Rebecca H

Well I remember Great Grandma retelling the story of how Great Grandpa got scalped by the friendly natives of the day. Homesteader's and farmers is what we were. Do I hold that against all natives? Nope.

It's the way it was. Nothing more, nothing less.

Andrielle S

This list is definitely for ethnically and or culturally white as fuck Angelenos.

Rebecca H

You are an ignorant person. LA used to be the MOST culturally diverse city next to New York. If you weren't born in the sixties or seventies then this list wouldn't apply to you period. Try to keep that in mind, since I'm guessing you are only in your twenties. If not, then you truly are an ignorant fool.

Rachel P

@Rebecca H  And your an ignorant fool for not knowing the history of California. I am assuming you are mediocrely educated narrow minded fiftyish year old who doesn't realize that white skin and blue eyes aren't "native" to this area. Pathetic. Take a class or two so you wont look so stupid when you speak.

Michelle R

@Rebecca H You do not speak for me or anyone else for that matter. I was born here in 1970 and lived here my whole life. And yes, a lot of that list applies to me and to people 10-20 years younger than me. I don't know where you grew up….Bel Air? Down here with the middle class in West LA (yes, low-upper middle class families could afford to live there back then) we had a diverse neighborhood population, teachers of many ethnicities who taught us to respect different cultures and to understand that people from other countries don't necessarily speak English and that's ok. We weren't taught that people should only speak English, just that they were encouraged to learn so that they could communicate with the majority of the population.  We learned that this country was built on immigration and was better for having so many people with so many different backgrounds and traditions.  I am so thankful that my elementary school teachers were so amazing. And yes, there were undocumented workers here back then too and they were treated like shit, just like they are now. There was gum on the sidewalks….I used to get it stuck to my shoes all the time. There were homeless people, especially after Reagan let all the mentally ill patients out of the hospitals with no community supports in place (and I work in the field, so I know well what that has done). Soldiers came home from the Viet Nam war to hostility and lack of treatment and many of them ended up on the streets as well. Many of us were latch-key kids because both of our parents worked. The creepy guy that followed my friend and me to school one day in the 6th grade was white. The guy that flashed the kids on the playground was white. Leaving your doors and windows unlocked? WTF? No one I knew did that. EVER. Especially after the whole Nightstalker thing in the 80's. I hate to tell you, but babies were having babies then. They just hid it by sending pregnant teens to "the home". And yes, I know about this because my own mother went through that and gave up her son for adoption in 1968. And that "home" still exists. St. Anne's is still a placement for pregnant teens and teen mothers and their children. The difference now is that it's not brushed under the carpet and teen mothers are more likely to keep their babies than to give them up. I remember Smog Days in elementary school, when we couldn't play outside because the air was so bad. I don't remember this sparkling clean city that you are imagining. There has always been litter on the streets. Downtown was always disgusting and dirty and we never went there unless we had to. Your post reflects ignorance and racism and as someone born and raised here, I want nothing to do with your statements. You don't speak for the rest of us. Keep that bullshit to yourself. 

Sal V

@Andrielle S I disagree. Many on the list hit the mark even though I grew up very poor in Boyle Heights. We had no car but were able to get around the city on the RTD if it was too far by skateboard.