Yesterday morning, I flew to California for a work-related trip (and staying with my family for a couple of days). I flew direct to LAX. A few minutes before we touched down, the flight attendents announced that all electronic devices needed to be turned off for the remainder of the flight. Reluctantly, I turned off my iPod and became aware of a conversation going on behind me. Two 20-something guys were talking about the stuff they planned to do while in LA.
I started flipping through a magazine to help pass the time until I heard one of the guys say, "Dude, LA is the best city in the world."
I know I am quite West-Coast-centric. However, there is no way that LA is the best city in the world. It most certainly isn't the best city in the U.S. And I feel like I should know. I lived in LA for four years and, before that, lived in Orange County which is about an hour away. I think I know LA. And there is no way that LA is the best city in the world.
LA is quite the sprawling little mess. The traffic is horrific. You can't get around without a car. The beaches are ok (BTW, I think Venice Beach is the worst beach I've ever been to). Of all the major hangouts in the LA area, the major draw for about 95% of them is shopping (not that there's anything wrong with that--but, mentally, I need more than that). Oh...and the air quality! You can actually see what you're breathing.
LA is not all evil. The club/bar scene is awesome (although not for me anymore). Yes, the shopping is fantastic if that's your thing (well, it's my thing). I LOVE the diversity of the city. But, no, LA is not the best city in the world.
My international travel experience has been minimal at best. However, I've travelled the country a lot and been to quite a few major cities. I could think of a couple of U.S. cities off the top of my head that are better than LA--New York and San Francisco immediately come to mind.
I'd love to know what you think. Have you been to LA? Did you love it? What is the best city you've been to and why?