Differences Between LA and NYC People

People who make cross-country moves often have little experience or knowledge of the culture they are moving into. Some of the largest cultural differences stem from  “East Coast” and “West Coast” mentalities - with Los Angeles and New York City at the center of this age-old rivalry.. Read about the major differences between the two cities below and you may understand the beef between Biggie and 2pac just a little bit better.

Moving from NYC to LA

 
I’M WALKING HERE!

Set foot in Manhattan, midtown, mid-day and you’ll notice the quick pace of the people on the sidewalks, perusing their phones, eagerly hailing cabs, ignoring their immediate surroundings that do not pertain to their life at that current moment. A typical Los Angeles sidewalk, on the other hand, will never be too crowded. The pace of the walkers is usually much slower, and the walkers are less pre-occupied with their own lives. Most people aren’t on the sidewalks much because they’re driving, but when they cross those paths, their strut is much more leisurely. If you’re familiar with the Type A/Type B personality distinction, New York fits more into the “type A” description, while Los Angeles is more comfortably “type B”.

 

WHY SO SERIOUS?

Many praise the passion and drive of New Yorkers, but regret the overly rude and at times unwelcoming attitude that can come with it. Manhattan sidewalk walkers can turn on you in a New York minute if you nudge them by mistake. Angelenos, however, are known for more polite, welcoming attitudes. They take interest in the dogs of strangers, and offer a warmer salutation to the people they meet on a daily basis. 

 
Parking is expensive and scarce in NYC

NO PARKING ANYTIME

It’s no secret to most people that NYC is a public transit city. A trip on the subway costs only 2.75$, while a few hours of parking can cost 30$ or more. With limited reason or incentive to drive, most New Yorkers avoid getting behind the wheel and looking for parking whenever possible. The Los Angeles Public Transit System leaves plenty to be desired, and thus, makes plenty of necessary travel for citizens only possible or viable by car.

 
DRIVING ME CRAZY

The shortcomings of the L.A. public transit system don’t exist in a vacuum, however. A lack of public interest in utilizing the current system, or public transit at all, has surely hurt the city’s abilities to patch its shortcomings. However, recent publicly backed initiatives are looking to expand the system and increase its viability in the future, even if that future is far away.  Even though there are distinct advantages to using the L.A. Metro - no traffic during rush hour, cheap fares, etc., - most angelenos simply don’t bother.

 

Celebrities in LA & NYC

 

I WOKE UP LIKE THIS

With plenty of designers, celebrities, famous shopping centres, and luxurious residents in both cities, the fashion sense of Los Angeles and New York is both revered and distinguished. New Yorkers, tend to notice, above all, one particular kind of wardrobe amongst their fellow city dwellers. “New Yorkers love black,” says Miriam Diwan, a former New Yorker who moved to L.A. “Stock up on black clothing.”

You’re much more likely to see someone wearing “all black” in NYC. In L.A., a lighter look is usually prefered, in more ways than one. L.A. residents take any excuse to wear less clothing. Angelenos tend to have a more natural lifestyle, which they then pair with their outfits. As Diwan says, new L.A. residents should “Start stocking up on yoga pants”. In Los Angeles, workout chic is a common part of the city’s fashion, even for those who won’t be working out at that moment. 
In Los Angeles, It's not only 100% acceptable to go out dressed for the gym/yoga studio (even if you have no intention of going to one),  it’s commonplace. Brands in the “Athleisure” space have sought out to create workout clothes that can be worn to the office and out on the town, seemingly trying to fulfill the wardrobe dreams of every Los Angeles resident.

 

WORKING HARD, OR HARDLY WORKING?

L.A. is home to Hollywood, and the wolves of Wall Street reside in NYC. Both attract a very driven and dedicated class of workers, but the way they affect their city is totally different.

“Everyone is into what they do. I love that about NYC” says Humphrey. The driven, passionate attitude of the city’s workers helps create the city’s notorious fast pace. The dream of the New Yorker, the native of a city full of skyscrapers, is to reach the very top.

 

DRESSED TO IMPRESS

In Los Angeles, the goals are a bit different. Wannabe actors, directors and writers flock to the city with a limited chance at becoming truly successful. At any given restaurant, it’s pretty likely that at least ⅔ of the waitstaff is waiting on their big break. 
People in L.A. are trend driven, doing whatever celebrities are doing. Part of the reasoning behind this is their exposure to the stars; the presence of celebrities is a part of normal life in L.A. They’re at your yoga studio, your supermarket, your workplace, even in the car next to you. In a city where celebrities are so heavily revered, notoriety becomes a larger goal than success. The struggling actors, “waiting tables or tending bar between gigs”, as Mineo would say, are looking to put their name in lights more than they’re looking for a big studio paycheck.

 
New York Yankees Fans

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

The symbol of New York City is unmistakable, whether on the head of a passerby on Madison avenue or on the cover of a Jay-Z album: the Yankees cap. For more than a century, the greatness and constant success of the Yankees has been used by New Yorkers as a symbol and expression of their own local pride. Not every New Yorker is a Yankees fan, but those who cheer for the team and wear the cap represent a key part of New York; city solidarity. 
In L.A., this sense of local pride is not as elevated. Angelenos will often wear Dodger caps and laud the ‘best coast’, but it feels more like a tourism ad than a genuine kinship. That doesn’t mean Angelenos don’t love their city - as a macro force, however, California pride is not nearly as realized.

 

Statue of Liberty

 

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

You might assume that New Yorkers are less kind to their fellow man, since they are generally more self-contained and rude. You might be surprised to learn New Yorkers really value strong communities, local business success, and take action to prevent gentrification in the areas of the city where longtime residents usually reside. There is said to be a silent, unspoken altruism at the heart of the New Yorker experience: people help moms carry their strollers on the subway, people give their bus seats to the elderly, and people hold doors open for each other at pizza joints. While L.A. residents seem to more often emanate positive vibes, many feel Californians are more self-involved and less eager to build connections to their local communities.

 


 

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