33 Things Everyone From Los Angeles Knows to Be True

And it’s no newsflash that Los Angeles suffers from all of those things (it’s the second most populated city in the U.S., after all), but it has so much more. L.A. has quirks and idiosyncrasies — both good and bad — that are there to keep its people functioning with a sliver of dependability.

If you’ve lived here long enough, you’ve come to accept and love these 33 indisputable truths as the glue that keep this town together. If you’re a recent transplant, stick around. You’ll get there.

Only people who live in L.A. know these facts to be true

1. Angelenos never refer to themselves as Angelenos. We say we’re from L.A., and despite the L.L. Cool J song, no one here says “Cali.”

2. You’d never eat a Danger Dog during daylight hours, but late at night, after a concert or a particularly vigorous night of drinking and dancing, the heavenly scent of those grilled bacon-wrapped street dogs covered with onions and peppers tastes like ambrosia.

3. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who lived in one of the neighborhoods that was hit by the Night Stalker.

4. You haven’t had the full Venice Beach Boardwalk experience until you’ve met Harry Perry.

5. You’re not exactly sure what a Sig Alert means, but you know it adds an extra 30 minutes to your commute.

6. Vin Scully and Chick Hearn, even in death, are the voices of this city.

7. You’ll complain about standing in line for anything in L.A., yet begrudgingly wait 30 minutes for Animal Style Double-Doubles.

8. The best Chinese food is not in Chinatown, it’s in Monterey Park.

9. The only people who regularly go to Pink’s Hot Dogs work there. Everyone else in the hour-long line are tourists.

10. It doesn’t matter what season it is. It could be 50 degrees or 100 degrees and thirsty hipsters will always wear beanies with a tank top/scarf combo.

11. Eric Garcetti may be the Mayor of Los Angeles, but Rodney Bingenheimer is the Mayor of the Sunset Strip.

12. If you’re able to get to work in under 45 minutes, you’re considered one of the lucky ones at the office.

13. As of this publish date, Dodger Dogs cost a whopping $6.50. They taste like dry am/pm hot dogs, but you’ll buy a couple anyway and wash them down with a $6.25 cup of Bud out of routine.

14. The novelty of a movie being made in your neighborhood has long worn off, and now you scowl at film crews who have the audacity to ruin your commute.

15. Weekday rush hour traffic starts at 6 a.m. and ends around 7 p.m., with a one-hour break around 10:30 a.m.

16. If you’re a homeowner and you live within a quarter mile of the Coliseum, your front lawn becomes a parking lot during every event where you can charge $40 a car.

17. You mourned the passing of Jonathan Gold like he was a close member of your family.

18. You still feed off the hate from ’80s-era Boston Celtics fans.

19. The only time the Orange Curtain’s threshold can justifiably be crossed is for trips to Disneyland, driving en route to San Diego and when you have to visit your parents’ house on major holidays.

20. Similar to how Eskimos have more than 50 words for snow, in Los Angeles, the word “dude” has just as many meanings, depending on inflection, phraseology and what neighborhood it’s used in. Incorrect usage can be catastrophic.

21. You remember when Pink Dot was still a small, local enterprise and you could have a 12-er of beer, a pack of smokes and a pizza delivered to your door within 15 minutes.

22. Eventually, you come to accept the fact that you’ll hear the phrases “Keyes, Keyes, Keyes, Keyes on Van Nuys!,” “Yes, Cerritos Auto Square!,” “You’re killing me, Larry!,” “O-O-O-O’Reillyyyyy Auto Parts — Yeaow!” and “Well you won’t get a lemon from Toyota of Orange!” at least once a day.

23. The distance from one location in the city to another is not measured by miles, but by time.

24. Hiking at Runyon Canyon has been ruined by Instragram.

25. Angelyne is a mysterious angel sent from heaven and we’re lucky to have her.

26. You can expect a multitude of projectiles to be thrown at you from behind if you wear a Giants cap to a Dodger game.

27. Mexican food is the sixth major food group.

28. You make more than $75K a year and you still have roommates.

29. It doesn’t matter what crisis the world is facing on any given day, a rain forecast will lead the nightly news every time.

30. You’re constantly on the hunt for someone who knows someone who can get you in The Magic Castle.

31. If you were actually born within the Los Angeles county limits, you’re as rare as a unicorn.

32. If you were here for the Northridge quake, you sleep through everything, and sensibly chuckle when recent transplants ask if you “felt that crazy earthquake last night?”

33. People who live in Los Angeles can make fun of Los Angeles, people who don’t, can’t.

What’d we miss?

Any thoughts on our list? Do you agree or disagree? What’d we miss? Share your Los Angeles fact in the comments below.

Photo by Dillon Shook on Unsplash
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Michael AlarconMichael Alarcon has been a writer for over 23 years. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Long Beach's Press-Telegram, Citysearch, the Orange County Register, SPIN online, AOL News, Village Voice and Ranker, among other smaller regional publications. Raised in San Dimas, California, he has lived in Long Beach, California for the last 20 years.

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