Both Cities are Iconic, But Nothing Alike…
Let’s be honest- most of us have dreamed of living in either Los Angeles or New York City. There’s something about each city that makes it so appealing, but they couldn’t be more different. So if you’re planning on living your best life like your favorite reality TV star, here’s a breakdown of what each city has to offer.
How’s The Commute?
Your commute is one of the most important things to take into consideration when choosing a new place to live. You don’t want to be stuck in hours-long traffic, nor do you want to put in more effort than you have to.
Los Angeles: You’ll need a car. Period. Unless you plan on working within walking distance from home, you’ll need a vehicle in order to get from point-A to point B as easily as possible. However, there’s a price to pay for the convenience. Remember, you’ll need to account for the cost of gas and time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Sure, LA has public transport just like any other major city, but it’s nowhere near as convenient as NYC’s, nor is it as useful. LA’s Metro stations are much harder to come by, meaning the distance between stations is a lot further than NYC’s system.
New York City: Work-life is made possible thanks to NYC’s subway system. There are stops everywhere you look, and you’ll never have to wait too long for a train to pick you up. The MTA will get you just about anywhere in the city in minutes. New Yorkers rarely drive in the city — and you won’t want to either. The streets will already be overrun with taxicabs and busses.
Just like LA’s unbearable traffic, NYC has some extremely unpleasant train stations. Keep in mind some of the oldest stations are over 100-years-old, and many of them look just as old Although some stops are big and shiny, but the majority are musty, dirty and reek of city smells.
Neither city can offer you a perfect commute, but if you ask me, I’d rather be sitting in a train full of people on my way to work than have my eyes glued to the road while in a car. At least you can occupy yourself with a book or your phone when you’re riding the train! Plus, you’ll never have to worry about parking. Oh, you should probably brush up on some subway etiquette before you make the leap.
Winner: New York City
Which City is More Fun?
This depends entirely on your idea of what ‘fun’ is. There’s no shortage of ways to spend your days off in either city, but you should be able to make a choice based on your personality.
Los Angeles: Everyone has this idea that LA is nothing but beaches, palm trees and sunshine … but there’s more to it you won’t see in the movies. Yes, there’s tons to do in Los Angeles, but people fail to realize that not everything is easy to get to.
Santa Monica is a long way from Hollywood Blvd. Downtown LA is nowhere near where the Kardashians live. Having a fun night out requires lots of planning and once again, a car. People in LA are usually confined to their small section of the city and believe it or not, not everyone lives in West Hollywood.
New York City: Much like Los Angeles, NYC folk are usually confined to their borough — Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, etc. The big difference is they can get anywhere in the city via a simple train ride.
I wouldn’t say there’s more to do in NYC, but it requires a lot less planning. You’ll also be able to knock out several activities in one day, rather than set aside a whole evening for one thing in LA.
That said, each city has its own strengths when it comes to looking for something to do. New York City is great for coffee dates, wandering the city, seeing a play and even bar hopping in The Village. Los Angeles shines when heading to the beach, going on hikes, traveling down the coast and generally spending time outdoors.
Now do you see why I said it’s hard to compare? That’s why I’m giving this one a DRAW.
Who Has The Better Weather?
Weather is a defining factor to consider when looking for a place to live. NYC and LA have polar opposite weather patterns and if you’re coming from one place to the other without doing your research, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Los Angeles: As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, I can confirm our weather is the easiest to deal with. It never gets too cold and when it’s hot, you have the beach! The average temperature in Los Angeles sits in the mid 70s — perfect!
Los Angeles rarely has rainy days, and when it does, it doesn’t last very long. You won’t see snow outside the mountains and the most extreme weather you’ll witness is the Santa Ana winds. I like to say Southern California has only two seasons … Summer and Mild Summer.
New York City: The benefit of being on the east coast is you’ll get to experience all four seasons. NYC is breathtaking during wintertime when the streets are decorated and the trees are covered in snow. It’s something I think everyone should experience at least once.
However … summertime in NYC is unbearable. Although the temperature doesn’t get as high as Los Angeles’, the humidity will smack you square in the face. Everything and everyone is musty, sweaty and gross. Consider that when cramming yourself on the train during rush hour.
LA weather is pleasant 99% of the time and the most you’ll ever have to deal with is the hot sun — nothing a cool breeze (or a/c) can’t fix. On the other hand, your day can be completely ruined by extreme weather in NYC. When the snow is coming down hard, there’s no way you’ll be able to get anything done. That’s why we say …
Winner: Los Angeles
What Are The Cultural Differences?
A city’s culture refers to the community’s overall way of life. Each person is different and you can’t exactly rank which is better, but you can see which suits you best. It all falls on what type of vibe makes you most comfortable.
Los Angeles: Despite what you may hear or see on TV, LA isn’t as snobby as you’d think. Although I can’t generalize the entire city, because each of LA’s neighborhood’s are different, people are friendly for the most part.
Certain parts of LA are filled with transplants from around the country who come with dreams to make it big. You can definitely tell who is native and who’s not. Locals are normally chill and you probably won’t see any snobby attitudes outside the luxurious areas.
However, since Los Angeles is so big, you don’t get the sense of community like you would in a closely knit community. Since LA is made up of dozens of towns, each has their own culture and way of life.
New York City: You’ll quickly discover NYC is an incredible place to live. It has this extraordinary sense of community you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a melting pot of cultures and personalities from all over the world.
My favorite part about living in NYC was sharing these unspoken rules with fellow citizens — such as not getting on a subway car if it’s empty. There’s a reason it’s empty. It’s true that time moves faster in New York — people are constantly on the move.
Once you get over the initial culture shock of New York’s fast-paced way of living, you start to accept it and embrace it. More on that later though.
Winner: New York City
How’s The Food?
I’m only including this category so I can give it to NYC. There’s no competition. During the time I lived there I had food delivered every single day. New York didn’t have to wait for the luxury of UberEats to take advantage of food delivery because most restaurants already offered it.
And don’t get me started on the New York pizza. A huge slice with a soda will only knock you back $1.50 … it’s a no-brainer! Not to mention the food carts scattered throughout the city. Grabbing a quick bite, or cup of coffee has never been easier.
Winner: New York City
I’ll say it upfront — both Los Angeles and New York City are crazy expensive to live in. However, when it comes to getting more bang for your buck, Los Angeles wins. It’s easier to find a small apartment or even a room to rent in LA. Apartment-hunting in New York City is incredibly difficult and even if you do find a place, it’ll almost certainly be shockingly small and uncomfortable — not to mention you’ll pay a lot more for a smaller place.
If you’re used to space to breathe, you won’t find that anywhere in the city.
Winner: Los Angeles
Quality of Life
The old cliche ‘life moves fast in New York City’ couldn’t be any closer to the truth. People are always in a rush and the amount of those looking for jobs outweigh those available. This can become extremely stressful if you’re trying to start a new life on the East Coast. So unless you know exactly what you’re going to do, where to live and have the logistics figured out, it’s going to take a while to get settled in.
LA is much easier to settle into if you’re moving from a different state. California is pretty much the same throughout, but Los Angeles is the epicenter. Downtown LA is nowhere near as big as Manhattan, but it still feels like city-living. In fact, you’ll probably feel at home there if you come from another metropolitan area.
There are also has hills, beaches and deserts that each carry their own subcultures. You’ll soon learn that almost everything is calmer and easier to do in LA.
Winner: Los Angeles
New York City is the place to go if you’re looking for life experience and independence. There’s no time to mess around and you’ll be thrust into a beautiful metropolis of hard workers. Its culture will set you straight and smooth out your edges, making you a better person.
Los Angeles is funner, but a lot harder to create a life for yourself. The city is full of transplants trying and failing to make it out here. Some are lucky, but LA is huge and that means there’s so much competition.
One important element that NYC has over LA is the convenience of transportation. It’s one less thing to worry about when trying to get your life together. That simple fact gives it a slight lead over LA and has my pick for which city is better.
A wise man once said in New York, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.