this is the best breakdown of what it's like to live in LA that i've read in a while. (registration required):
"Los Angeles is all about being in a city but not of it. Or at least not a city as defined by everything leading up to the 21st century. The gossiping front stoops of Baltimore; the laundry strung between buildings like birthday banners on Chicago's South Side; the living, breathing, briefcase-toting sidewalks of Manhattan -- in the American imagination this is City, but it is not the city of our choosing."