Living in any major city that is also a popular tourist destination — like, say, Los Angeles — means getting constant requests to pick up friends and relatives at the airport. That’s no biggie; we like our friends and relatives, most of them anyway, and airport taxis can be pretty expensive. But Los Angeles is big; Los Angeles County is so huge, in fact, that plenty of out-of-towners have no idea what they’re asking if they plan a lunch date with a Silver Lake or Los Feliz denizen in Venice Beach. “Meet me at that taqueria on Venice Boulevard” may mean something to a Los Angeles west sider, but it sure isn’t specific enough for anyone northeast of downtown Los Angeles, and the drive can be an hour. This map of Los Angeles should be helpful for providing a sense of proportionality.
Check out this map of Los Angeles. See how tiny Manhattan is, in comparison? When I lived in NYC, my friends (okay, and I) would groan if they had to go from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side, and that’s a blip on this map. Perspective is important. Los Angeles is a bigger city and county than most people know. We get in our cars, contend with traffic, and drive the equivalent of (on this map) Pittsburgh to Cleveland just to break bread with our friends. Can you imagine how much better it would be if Los Angeles had a light rail system already in place? But that’s another rant – er, story. For now, let’s remember that LA is big enough to accommodate so many terrific little neighborhoods and towns, it’s better to think of the city as a whole bunch of separate towns, with different fun things to do and subcultures. One of the best things about Los Angeles’ size is its according diversity; If you don’t like one part, you’ll likely love another.
I love this map because it gives a better idea to non-Angelenos about our huge, spread-out city. I can’t source it; it showed up on my Facebook feed and I promptly posted it to my own wall. If anyone knows the source, I’d be very happy to give credit where credit is due. In the meantime, enjoy the peak travel season here in Los Angeles! All those extra people on the beach, at Universal Studios Hollywood, bumping into us in downtown LA, they’re great for our economy, so we can’t even be mad about the traffic. Well, no more mad than usual, anyway. Happy summertime, Angelenos.