Study Abroad Corner

Interview people from Los Angeles (Part 2)


Continue from Interview people from Los Angeles (Part 1).
Read it HERE.

A Colorful City

Jake L. (USC Student)
(21 year-old Junior majoring in Computer Science at USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He admits that he is unsure of his family’s ethnicity because his parents were both born in California and assumes that it is a mix of German and Irish descendants. Jake comes from San Diego, California, and is a transfer student from UC Santa Barbara.)
If you have to describe L.A. in one word, what word would you choose and why?
L.A. is “colorful” because I really like how fast-paced it is… There’s always something going on, a variety of things to do. I really like that no matter what you want, there’s always something to entertain you.
I like going to the museums, LACMA, Griffith Observatory, Science Center… I also enjoy going to restaurants and eating different kinds of food, and yeah… I like to try different kinds of food.
Least favorite thing… Probably the traffic. (laughs)
But… I guess I’m not really concern with that since I don’t have a car here so I always have to get rides from friends. But it’s difficult, since sometimes traffic can take a while.
I went to UCSB my freshmen year, it’s very opposite to USC, it’s like small, a small college town, whereas here at USC and L.A., it’s obviously a huge city.
When I went to Santa Barbara, I didn’t really enjoy it because it was just kinda out of the way and I didn’t feel that connected with, you know, the world. I wanna have that global connection, so I went to USC and I got all of that.
There is a lot of diversity and I really like that.
I don’t really know L.A. that much yet since I have only been here for two years, and most of the time I’ve only been on campus.
What’s your perspective of L.A. in the future?
I think in the past few years, it definitely has gotten a lot better, but obviously there are still works needed to be done, issues needed to be fixed. Equal opportunities? Probably not. Well I think there’s still a big gap between the upper-income people and the lower-income people, especially around USC.
You know there are homeless people, and there’re the wealthy people in areas like Hollywood, Beverly Hills. There’s still a separation.
What or where would you recommend to someone who has never been in L.A. before?
I’ll probably take them to my favorite places, Santa Monica… going to the beach, I like to hike during my free time so I’ll probably take them on a hike, visit the museums… just do a little bit of everything.
I’ve actually never been to East L.A. (laughs) but I would, yeah. (nods) Well I would go because I’ve never been there. I wanna make that a priority of mine to go.

A Melting Pot

Avis P. (Traffic Officer)
(Avis is an African-American woman in her late 40s. Even though she lives in Chino, California, she has been working as a traffic officer in L.A. for 25 years. She used to live in L.A. before moving to Chino for her family.)
What do you like and dislike about L.A.?
I like the people, the weather… all those things.
My least favorite part is… I would say… traffic and homelessness.
I mean… I was born in L.A. I was born in South Central, I’ve seen the city all over so… I’ve seen the good angle and I’ve seen the bad angle.
What or where would you recommend to someone who has never been in L.A. before?
In this city of Los Angeles, you know, it’s very vast, so it can range anywhere from Vermont to all the way to you know, the Valley, so I would probably recommend Universal Studio walk, L.A. Live is also somethin’, but it’s mainly for adults’ entertainment.
L.A. is like a big melting pot, very multicultural, but there might still be discrimination might be in jobs, in schools, you know. There’s discrimination all over the place all the time.
What do you think L.A. still needs to work on?
Probably more jobs, more jobs for the youth, because if they don’t have anything to do then you know, they could become bad, joining gangs and stuff. Everybody needs a job, and I think that they should have more jobs, more opportunities for everybody to work.
It’s important that the people who are in charge of the city make the right decisions and use their power wisely. I don’t know, I mean like I said, the leadership would help to dictate how L.A. would become in the future.
The city can grow in whatever direction.
If you have to describe L.A. in one word, what word would you choose and why?
One word… Probably “congested,” just you know, because there are a lot of people here, and there’s nowhere for people to park, there’s nowhere for people to work, you know, you can see the homeless people on the sidewalks…
It’s very congested here.

We Don’t Wanna Get Into Politics Here

Carl B. (Attorney)
(Carl is a Caucasian elderly man in his mid-60s. He is very well-dressed, wearing business-formal clothes, and is reading a brochure of the event. He was born in L.A. and lives in San Marino. He has been an attorney working at Wilshire Boulevard for 30 years. He is very definite and stern in his responses.)
What do you like and dislike about L.A.?
I like the weather, the weather is very moderate, never real cold and never real hot. We don’t have hurricanes, snow, or horrible weather, so it’s a great place to live. I really like it here.
What I don’t like?
The government and the politics, well we don’t wanna get into politics here, but L.A., California is very liberal. There are mainly democrats here, and almost everything is government-controlled.
What do you think L.A. still needs to work on?
There are not a lot of jobs available today. A lot of graduates don’t have jobs today. Let me give you an example, more than half of people who graduated from law schools don’t have jobs after they graduated. This is really bad, the percentage of unemployment is very high today.
I think that there will always be discrimination of some sorts, whether in the workforce, schools, on the streets, it all depends on the people themselves.
I like the Asians, they’re very hard-working. I live in San Marino, where eighty percent are Asians, they’re all very hard-working, like this lady here, (looks at his friend, Shelley, sitting next to him) she works very hard, seven days a week, nobody can outwork her!
You also work hard right? Getting good grades?
If you have to describe L.A. in one word, what word would you choose and why?
I would say “opportunistic,” since L.A. is filled with opportunities, there are immigrants coming in every year. The city will definitely develop more in the future.

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Hue La

About Hue La

Hey there, I'm Hue (pronounced “huay”, not “hue” like how you would normally say it in English). I'm a USC graduate and traveler with 6+ years of study abroad experience in the U.S. I founded Study Abroad Corner with the goals of providing helpful advice and building a social network for fellow study abroaders around the world.

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