Is L.A. a Rude City?

Travel + Leisure magazine readers voting on America’s rudest cities ranked New York as number one this year. No surprise there, since that’s what most people think about NYC, whether it’s true or not. What surprised me the most, however, was to learn that Los Angeles ranked fourth this year, and is a three-time-champion in the category, having been considered ruder than what T+L calls “classically brusque East Coast cities,” such as New York, Washington, DC, and Boston.

I don’t know what T+L readers based their votes on –maybe frustrated LA drivers or snooty Beverly Hills boutique sales persons– but my experience so far has been very different.

After living on the East Coast for over 25 years, when I first arrived in Los Angeles I was shocked by how friendly people were, compared to folks in the Washington DC area. I wouldn’t say Washingtonians are rude, they are just a bit reserved, and I blame their attitude on the weather, which is almost always dreadful in the nation’s capital.

In L.A. I quickly realized that the typical half-smile with no eye contact East Coasters often give strangers is not very common here, and that I should be a bit more engaging in my interactions with Angelenos, whether I thought their friendliness was genuine or not.

So, is Los Angeles a rude city? Heck, no! Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Angelenos are friendly and fun. As to why people are so friendly here, I’ll go back to the weather to explain their behavior because it’s easier to feel good and be nice to people when it’s sunny, warm, and pleasant, which is almost always the case in Los Angeles.

Because of this and others things, I love LA!

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