BE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS (literally).
Home to the highest recycling rate of any large U.S. City, Los Angeles was also among the first American metropolises to adopt curbside recycling in 1989. With over 22 miles of beaches, more than 100 museums, the world’s first and only solar-powered ferris wheel (the Santa Monica Pier Wheel) and the nation’s largest municipal park (Griffith Park), the city is not only green, but wildly diverse, in terms of its population and abundance of cultural settings. Within the city of Los Angeles alone there are more than 88 cities and six different area codes—more than any other U.S. city. The rich array of ways to spend a day calls for a certain kind of situational sophistication.
When in a car, remember that it is legal to turn left on a red if you entered the middle of an intersection while the light was green or yellow.
L.A. traffic depends on this scenario. The rule of thumb is two cars turning left on a red, so, if you’re one of those two at light, nose out into the intersection and get prepared to gas it at the tail end of the yellow light. To forgo this ethos is to shatter the delicate balance of already addled traffic. It constitutes nothing less than a driver’s sin.
When in a bar, refrain from referring to any place with a door person and a wait as "so Hollywood."
“When we hit capacity, we have to hold the door. This is not for appearances, believe me,” says Dan Sabo, Director of Beverages and Bars at the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. “Also, smoking in front of No Smoking signs and saying you didn't know there was no smoking. Come on, guys. Oh, and enough with the birthday cakes. No, we cannot and will not store that in our walk in for you until tomorrow. And don't tell a bartender to ‘smile more.’ That's the worst.”
When at the beach, frolic and flirt all you want, but make no mistake: the beach is not your bedroom.
Reserve the hardcore PDA for behind closed doors -- your fellow beachgoers will thank you. On the subject of seagulls, make sure your edibles are properly stowed or tossed in a trash bin before you run down to the ocean for a swim. No one wants to be stuck in the sand with the flapping, squawking mayhem.
When in a movie theater, keep in mind that hair and makeup artists, digitechs, screenwriters, agents, managers, producers, PR directors, lighting and sound engineers and the rest of the estimated 250,000 entertainment workers in L.A. county may be well within earshot.
For this reason, it is not uncommon for a Los Angeles movie-going audience clap at the end of a film, even if that film was less than epic. This is because, chances are some of the names that scroll during the credits belong to people seated in the crowd, or at the very least, to their friends or family. So, before you go loudly panning the pile of garbage flick you just saw, it’s best to wait to share your pointed criticism until you’ve made it safely in your car or final destination.
When entering a grocery store, come armed with tote bags.
Plastic bags have been banned in Los Angeles. Throughout California, a paper bag at checkout costs ten cents. It’s human to forget to bring tote bags now and then, but in L.A., that doesn’t make it any less frowned upon.
When walking through a neighborhood, if confronted with an enticingly abundant citrus tree, pause before you help yourself.
Having polled plenty of Los Angeles citizens, we’ve come up with the following nugget of wisdom. If a plant is profuse, extends itself over a fence or property line, and its bounty is within easy reach of your sidewalk stance, it’s ripe for the taking. In other words: If and only if it’s overgrown the fence, it’s no offense. Still, forage at your own risk!