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Mackenna Lee

Disembark, Grow, Illuminate.

Five Things that Impress me about L.A.

It’s hard to measure yourself and your surroundings when everything is new. Having lived in Los Angeles for a month now, I can say I love it. But I sang similar proclamations when I was in Toronto and Montreal and Chicago. I am a bit of a polygamist when it comes to cities, not just one holds my love.


And thus, determining whether or not a location is as good as or better than any other place I lived is hard. I love to explore, and this love of new experiences will cloud the San Gabriel Mountains in a rose-tinted hue.

The hardest part, by far, is severing ties with the people I love back in Toronto and elsewhere. I want to stay in touch with them, but am also limited by how much I can keep communications up and running when the time difference makes it so that when I am trying to reach them, they are in the middle of night. Vice versa, when they try to contact me, I drowning in Excel at work.

So far, I have been impressed with 5 things about Los Angeles.

  1. Kindness – Holy moly, people are nice here. The Beverly Hills, nose-in-the-air mantra gives the town a bad calling. I’ve been struck by how others go out of their way to make me feel welcome.
  2. Nature – The Ocean waters and cascading hills have taken a firm grasp on my soul. I seek new places to hike every night after work. It is rare that cities are built up against hills. I view the houses as a natural skyscraper, giving houseowners picturesque landscape views without the bustle of living in shared units.

Sunburn was very much a real thing on this day.

3. Less expensive – This one will come as shocking. Living in Toronto on Canadian salary is challenging, especially when you own a car. Taxes can be steep on items, especially in the city. Los Angeles has expensive housing but it does seem to lighten up in other areas. This comparison could be a bit unfair, given that I always pay in local currency.

4. “Attractions” – It seems like each block has an unexpected claim to fame. At this restaurant is where Jon Hamm has a permanent booth or in this desert where that episode of Star Trek was filmed – that sort of thing.


Not a famous piano. But it should be.

5. Culture – The volume of unique communities is impressive, but moreover the vibes of the city have been a breath of (not so fresh given the air quality index) air. Work to life ratios are treated with a special significance in my job. Surely others in L.A. experience a much different reality, but I can easily sympathize with them as well. For me, it has been exceptional to pursue hobbies (which is how I was able to write this) and explore on days other than the weekend.

Have new surroundings ever taken you off guard?


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