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Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Old Mar 20th 2019, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by Marc_ely View Post
A fair bit of this resonates with me, but my wife loves it here so we're staying. We're in Orange County, which is full of vacuous, entitled types, just like affluent areas of LA. The trick to dealing with them is to avoid them and pick your friends.
We were thinking just the other day how odd it is that we don't have any "proper" American friends. By proper I mean good, dependable, regular contact friends, not just work colleagues.
We've found the vast majority of Americans to be friendly, helpful and courteous, but we never get further than acquaintance.
Most of our friends are Brits but we also have good Polish and South African friends, that oddly enough have more common ground than Americans in many ways. With like-minded people you can take the piss out of the culture here to your hearts content and many of those numbered items in your list just become interesting debates.

With the massive uncertainties around Brexit I'm not sure I'd be in too much of a hurry to go back though. As others say, make sure you get the green card sorted, to give you options.
Can completely relate to the social aspect. I've really struggled to form any deep meaningful friendships ... other than coffees/lunches with bored mums who only want to gossip about other mums ... it can be exhausting after a while and I'm starting to hide in my home with a book instead. I've genuinely had more interesting conversations with complete strangers in trains back home ! I'm not oblivious to the fact that not having a job has made things worse for me. I've never not worked in my life and all this extra time to think isn't helping.
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Old Mar 20th 2019, 1:38 am
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by julymermaid View Post
SFO , is definitely more culturally appealing than LA..
Really?
You don't care for all the museums, music venues, art galleries, cuisine, beaches, sports venues, parks, coastal towns, Mediterranean climate etc?
Not to mention the lack of needles and poop on urine stenched sidewalks.

Just havin' a laugh...but I've spent significant time in both, and find SoCal far more agreeable in this regard.
Especially enjoying a martini as the sun sets over the palm lined sea.

And Calabasas is quite nice. But I often yearn for a hike in the rainy Trossachs then a pint and a curry.

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Old Mar 20th 2019, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

I second looking around at other states, if possible, would be a good idea, California is a special case as far as the union is concerned. Here in GA, at least in my part, things are just slower (including the people ) and I don't get any sense of the materialism that you mention. I also have never felt unsafe - but do choose to carry a firearm just in case.
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Old Mar 20th 2019, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by julymermaid View Post
Thank you ... we hadn't considered that as an option at all.. definitely worth considering.
Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Really?
You don't care for all the museums, music venues, art galleries, cuisine, beaches, sports venues, parks, coastal towns, Mediterranean climate etc?
Not to mention the lack of needles and poop on urine stenched sidewalks.

Just havin' a laugh...but I've spent significant time in both, and find SoCal far more agreeable in this regard.
Especially enjoying a martini as the sun sets over the palm lined sea.

....
"San Francisco" is both a city and, in general parlance, an area - the Bay Area. I lived in SF proper (an area only 7 miles by 7 miles) for over 12 years, and grew tired of the homeless, the fog, the lack of parking, etc, but only after many years of loving the place for it's culture, food, etc. SF itself has only about 880,000 people - it's a small place as cities go. The Bay Area (the area surrounding SF Bay - anywhere from Petaluma / Santa Rosa in the north, to Walnut Creek in the east, to San Jose / Palo Alto to the south) is an almost entirely different ball-game (and has a population of about 7m). The weather is closer to So-Cal - just 20 minutes in any direction outside SF has a radically different climate (I used to leave the office in downtown SF with 50-degree fog, arrive in Walnut Creek to 90-degree sunshine). But the biggest difference between the Bay Area and LA is the people. The BA doesn't have the focus on entertainment that LA has. LA is the entertainment center of the universe - Hollywood, movies, etc. The Bay Area is the tech center of the universe. Basically, at the risk of massive over-generalization, the BA is full of nerds while LA is full of wannabe movie stars. The conversation everywhere is about tech. The billboards are all tech (just noticed this recently, the entire 101 corridor is full of gobbledygook billboards advertising the latest AI development or database company!).

The Bay Area has a lot to offer in many areas, but for the purpose of this post, Iet's focus on Palo Alto, in Santa Clara County. I worked in Palo Alto for 10 years, and it was a wonderful place. Stanford is the local university, and there a strong influence from the student body and the faculty. This is where Hewlett and Packard got together in a garage and started 'Silicon Valley', and where Steve Jobs grew up and lived most of his life. The Google founders live there. It has a fantastic 'restaurant scene' on University Avenue. It's physically beautiful with the coast range as a backdrop. It's also hellishly expensive, more expensive than LA, but - if you can get a good job it's great. Looking at the following chart (from https://www.janepoppelreiterrealesta...-demographics/ ), note that Santa Clara county has 34% white, 34% Asian, 27% Hispanic - it's a hell of a diverse place. And everyone is educated - people come from all over the world to work here, so you have a lot of very well-rounded, well-educated, diverse folks. You see and hear this in the restaurants and businesses as you go about your daily life. As an aside, have you spent any time in Pasadena in LA (county)? It's my favorite place in LA and has a decent 'vibe', and is full of propeller-heads from the various science institutions nearby, such as the Jet Propulsion Labs.



As for your son, and his passion for history, and the lack of history here; this is a harder nut to crack, but - one thing I've come to learn is that there is a tremendous amount of history here, but it's very different and not as visual - so may be less obvious to a child - it's social history. The population of CA today is almost 40 million. 100 years ago it was 3 million. That's a lot of change. There's a fascinating story of 'recent history' right there, how did those people get here, why? (UK, by comparison, had a population of 43 million 100 years ago and it's not much bigger today). The story of how the 'west' was developed, with dams being built, farmers being encouraged to move west, the expeditions to find new land, the plight of the native Indians, etc - all in recent times. Civil rights - the story of slaves, the story of voter rights, etc is somewhat unique to the US. Have you visited the Hoover Dam, and explored the social consequences of that massive undertaking? I recently became fascinated by the whole history of how LA got its water - how Mulholland tricked the farmers in the Owens Valley into selling their land, and then built a system to deliver water through a desert and over mountains ... maybe not too appealing to a kid but amazing stuff, without any parallel in the UK.

As for 'bread' - I do find criticism of bread to be rather silly. Here in the Bay Area we have Acme Bakery, which produces wonderful bread (that goes rock-hard within a day or two of purchase!). And many other bakeries. Are you telling me that your local Whole Foods Market, or Sprouts, or whatever does not sell a decent, fresh, natural baked loaf? I find that hard to believe, but i can assure you such things exist up here, in abundance!

ETA - are all the bakeries listed here no good? https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/e...in-los-angeles and https://la.eater.com/maps/best-bread...es-los-angeles and https://www.latimes.com/food/dailydi...017-story.html ? I don't suggest for one moment that you are going to find great bread at the local Safeway/Vons or whatever. But if you love bread, surely a trip to one of these noted bakeries is not out of the question?

Good Luck with whatever you choose.

Last edited by Steerpike; Mar 20th 2019 at 5:02 pm.
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Old Mar 20th 2019, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

CA had a population of about 10,000,000 after WW2, 30,000,000 now so presumably 100,000,000 within the lifespan of someone born now.
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Old Mar 20th 2019, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
CA had a population of about 10,000,000 after WW2, 30,000,000 now so presumably 100,000,000 within the lifespan of someone born now.
Boiler - not that it's terribly important for the purpose of this discussion, but the population of CA today is 40m - http://worldpopulationreview.com/sta...ia-population/
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Old Mar 20th 2019, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Oops so 4 fold increase, sort of relevant, I was told that and average sort of house goes for $2m?
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Have you considered homeschooling your son? Don't laugh - California is very home-education friendly and there are funds available via homeschooling public charter schools like Inspire, Compass, Valiant. Approximately $2600-$3000.

Several Facebook groups you might be interested in:
Southern California Homeschool
UK gifted home educators
Raising Poppies (This is a worldwide group of parents of gifted children.)

Feel free to send me a PM.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 12:00 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Oops so 4 fold increase, sort of relevant, I was told that and average sort of house goes for $2m?

Still some decent homes in nice areas. Under 1M.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...297_rect/9_zm/
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

It is a tough decision to make. Do you stay and allow your children to have the on hand love and guidance that their father gives them while you continue to look for meaningful employment and overlook the cultural differences of that particular region of the States. Or do you remove your children from the US so that you have the advantage of returning to the niche you have made for yourself in the employment arena and the kids attend schools you feel that they will excel in and advance the most.

As others have said, the US is a big place with diversified cultures and schooling. The US does have many brilliant students who far surpass the requirements of a given classroom criteria. California has schools for bright children and universities that register high on the academic scale. The majority of their student body were schooled in California.

When we emigrate we hope to fit in with the general population but many, like myself, do not and feel like fish out of water. You do what you need to do to make a comfortable and fulfilling life for yourself and your family. You are, at this point, intending to remain in the US indefinitely. It is a learning experience. Do allow yourself to lock yourself into thinking you have to find like people. They are foreigners to you but they have been raised in the US and are set in a certain lifestyle and mode. The give and take is not equal and oft times you, like me, are the one who will have to bend 45 degrees to find just that one person who is like those you grew up with.

Good luck to you and your family whatever the decision is.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Still some decent homes in nice areas. Under 1M.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...297_rect/9_zm/
Makes you wonder where the people who do not make $250k live.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Makes you wonder where the people who do not make $250k live.

Generally further from the coast and then long commutes or local lower paid jobs.
Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, Hemet.

Or here
https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...02_rect/11_zm/
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

We have a similar issues with the ski resorts. There used to be employee housing but a lot of that has gone, they are building on some of the few remaining flat spots but those entry level houses are 500k which is a bit tricky of you are working in a supermarket or a restaurant etc.

And unlike CA the longer term commute requires decent vehicles with 4 wheel drive, good tires etc etc and even then the roads can get closed.

Does not take much to work out where this is going.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

Originally Posted by julymermaid View Post
Thank you ... we hadn't considered that as an option at all.. definitely worth considering.
My 2 cents here. Think long and hard before moving back without your husband. It is easy to say 'until 2021' but having had to live apart from my wife for over a year after we got married it was a living hell. I days consisted of working then coming home and spending the evening on skype with her and there was probably 2 times I came close to suggesting we part ways. Living apart is so much harder than people think.

As others have said, there are so many other places in the US to consider and the great thing is as it is so big, every state almost has its own culture. My wife is from Seattle and although she loved it, she didn't want to live her whole life there and neither did I. Through a job I ended up in the Midwest where the pace of life is very relaxed. I have the advantage of 2 major cities an hour north and south and one 2hrs to the east if I want them. She misses the mountains, and I miss the sea but other than that we love it here and intend to stay until we retire somewhere warmer in the winter.

Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 21st 2019, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Stay in LA or return to UK? Will appreciate thoughts

I'd ask where you came from in the UK, which is what I assume you are comparing against? As people have mentioned, the USA is a big old place, with many varieties to be found within. Even in the UK, I'd never live in a Village more than a few miles from a big town, couldn't imagine being in the sticks. Some people love big cities, some hate them. So what is it that you'd go back to, then see if somewhere in the USA can give you a lot of what you'd get there with some of the added bonuses of living a life in a new country. And it really can be very different very quickly depending where you look at - Civil mentioned GA, where I also live. About 5 miles south of me the State falls off of a bit of a cliff in terms of being a place I'd enjoy living everyday! But where I am is perfect - it's laid back, but has a decent sized population so quite a few facilities and 30 miles North I end up in Atlanta giving me my big city desires. It also turns out the local MLS team is more fun to watch than my local football team in England. The "locals" are mainly friendly (they tend to have migrated here so even though they are not English there is usually a lot of common stories). It's still different, but a comfortable different that I enjoy.

And, if Bread really is a top priority, lets just call it a day now :-), move back. I've given up on affordable bread being a possibility where I live, it's $4 loaves from Publix or nothing at all unless I fancy a 40 mile trip up to Atlanta for the milk and bread.

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