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There are numerous cities I legitimately consider my hometown, including Rome, Cairo, Sydney and London. But of all these locales, Los Angeles is the one I secretly prefer. Oddly, I love Los Angeles for all the things people seem to hate about it—just like a parent who sees inner beauty in their child where others can’t. Every body should live in Los Angeles at least once in their life time.

Here are just ten things I love about LA.

1. No one’s smug: Los Angeles is an amazing place to live. Great weather, easy access to the ocean, high quality of life, boundless business opportunities, a magnet for entrepreneurial spirits, socially and ecologically conscious, and the capital of “the industry” that shapes our realities. But unlike other major metropolitan centers like New York, its residents are not smug about it. They will not keep shoving down your throat just how great their city is at every occasion they get. You will never hear an Angelino citing obnoxious statistics about restaurants per capita. And if you decide to call it home, you don’t have to worry about being accepted. Everyone’s a freak there. To be accepted all you need to do is show up.

2. Infectious positive energy: Because of the weather and the fact that most people move here to pursue some insane dream, there is an infectious positive energy crackling in the air free for you to breathe the minute you step off the plane. Everyone operates with the default standard that everything is possible, and as a result people smile often and seem to be on a perpetual emotional high. If you stay here long enough, you get used to that.

3. Ingenious traffic laws: Like the rest of California, you can turn right on red. That alone is probably a good enough reason to move there.

4. Parking is a breeze: With few exceptions like Santa Monica, parking is never an issue. Even when you have to pay for parking, it’s usually free for the first 60 or 90 minutes.

5. Amazing food culture: The modern gourmet food truck craze was refined in LA. There are farmers markets in most neighborhoods, with emphasis on locally sourced organic produce. Because the city is a vibrant cultural melting pot, you can get some of the finest ethnic cuisine in the country. Like the best sushi in the world this side of Tokyo. Not to mention Iranian, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese. You are never more than a few miles away form a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods. If you’re vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian, Los Angeles is your nirvana.  And then of course, In-N-Out burger.

6. You never know who you may run into: Hollywood attracts creative souls from across the universe. Los Angeles is the only city in the world I know where you should expect your priest, cleaning lady, dentist or local police chief to also be writing a sitcom pilot on the side or pitching their script ideas to whoever will listen. And because anyone could potentially be a high powered producer or studio executive, the default interpersonal connections you make in LA are absurdly nice. Perhaps not always genuine, but always nice.

7. It’s familiar: When you visit for the first time, everything will seem familiar and comforting. That’s because you’ve either already seen it in a film or a television show, or a film set version of it.

8. Alternate reality: It is not uncommon when you are driving in LA to see some of the most bizarre or outlandish events transpiring on the street. But this being Los Angeles the probability that it is real is exactly fifty percent. There is a fifty percent chance that whatever you are seeing is for the benefit of some camera. But in both cases, there will be an LAPD car there, either to arrest the offender if it’s real, or protect the set if it’s not. Los Angeles of course is the land where the police car chase has been perfected to an art form. When I first moved here there was a pager service you could subscribe to that would alert you every time a car chase was on the news.

9. It defies your expectations: Los Angeles loves to defy whatever preconceived notion you may have of it, ironically based on the films and television shows produced by this very town. Think it’s just liberal, left-leaning folks who call this place home? I’ve come across more republicans and libertarians in this town than anywhere else. Many people I know think of Los Angeles as a dangerous, gang-infested scene from a film like Training Day. While that exists, there is also stunning natural beauty and breathtaking neighborhoods. Another misconstrued notion about LA is that the film and television industries are the main dynamo of the economy. In fact, they are just the tip of the iceberg and actually disappearing quickly. The banking and finance sector is one of the largest in the country, and the city is the biggest major manufacturing center in the United States. The Los Angeles port is the busiest in the country in terms of net value and tonnage of goods that go through it.  Other prominent sectors include health care, technology, fashion, music, education, construction, real estate, and scientific research.

10. Multiple personalities: East Coast and Euro snobs love to hate on Los Angeles because it lacks a fancy historic center and is made up of small neighborhoods strung together by a crazy mangle of freeways. But if you live in Los Angeles long enough, you begin to appreciate that is part of its unique charm. Los Angeles is made up of small, self-contained communities (which the locals call cities) with subtle differences only discernible to the natives. Most visitors would be hard pressed to understand the meaningful differences between West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Bellaire, Westwood, or Century City. Let alone North Hollywood, Burbank, Valley Village, Studio City and Toluca Lake. But the longer you live in Los Angeles the more you begin to appreciate the nuances, but still enjoy the fact that  Los Angeles “cities” flow freely into one another with little demarcation other than the look and feel of the street signs. You could drive for endless miles on the same street and slowly observe the scenery changing from extreme wealth, to extreme edge and grit. And it is this harmonious co-existence between rarefied affluence and hard-core urban life that makes Los Angeles one of the most exciting cities to live in.

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