I'm not crazy about LA. There are parts of it that I really like and could even live in (I love Venice Beach and Santa Monica) but as a whole it just leaves me flat. It is the end product of a culture consumed by accumulating more stuff and being cut off from a sense of larger community. Sit in any traffic jam and count the number of cars that have more than one person in them and see what I mean. Then imagine the median value of those cars... The endless expanse of strip malls, freeways, and gated communities are just too different from the densely packed cities I grew up in. In those cities you rubbed shoulders with your neighbors and even if you were afraid of them, you didn't ignore them. And you walked places.
I came across a wonderful blog entry about LA at BLDG Blog that does a great job at analyzing LA. The writter loves the city. Still, he sees the disconnectedness when he says that at the bottom line, nobody cares about you in LA. how very sad. I fear that is becoming a mark of our culture.