10 Good Karma Things You Can Do Today in L.A.
Los Angeles is the ultimate city of hope in this great land of opportunity, a place of hustlers, would-be stars and immigrants on the move.
Jon Lee Clark / Flickr
But while many of us have approached the town as a giant gift bag -- take what you can get -- it's always good to think of others: Will this be a place you want your children and grandchildren to enjoy? If your relatives came here from out of town would you be proud of our hospitality? Make it better. Pass it on. Do this:
10. Buy an old man a drink. Seeing that L.A. recently ranked as one of America's 10 unfriendliest cities, we need all the help we can get. Our boss recommended buying a stranger a drink. And not just a hot chick or Mr. Six Pack down the bar. Nothing says you care like buying one for the old guy who's put in his time.
Tim Dobson / Flickr
9. Change a flat tire. For some of us, changing a flat is a piece of cake. Loosen the lugs. Jack it up. Take the lugs all the way off. Pull off the bad wheel. Replace with the spare. Put the lugs on. If it's a space-saver doughnut that comes with a compressor, give it air. Lower the car. Tighten the lugs. Put the bad wheel in the trunk. Done. For some folks this is foreign and horrifying. But to be stuck on the side of the boulevard in this vast town with a three-wheeled ride is almost worse than getting stuck in our slow-moving traffic.
8. Help an out-of-town neighbor. This is where you can really prove L.A. is a town of benevolent people. Instead of burglarizing, plundering and otherwise taking advantage, the point here is to water plants, tend to gardens and take your neighbor's dog out for walks, pooper-scooper in hand. And make sure to pick up mail, newspapers and fliers, an abundance of which screams I'm not home!
Don't let your neighbor come home to this. Photo by Nate Robert / Flickr.
7. Help a friend move. We know, this is a serious commitment. As Jerry Seinfeld noted long ago, helping someone move is what really separates the true friends from the fakes. In L.A., the deed is doubly good because our county is larger than some countries. The driving time alone could take hours. A move could eat up your whole weekend. BFFs? Prove it.
6. Explain our parking rules. Granted, sometimes our parking regulations are so complicated that not even longtime locals fully understand them. But for the most part you're used to seeing and interpreting those red-on-white and green-on-white signs. Help a tourist avoid a $73 welcome-to-L.A. pamphlet. Let them know, for example, that if they park on Hollywood Boulevard at night, there will be a cover charge in the form of a whopping ticket when the bars close. Let them know that yellow curbs are open to all late at night. Tell them where your secret spot is. Do it.
BowJour / YouTube
5. Let a drunk friend sleep over. The prospect of housing another human, drunk and perhaps not in full control of his or her capabilities, isn't exactly the ideal form of company, unless that's what you're into. But hear us out: This is an especially sweet favor in L.A. It's quite difficult to get around via public transportation at night. The cost of a taxi is ridiculous. And driving is an invitation to get a $10,000 DUI. A free sleepover, then, is a gift to the whole community.