The traffic isn't so bad once you learn the patterns and to avoid the freeways and major side streets during rush hour (or hours). You get used to it.
Crime? Well... lock your doors, try to steer clear of certain neighborhoods and don't walk down dark alleyways by yourself at night. You'll probably be okay.
You can pretty much avoid the smog if you stay out of the valley and the celebrities pretty much avoid you wherever you go, so there's no problem there.
But the flakes? They are unavoidable. They're absolutely everywhere. LA is full of a bunch of really seemingly nice people who make obscene amounts of unfulfilled promises. Mostly because no one knows who anyone is (or will be), so they'd rather just flake on "plans" instead of admitting that they really didn't want to go to begin with. When you first move here from Smalltown, America, it can be very confusing and sometimes painful to think you're talking to a real person, only to find out they were a classic LA flake.
But once you learn to differentiate the real from the flake, and here's what LA doesn't get a lot of press on, you'll find that there are some incredible people here. Smart, ambitious, fun-loving, warm and supportive people. Once you learn to weed through the fluff who look at your bag before they look in your eyes, you'll make some of the best buds you've ever had. I have a diverse circle of friends composed of some in the industry, some not, but they are an amazing group of people.
I got together with an actor friend a couple times over the weekend to help each other work on scenes for our upcoming auditions; mine for a film yesterday, his for a play today. And for the past two days, we've been exchanging break-a-leg texts like, "Here's to us both getting callbacks!!" Man, it feels good to have someone like that in your corner.
I've also been exchanging emails about the upcoming annual LA Family Thanksgiving Feast. Many of us are transplants and will be traveling home for the holidays to be with our biological families, but this group is so close, we plan a second holiday to overeat with our second family.
We may not have an adequate public transportation system, Botox may be an epidemic, and you