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Living In America: 25 Things We All Choose To Ignore

Living in America is great for countless reasons. For one, we have the world capital of the entertainment industry at our disposal, meaning that we can pursue our dreams of becoming an A-list icon if we choose to. Then there’s our food; nowhere else in the world can we find a melting pot of so many eclectic cuisines. Lastly, there’s our technological advancements; we were the first introduced to the Internet, the iPhone, and we’re the reason why social media exists.

Nevertheless, any great thing has its setbacks as well. If you live here, then you know the same applies. For every great city we have, there’s an incredible amount of traffic due to rush hour or simply because so many people live there. Las Vegas is great to go watch Britney Spears in concert, Criss Angel perform live, or a Cirque du Soleil performance, but the amount of belligerent tourists crowding the strip quickly lessens the experience. Then there are coveted destinations like New York City, which draws in visitors through Broadway and the national landmarks it preserves, but the chilly weather soon takes a toll on those from sunny hometowns. And these are just a few of the flaws our otherwise great country has that we often overlook.

Want to know some of the major ones?

25 HOLLYWOOD BLVD NEEDS CLEANING

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For starters, Hollywood Blvd is very overrated. It attracts tourists through the Walk of Fame, and while it’s cool to take a picture in front of your favorite celebrity’s star, the rest of Hollywood’s shortcomings soon come to surface. Parking is difficult to find, the Hollywood Mall quickly proves to be nothing more than Designer Brand Shops and big chain restaurants. But, the one downfall Hollywood Blvd suffers from that has somehow gone unaddressed for years is its cleanliness—which is downright nonexistent. From empty soda cans, cigarettes, and all other sorts of litter filling the streets, the glamour of being in the entertainment capital of the world soon turns into you wanting to buy a mop and gloves to give this hotspot a much needed fixer-upper.

24 IF WE DON’T HAVE TO WALK, WE WON’T

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There’s a reason why Uber and Lyft exist. There’s also a reason why the public transit stops at every street corner when in reality it could have less stops: we don’t like to walk. It’s another of those sad realities (more embarrassing, than anything). We drive to the grocery store, even if it’s two blocks down from our apartment. We’ll take an Uber or Lyft to a friend’s place, even if they live a ten-minute walk away. As if we need to add insult to injury, we take advantage of the wheelchairs available for rental at amusement parks, depriving those who actually need them to get around.

23 OUR BEACHES ARE OVERHYPED

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People who’ve never been to California think ,”Cali Sunshine, Cali beaches, Cali rocks!” But let’s be one hundred percent honest: The beaches here are decent at best. Santa Monica Pier is always flooded with people, visitors and locals alike, summer means that the beaches are hard to settle into, with row after row of friends and families stationed for the day, and the Venice Boardwalk, while hosting interesting vendors, is also jam-packed. But if you’re an early bird, you might just get to the beach in time to secure a sandy spot.

22 WE ARE OBSESSED WITH CELEBRITIES

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This one applies most to people living in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but everyone has at least one celebrity they would give anything to take a picture with. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes, we get a little carried away with a celebrity sighting. This is primarily because we forget that they too are people who just want to enjoy a nice meal out with their friends and family, and don’t always feel like stopping mid-meal to take a snapshot with an overly excited fan.

21 WE TAKE SELFIES IN RANDOM PLACES

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We are all guilty of doing this. The selfie wave is something that goes hand-in-hand with owning a smartphone or another mobile device and we pridefully occupy our photo gallery with pictures of our lovely faces. But sometimes, we take pictures that make no sense, usually because they are just random. We’ll take a selfie as we’re about to go to bed; we’ll take a selfie as we’re waiting for a stoplight to change, we’ll take a selfie when our phone’s battery is below ten percent! Then we look back at these pictures a week later and wonder “Why?”

20 DISNEYLAND IS OVERPRICED

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There’s no dispute that Disneyland is a fun-filled day regardless of whether you’re a kid visiting for the first time or a full-grown adult. From the Disney Princesses and other characters walking around ready to take pictures with fans, Fantasy Land’s numerous rides inspired by classic Disney films, and the delicious treats available at every corner of the theme park, Disneyland always makes for a magical experience. Unfortunately, magic doesn’t take care of the steep ticket prices to get into the park, which just recently went up to $149 for the day! And that doesn’t even include entry into California Adventure.

19 WE NEED OUR PHONES TO GET ANYWHERE

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We won’t admit it, but it’s a sad reality: we can’t get anywhere without our phones. If we need to meet up with someone, we immediately request an Uber or Lyft through our phone rather than doing the five to ten minute walk to get to our destination. If we need lunch or dinner ideas, we resort to Yelp instead of taking a stroll down the block. We heavily rely on WAZE and Siri to get just about anywhere. In short, we rely on our phones from day-in to day-out. Sure, every country probably has this same problem, but according to infoplease.com, the U.S. is the third country in the world that has the highest phone usage, which is topped by India, and in first China, but the number of inhabitants in these two countries is drastically higher.

18 BLACK FRIDAY IS A WASTE OF TIME

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After getting our seconds and thirds of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie at the dinner table, we set our alarms and settle into bed until our next big event: Black Friday. Some of us choose to bypass a good night’s rest and instead go straight to Best Buy to wait in line until midnight just to get that big screen TV or gaming console for half the price. But when you take into account the push and shove and long checkout lines that come with these bargains, it’s just not worth it—and we know this. Nevertheless, the tradition stands strong with each passing year.

17 WE NEED WORKING TRAFFIC LIGHTS

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This one is completely out of our control to change, but we still have to live through its everyday effect: we need working stop lights. Those of us living in big cities (specifically Los Angeles) know the notoriousness of stop lights staying red for up to five minutes at a time, and when we finally get the green light in form of the little gray man caricature, he’s there for fifteen seconds at most before the countdown for the next red light begins. Unless we’re developing Superman-like speed in the near future, something needs to be done about these stop lights ASAP!

16 OUR FOOD IS NOT THE BEST

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Whether it’s fast food or dining at TGI Fridays, Applebee’s, or even a meal from the Whole Foods hot-bar, our country falls extremely short in the quality of our food. A simple trip to Europe can validate this as everything from the produce, restaurant food, to even a slice of bread tastes much fresher. And it’s not just how it tastes, how you feel after consumption also reflects just how processed the majority of our food is. A meal in England will give you the energy to walk from Big Ben to Westminster Abbey, while a meal from Jack in The Box will make the drive back home feel like running the LA marathon.

15 WE DON’T BUY BOOKS ANYMORE

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There was a time when going to the library on a school field trip, ordering a book through Scholastic, or simply binge-reading through the first four Harry Potter installments was the cool thing to do—not anymore. Blame it on social media, blame it on technological innovations like Kindle and E-books, blame our disinterest towards making the trip to Barnes and Noble to search through our favorite genre aisle for our next reading material, but we no longer appreciate owning a physical copy of an author’s work. The proof is in book companies closing down, Barnes and Noble resorting to selling Blu-Rays, toys, and other merchandise aside from books to stay in business, and simply looking at people walking down the street, whose hands are occupied with texting the day away or perfecting a selfie.

14 OUR CLUBS ARE JUST DECENT

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For folks that like to party as much as we do, our clubs and bars are just ok. Sure, at first they seem ritzy enough, with Hollywood socialites and uptown party-goers strutting their swankiest outfits while nursing their Vodka Cranberry, Margarita, or whatever other fruity cocktail they're drinking the night away with. But once a second and third round of these drinks takes effect, glam turns into sad and belligerent results, making the fanciest of venues in West Hollywood and the Midwest seem like the aftermath of a house party.

13 WE OVERDO IT WITH POKEMON GO

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In 2016, Niantic, The Pokemon Company, partnered with Apple and Google to bring Pokemon Go to all mobile device. This gaming phenomenon has remained strong for almost three years, with new IPhone and Android holders downloading the free app the moment they first turn on their phone. The game draws players into a virtual reality world where they can catch Pokemon, collect all sorts of prizes, and battle virtual reality trainers; the most enthralling is that most of these Pokemon are found in real-life locations such as our bedrooms, front yards, and even workspaces. The downside is that since these Pokemon hide just about anywhere, players will lose touch with reality, ignoring their surroundings, bumping into people, and sometimes causing car accidents.

12 NEITHER ARE OUR CHOCOLATES

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We do have good chocolate bars that satisfy our sweet tooth in a minute; Hershey’s, M&M’s, Kit-Kat’s, Snickers, Reese’s and so many more that we’ve been indulging in since our childhood. But let’s be honest, when compared to European brands such as Ritter Sport, Cadbury, Merci, Godiva, and Lindt, we fall short once again. The silkiness and fineness of these chocolates can’t be rivaled; there’s a reason why we pay extra charges at the airport so we can bring back bars of these in bulk. Luckily, we have plenty of these bars exported and available at any Vons or Ralphs countrywide.

11  OUR PUBLIC TRANSIT NEEDS WORK

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Anyone that’s been on an LA bus knows it's not the most glamorous experience. They’re cramped, they kind of smell, and good luck finding a clean seat (if you’re lucky enough to find one at all). Perhaps the biggest setback to The Metro transit system is that despite its online posted schedule, buses tend to run either too early, too late, and sometimes they miss their scheduled stops all together. On the other side, the subway system, though equally cluttered, operates on a punctual schedule that will get you to your destination in half the time—and on time!

10 DODGERS SEASON MAKES OUR LIVES HARDER

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Angelenos love, love, love their Dodgers games. Come every April, they have their season passes in hand and they rally up their entire families to head to the Dodgers stadium. What these fans don’t take into account is just how taxing Dodger's season ends up being on Echo Park locals. Traffic hold-ups just to get anywhere in the area, cop cars surrounding the stadium because spectators get too into the game sometimes and fights break out against the opposing team’s fans—and this goes on for half the year. Dodgers games are great, but we all have lives to live and other places to get to.

9 WE IGNORE OUR HIDDEN GEMS

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When people think about traveling to popular cities in the U.S., they immediately think of Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., or Las Vegas. While these places are all exciting for first-time visitors due to their casinos, National landmarks, diverse cuisines, and in the case of the city of Angels, Hollywood, a lot of other, worthwhile gems simply go unnoticed. In East LA, El Mercadito on Lorena Street hosts multiple Mexican food stands and vendors of other Mexican souvenirs, and you can have a delicious meal while listening to Mariachis on the third floor of the complex. Portland’s food scene is probably the best out of the whole country, and New York is filled with culture once you step out of The Big Apple.

8 WE DON’T NEED SO MANY COFFEE SHOPS

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Let’s face it,  half of us can’t even imagine starting our day without a good cup of Joe. But the vast majority of consumers don’t settle for drip coffee—they need presentation. They need a triple shot, double pump, Soy Caramel Macchiato—lite on the whip. And it’s because of these Java-fiends that many major cities are crowded with a Starbucks, Coffee Bean, and Peet’s Coffee on every block. While this spares us the wrath of caffeine-deprived people, it's also disheartening when family-owned coffee shops meet their end to be replaced by bigger chains.

7  GOING TO WHOLE FOODS IS A BIG DEAL

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Whole Foods is one of those places we just love to say we shop at. Whether it’s for our weekly organic produce runs, stocking up on vitamins and supplements, ordering a fancy- looking sandwich platter for a party, or simply grabbing a quick lunch from the hot food bar, going to Whole Foods redefines grocery shopping in major cities here. For some of us, it’s even the ideal hangout spot to meet up with our partner or bestie during our lunch break. Ironically, we also have a tendency to complain about its high prices.

6 WE LOVE SUNDAY, FUNDAY

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For many us, the weekend is the silver lining to a hectic week at the office. We’ll text our bar buddies, dress up for the occasion, and make sure we have our phones fully charged so we can Uber or Lyft back home after three-too-many drinks. That noted, barflys put special emphasis into “Sunday, Funday”, an all-day bar crawl that starts over Mimosas at a popular brunch spot and is supposed to extend to late in the day, but most people barely make it to sunset before they have to go home and recuperate from the combined partying from Saturday night and this morning event.

5 WE JAYWALK—OFTEN

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We do this one a lot, and sometimes just because we’re unwilling to walk a few extra steps to a crosswalk. We do it on the way to work, on the way to the store, on our way to a date, on the way to grab coffee, sometimes, we do it in front of cop cars! The most unnerving is people who take their time jaywalking, as if breaking the law and endangering one’s safety isn’t already bad enough, they have to hold up traffic while they’re at it.

4  WE TEXT AND DRIVE

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We’re notorious for this one. Despite it being the law that we can’t text and drive, we do it anyway, whether or not there are cops around. We are also rather shameless about it, doing it at anytime, anywhere, during the peak of rush hour, and then have the nerve to get upset when people honk at us for holding up traffic or missing stop lights, because whatever message we’re sending our besties or significant other is really more important than other drivers and pedestrians safety, right? Tsk, tsk.

3 WE’LL MAKE any reason TO PARTY

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We like to party and have no qualms in showing it. No holiday or milestone birthday goes without a pit stop to our favorite club or bar and when there’s no valid reason to celebrate—we will make one. A friend visiting from out of town—drinks! If someone got a new job or promotion—drinks! Your best friend just got engaged—dinner followed by drinks! Your best friend just broke up with their fiancé...drinks? See a pattern yet?

2 WE SECRETLY all want to be famous

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Whether we studied law, medicine, business, or some other subject outside the performing arts, most of us have probably had the itch at one point or another to be in front of the camera. If you’re an accountant, you’ve likely considered working as a financial advisor for a major studio; every acting teacher comes from an acting background (some of them even book auditions in between classes) and casting agents have probably been on set at least once. And then there are YouTube stars, who have turned the online streaming platform into a second Hollywood.

1 WE WANT DAYLIGHT SAVINGS GONE FOREVER

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Once we get past the initial excitement over the extra hour of sleep, the complaints about this time change start. “It gets dark too early; we can’t be out late anymore", and for Californians, “We have to leave the beach early!” and “It’s so cold out! (not that the time change affects the weather in any way).” The funny thing is, this change shouldn’t make a significant impact on our lives if we could only adjust our schedules accordingly. If only!

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