I think every city has it’s good and bad. I went to grad school in Texas where I saw both good and bad. Having come from India and looking different had beer cans thrown at me while walking on the streets. Then again had good folks from school who gave me rides when they saw me walk towards school. Had a host family who really made me feel at home. I have been in Bay Area for the past 30 years or so — a software guy who started companies both successful and failures. I am a morning person and go to the gym around 5:00 AM in the morning. There I see a lot of folks who are not into software, not wealthy, barely making a living and come to Worlds or Golds Gym since it’s affordable and we all get along very well. We don’t talk about $20M or $200M, help each other spotting heavyweights or talk about our families.
The reason I am mentioning all this is that even though Bay Area has a lot of techies, there are still a lot of folks who are not techies and is very diverse. I lived in Noe Valley for quite a while and used to go down to Castro with my 2 young girls and was very comfortable. Castro district is a Gay neighbor hood with different life styles yet, not all techies. Now I live in Woodside where there are both very wealthy and not so wealthy folks (unlike Atherton) who grew up in this neighbor hood and we all get along very well. I am sure you will find a similar situation in LA/Hollywood area, different backgrounds and wealth.
A the end of the day, it’s who you interact/mix with, get along with and not necessarily the city you live in that makes the difference. I have both techies and non-techie friends. Bay area is just as diverse as LA area with different cultures, race and wealth. My wife is Taiwanese and we have Indian, Taiwanese and friends from a bunch of different nationalities.
I hope you find people with different backgrounds and cultures in LA area that you get along with. IMO it’s the people you mingle/interact with that make the difference and not necessarily the city or your work/employment. I used to work a lot of endless hours away from my family and friends, too engrossed in my work, but now I realize that I am having more fun with my family and friends rather than being a techie and talking about software all the time.
Make a lot of friends you get along with and have fun. Don’t get too engrossed in just software :-)