It made a change to go somewhere that we didn't fall in love with and want to live. Most of the other places we've been in recent years (Cornwall, west coast of Scotland, New Forest, San Francisco, even Madeira) have looked like great places to live and we've started to look at property prices and job opportunities with vague ideas of how plausible it would be to move there. That didn't happen with Los Angeles.
I was glad I went and I enjoyed my time there, but for once I didn't wish I lived there rather than London.
My abiding impression of LA is of roads, lots of big roads. As a non-driver a place that is so reliant having a car was always going to have its work cut out to win me over, but I thought it would have something more to it. There didn't seem to be a real heart to the place, rather lots of districts with their own character, connected by big roads.
Hollywood Boulevard reached surreal levels of tackiness, but there wasn't really much there unless you wanted your photograph taken with a Marilyn look-abit-alike or one of the three spidermen.
Sunset Strip with its infamous bars was a bit grittier (lots of hair and tattoos), but it didn't live up to its mythical status. Any last thoughts about River Phoenix's death being a rock n roll way to go were dispelled by the reality of the Viper Rooms being a dive at the side of a big road (if the drugs hadn't finished him off then the traffic probably would have).
I attempted to recreate "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" by walking around the downtown area looking at the disused and unloved theatres. The older parts of downtown had some beautiful buildings, but they were disgracefully neglected and now home to assorted shops selling assorted tat. The newer parts were impressive, I quite liked the Blade Runner skyline and the Walt Disney Concert Hall is stunning. But there wasn't really much there (plenty of roads though).
I still want to move to San Francisco though.