NYC v LA Round 11: Cleanliness

If you want to read what this series of posts is all about, go here.


So I thought I’d do a pros and cons for each of the cities (NYC and LA) based on 15 categories of my choosing – i.e the kind of things that are important to me about a place that I chose to live. For example, since I don’t have any children, so you won’t see “education” on the list, but I do love to eat sandwiches, so “food” will definitely be on the list.

Keep in mind these are MY pros and cons…pros and cons that I have come to after living in LA for five years (2000 – 2005) and then living in New York for five years (2005 – 2010).  This is intended to be a fun (and funny) list, and is not to be taken seriously, but I hope some of you, especially those of you who have lived in both places (or experienced them) will enjoy it. Come back tomorrow for Round 12.


New York is incredibly clean for such a large city and I’m constantly impressed with the efforts I see to keep it clean.

The trash situation is not great however.  In most of LA (in my experience at least) there are garbage and recycling cans, and trash can be taken to these at anytime during the week…in NYC there are no garbage cans that get put out on the street (not that I’ve seen at least) and in my personal experience (though I know there are places where this is not true) I have to put my trash on the sidewalk in front of my building on very strict deadlines (after a certain time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights for trash and recycling)…this means that the trash inside my house is driven to a degree by that schedule which can be frustrating.  Worse however is the fact that sometimes the trash doesn’t get picked up…for whatever reason…weather, holidays, strikes, etc.  But that doesn’t mean people stop putting it out…and that gets gross…really fast.

Additionally, while the street sweepers in LA were bothersome because of parking…it did seem like they actually somewhat cleaned the street.  In NYC it seems more like they, as boss likes to say “just spread the trash juice around”.  I have to agree.  I’m sure they do something…or the city would have moved on already…but from my perspective it’s hard to tell what the street cleaners are actually cleaning.

The thing that really loses this for NYC however, is that I never once stepped in dog shit in LA.  Now maybe that was partly because my feet rarely touched the ground (moving from automobile to destination in the span of six steps or less) but whatever the reason, if I never have to step in dog shit again (or walk on an entire street that smells like dog shit) I will be happy.  This can happen in LA.  Advantage:  LA