The Definitive LA Admissions Exam


We live in the era of Big Data, so it’s time to ask the question “How LA Are You?” with an eye towards the facts, and that means hard analytics. So here it is: a definitive examination of your California content.

The Carpetbagger implores you not to be scared of failure. The great thing about California is that it’s a land of immigrants – all of us. It’s a place where people have been following one gold rush after the next since 1849. The Conestoga Wagons may have given way to automobiles and jetliners, but the kindness of trail hospitality is still mostly here. So if you aren’t satisfied with your results, the Carpetbagger encourages you to revisit this quiz next year to gauge your progress towards being a true Angelino.

2 pointers – The Summer Droughts


You fist pump when the weather forecast calls for rain (2 pts)

You’ve been to France more times than San Bernardino (2 pts)

You wear black shoes with everything (2 pts)

You bought a Dodgers hat just because it says “LA” (2 pts)

You have rented a surfboard (2 pts)

3 pointers – The Rolling Blackouts


You drink your vegetables at least once a week (3 pts)

You think that “business casual” means jeans and a shirt with a button OR a collar (3 pts)

You are unaware that there are taxis in LA, since neither Uber nor Lyft provides them (3 pts)

You think that “hiking” is an activity that involves yoga pants, Prada shades, and an iced latte (3 pts)

You think that weddings are tie-optional for men (3 pts)

You have cleared LAX security without speaking any English (3 pts)

You complain about the heat when it’s over 77 and the cold when it’s under 70 (3 pts)

You think that dating someone in the South Bay is a long distance relationship (3 pts)

5 pointers – The Malibu Wildfires


You frown at people who order chicken tacos (5 pts)

You think that rush hour traffic is the best time to call your mom (5 pts)

You haven’t read a book in years but you read five scripts this week (5 pts)

You aren’t fazed by Earthquakes but tornados scare the living shit out of you (5 pts)

You spend more money on cabs than you do on beer (5 pts)

You don’t understand the purpose of flour tortillas (5 pts)

You know how to get anywhere in the city without using the 405 (5 pts)

You convince yourself that this is useful (5 pts)

You have been to Reseda, but only because of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” (5 pts)

You can negotiate with your car mechanic in Spanish, Korean, or Armenian (5 pts)

You think that it’s normal to live in a global city of 15 million people and root for the San Diego Chargers (5 pts)

You have met the love of your life, then deleted his/her phone number because he/she lives in Silverlake (10 pts)

10 pointers – “The Big One(s)”


You live in a neighborhood with more Whole Foods than Starbucks (10 pts)

You have an aunt in Orange County who you only see on Christmas and Easter (10 pts)

You avoid the beach because of the traffic (10 pts)

You’ve gotten a new job, looked at your commute, and said, “Fuck it, I have to move” (10 pts)


LESS THAN 50 pts…

You are… A TOURIST! You think a chicken burrito is real Mexican food and wouldn’t know al pastor if it fell on your head. You probably Instagrammed your trip to Hollywood and Highland and rented a bike on the Santa Monica pier. Enjoy your Pink’s hotdog on the long haul to Disneyland, because the real Californians are headed to Vegas for the long weekend.

51-70 Points

You are… A CARPETBAGGER. You’re not from LA but you’ve lived here long enough to get the vibe. More importantly, you’re no longer embarrassing yourself in front of the real Californians. You know better than to suggest Starbucks (Coffee Bean, obvi) and are attuned to what the “in” non-dairy creamer is this season (almond milk, duh). You may not like these things but it’s the price you pay to live in the sunshine and tell girls in your hometown that you’re from LA now.

71-90 Points

You are… THE REAL THING. You grew up here – well, in the suburbs – and your parents forbid you from driving in the city.  Even though you went to college at SC or UCLA with tons of people from out of state, you still hang out with all your friends from high school. On your 16th birthday you got an Acura and on for your 25th, you leased an Audi. Welcome to LA, it’s your town.

91 + Points

You are… BEYOND HOPE. You’ve lived in the sunshine so long that you’ve forgotten what real problems are like. When you see starving people in Africa, you think kale chips are the answer. When you have dinner with your family, people use words like “mellow” and dress like they’re 25 years younger than they are. On rare days when the sunlight dims, you warmly remember when this city was cleaner and quieter; when people were friendlier, traffic was smoother, and there were still oranges in Orange County.

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