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Randy Newman's 'I Love LA' Kind Of Rings True. People Enjoy Living Here, Says Poll

Downtown Los Angeles skyline
A view of downtown Los Angeles.
(Dillon Shook
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When Los Angeles City Librarian John Szabo arrived in Los Angeles from Atlanta, he received a call from the late Tom LaBonge, who offered to chauffer the new Angeleno around Council District 4.

Except, they never made it to the former councilmember's district.

"He was showing me all other parts of L.A.," Szabo said. "And that's kind of an example of understanding that there are so many different dimensions and corners of Los Angeles to experience."

A new poll from UC Berkeley and the L.A. Times agrees. It finds many Angelenos describe the city as a nice place, if not one of the best places, to live. (That gives Los Angeles more to brag about besides a fresh Super Bowl victory.) Szabo is one of the people who loves living here.

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Szabo, says L.A. is unlike any other city he's visited. He describes it as a city that "constantly reveals itself to you."

"I think it is not a place where you can land in L.A. and spend a weekend and get a sense of what the place is about what it means what the neighborhoods are, like, what the city is really like," he said. "I think there are places like that, and that's wonderful. But I think L.A. is just so multi-dimensional, so diverse, in all senses of the word that it takes time."

Szabo has been living in L.A. for 10 years, but even he doesn't feel like he can wrap his arms entirely around what the city is. That's what makes it exciting for him. He says that means there's constantly something to discover.

One of the first things on his to-do list as the new city librarian almost 10 years ago was visiting all 73 libraries in L.A., which is where he learned how people live within the city.

"There's always a place, the geography a corner of L.A. that you've not seen. There's a restaurant or a neighborhood that you haven't seen, and you'll be amazed by it," Szabo said.

Szabo recommends learning about the city through Tessa, the digital portal with thousands of L.A. images, neighborhoods and streets throughout the years. Viewers can see what Watts was like in the 1970s or Highland Park in the 1980s.

He suggests visitors and long-term residents go out and explore a new part of the city. He says there's "something wonderful in every corner of L.A."

What questions do you have about Southern California?