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Driving at night

Sydney, Australia
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Driving at night

Hi all,

I don't want to sound completely dumb but are there any places one shouldn't drive near in LA at night?

I have horrible car jacking visions occuring from getting lost in gang neighbourhoods. Is this just movie brainwashing madness or are there some no go zones?!?!?

Also, what does the average valet at a good restuarant cost?

tks

Santa Monica...
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for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
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29,344 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: Driving at night

Valet parking is about $5.00 (anywhere from $3.50 on up). $4.50 is the norm these days. Santa Monica restaurants, though, can be $7.00 (and be sure to get validated!).

Stay on major streets when driving at night and you'll be fine. Don't wander away from where the shops and restaurants are (this is true only of Venice and some parts of Downtown LA)

Newbury Park...
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3,359 posts
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2. Re: Driving at night

I have lived in So Cal almost 20 years now, went to SC, lived off campus and have driven extensively throughout the years in the evenings. Have never had a problem or felt uncomfortable.

With that being said though, I have always driven areas I know or have mapped out ahead of time. You don't want to drive freeways, exit anywhere and start driving around unknown neighborhoods, you don't want to drive flashy cars, don't start honking at other cars or cutting them off, you want to use common sense, etc...

Almost anywhere that you will be visiting while here, you will be perfectly safe at. Just be aware of your surrounding and know where you are going.

El Segundo, CA
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380 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Driving at night

You should be fine. I drive at night many times, and never had any issues either. And we've never been carjacked, even though one night I accidentally left my keys outside the door. My car was still there the next morning-too exhausted that previous evening. I agree with juxie to map out your directions or get directions first before heading to where you want to go.

Anaheim, CA
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189 posts
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4. Re: Driving at night

The idea that you'll get car-jacked while driving through the city, or get shot if you take a wrong turn is a myth perpetuated by the media and movies. True, there are definitely some high-crime neighborhoods in L.A. But you'll probably never go near them, or else you'll drive on the freeways above them. And even if you do happen to drive through them at night, you'll be on a main street. Nothing to worry about at all.

The rough, avoid-at-all costs, neighborhoods may be a bit more applicable for other Eastern and Midwestern cities. I know there were certain neighborhoods in Philadelphia, where I went to college, that you didn't feel safe driving through, even in daytime. But even there, you are in no immediate danger of getting car-jacked or shot if you're just driving by.

Pasadena, CA
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853 posts
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5. Re: Driving at night

I agree with the responses here. I was born and lived in LA all my life, and I never had any problems. A lot of the myths come from media which can exaggerate, movies and tv. I even got lost in a sketcy neighborhood before at night and came out just fine.

Sydney, Australia
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22 posts
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6. Re: Driving at night

Thanks folks! One last question - what does "get validated " mean re valet? Is it something to do with ticket stamping? Sorry for sounding like an infant. Here is Syd we don't have valet unless it's a shopping centre. :)

Hermosa Beach...
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363 posts
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7. Re: Driving at night

Typically, a restaurant or store in a shopping mall will offer free or discounted parking for customers (i.e., you actually buy something from them). Sometimes the discount is towards self-parking garages (where you find a parking spot on your own and park and lock you car) and sometimes it can be for valet parking (where you hand over your car to someone who parks your car and keeps your keys).

Typically, the store or restaurant stamps the ticket you receive from the parking lot gate or from the valet. It can either be done for you by your server, the clerk or cashier, or the restaurant's hostess on your way out.

Even if you recieve free valet parking, it's customary to give the valet a tip for bringing you your car. People usually tip $1.00 to $5.00.

New York
2 posts
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8. Re: Driving at night

I have a question! Do you tip both the guy who parks the car for you and the guy who gets the car afterwards or just one of them? How much?

Newbury Park...
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43 reviews
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9. Re: Driving at night

Just the guy who brings you the car. Anywhere from $1 to $5 depending on the place.