Toward a Drunker Nation


The Times notes that, thanks to Uber and other ride-sharing apps (but mostly Uber), life in Los Angeles has been radically transformed.

These days, [Ryan O’Connell] uses Uber, the smartphone-enabled car service app, as much as three times a day, Mr. O’Connell said the other day, sitting with friends by the rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, a popular Uber destination. He takes it from his home in West Hollywood, Calif., to his job, as a writer for the MTV series “Awkward” in Hollywood, and out for drinks after work. His roommate and best friend has a car, and yet they rely on Uber to get around on weekends.

Why would someone with a car in a town like Los Angeles rely on Uber to get around on weekends?

“It became very clear to me that I could use Uber and have the kind of life I wanted,” he said. “I feel like I found a way to take the best parts of my New York lifestyle, and incorporate them in L.A.”

That makes sense. So, what are the best parts of that lifestyle?

Mr. Heitzler, 42, uses the ride-sharing app at least weekly, gladly leaving his car behind when he socializes. “In Los Angeles, you have the ubiquitous D.U.I. checkpoints everywhere,” he said. “If you’re going to go to a party, you either don’t drink or you Uber there and Uber back, and problem solved.”


At the Mandrake, a bar he co-owns near Culver City, customers may be more likely to order a third cocktail when they know they can be whisked home safely; he certainly is. At the end of the night, “I see people reach for the phone and call the Uber,” Mr. Heitzler said.


“I find myself going down there a lot and taking friends that are coming to visit, because there’s so much cool stuff to do,” said Lara Marie Schoenhals, 30, a writer and Mr. O’Connell’s roommate. On a recent night, she bounced from drinks at the Ace to dinner at a Roy Choi hot spot in nearby Koreatown then more drinks at a new bar in West Hollywood. “I can just, like, YOLO with Uber,” she said.


Photo by Adam Fagen