I’ve lived in and around Pico/Robertson since coming to L.A. March 30, 1994.
I love it here but not for the intellectual excitement. I usually have to drive outside of the community to find that.
Most people, Jews or goyim, once they’ve practiced something for a long time stop thinking about it (except to improve and deepen their practice be it golf or Judaism). People who get into habits don’t like to question their habits. Who has the time and the energy?
There’s a lot of propaganda in Jewish life that Judaism is all about asking questions. Baloney! As Judaism (or almost anything I know) is practiced, only safe questions are kosher. Any question that challenges fundamental beliefs (such as Biblical criticism, archaeology, etc) are not welcome in orthodoxy, any orthodoxy. “Orthodox” means “correct belief.” Go to a Republican or a Democrat meeting and you won’t find people eager to rethink their fundamental beliefs.
Orthodox Judaism in Pico/Robertson is primarily a way of life. People have to work so hard to pay their mortgages and put their children through Jewish day school that they rarely time and energy left to engage in intellectual questions (and I don’t regard apologetics as particularly intellectual).
Once you belong to an Orthodox community, it quickly tends to become the overwhelming social reality in your life. It starts to affect all of your behavior and you have to be a real weirdo not to conform.
Luckily for my readers, I’m a real weirdo and some of them say I make Los Angeles Jewish life more lively.