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Old 04-06-2016, 01:42 PM
 
145 posts, read 327,402 times
Reputation: 90

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Thanks again - keep the feedback coming!

So from the sounds of it, this map from LA.Curbed.com must not be accurate?



Source: The Cheapest and Most Expensive LA Rental Neighborhoods Right Now - Curbed LA


Again, we don't need to focus on specific neighborhoods at this point, because our move could be many months away (if at all), but the above map makes it seem like you can get an apartment in some desirable west side neighborhoods for $2500. Maybe the ones in that price range are dumps? The map is supposed to be "average" prices though.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:51 PM
 
145 posts, read 327,402 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
You are not going to afford Santa Monica on your budget and you are never going to visit from where you would be living. You might go once or twice the first year if you move here but you'll quickly see that the traffic isn't worth it. There are much nicer and quieter beaches in other areas that are easier to get to from east side and valley
Thanks. I'm fully aware that we won't be able to afford to live in SM. I was just using that as an example when I was describing our desire to check out areas where my might LIVE as well as PLAY (if we were to become future residents) while we were in town. I'm just looking for suggestions, as I'm not nearly as familiar with LA as you guys/gals are. I've been out there a few times over the years for quick trips, but I've barely scratched the surface.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:00 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,719,322 times
Reputation: 33234
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Hello all,

My wife and I will be coming out to LA at the end of this month. We get in just before lunchtime on a Wednesday and fly out Sunday morning, so we have 3.5 days to explore. We are looking to get a good feel for the city without doing too many “touristy” things. For now, I’ve reserved a room at the Elan Hotel in the Beverly Grove area, as this seemed like a good, central location to explore the city (open to suggestions however).


Some Background:
We currently live in Colorado and are thinking of possibly relocating to the LA area if/when my wife can find the right position. She currently works as a Digital Sales Manager and I think there are a lot of options for directions that she can take her career from here. She really wants to focus on her career at this point and she believes that the majority of her opportunities will be probably be in the NYC and LA areas. I telecommute for my employer, so I can move just about anywhere in the country (although my salary will stay the same).

If we were to move, we’d want to live in a nice area within a 30-minute commute of her office in the $2000-2500/month range for a 1-2 bedroom (not sure if $2000/month gets you very much in a decent neighborhood anymore?). Obviously we don’t know where she’ll be working at this point, so we could end up living in virtually any part of town.


Our Visit:
We’re really just looking to get a good feel for the city without doing too much touristy stuff. Driving/walking around different neighborhoods, getting out and exploring the city, eating at different places, etc. We’re not really into nightlife beyond dinner and maybe grabbing a drink in the evening in a cool/chill setting.

I’d love any advice to help us build a loose itinerary for our visit. Areas to drive/walk around, a beach recommendation (a good beach area to walk around, grab lunch, etc. - not looking to lay on the beach or anything), maybe a park or somewhere scenic with good views to walk around, etc. Again, we’re looking to get a good feel for the city and do some things that we might do on the weekends as locals if we were to move. We don’t mind a little grit, but we’d like to avoid bad areas.

Do we go as far East as Pasadena?
As far North as Burbank? Further North into the valley?
As far West as Malibu or Calabasas?
As far South as Manhattan or Hermosa Beach?

Any advice for cities/neighborhoods (including a good street to park and walk around various neighborhoods) or must-see recommendations while we’re in town are greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

You could go to Pasadena, Silverlake, and Los Feliz(areas you might be interested in) one day, do Burbank and the Valley the next, than Malibu and Santa Monica on the 3rd day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanms3030 View Post
You are not going to afford Santa Monica on your budget and you are never going to visit from where you would be living. You might go once or twice the first year if you move here but you'll quickly see that the traffic isn't worth it. There are much nicer and quieter beaches in other areas that are easier to get to from east side and valley
Come on Ryan.....LOL. I live in Eagle Rock/Pasadena area, I went to Santa Monica twice last year. Yes, traffic can be a hassle, but it's how you time it. And I moved here in 1988, so that's hardly my first year.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:09 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,999,748 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Hello all,

For now, I’ve reserved a room at the Elan Hotel in the Beverly Grove area, as this seemed like a good, central location to explore the city (open to suggestions however).


Our Visit:
We’re really just looking to get a good feel for the city without doing too much touristy stuff. Driving/walking around different neighborhoods, getting out and exploring the city, eating at different places, etc. We’re not really into nightlife beyond dinner and maybe grabbing a drink in the evening in a cool/chill setting.

Do we go as far East as Pasadena?
As far North as Burbank? Further North into the valley?
As far West as Malibu or Calabasas?
As far South as Manhattan or Hermosa Beach?

Any advice for cities/neighborhoods (including a good street to park and walk around various neighborhoods) or must-see recommendations while we’re in town are greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
Your time frame is limited but doable. (Just FYI -- I do not currently "live" in LA; used to reside there and still have lots of family in the area, so I visit regularly). I do have some experience with apartment hunting in LA and spending whole days checking out neighborhoods. My advice: Leave early; pack some water; wear comfortable shoes, and map out a few Starbucks on your route (for bathroom breaks and snacks!).

What are your ages? Do you prefer city life, or quieter suburbia? (helps to know this when recommending neighborhoods). Also, keep in mind that regardless of whatever neighborhood you fall in love with, you will want to live within reasonable commuting distance to wherever your wife will be working. Your price range should work in most areas (with the possible exception of downtown) for a 1 BRM.

Unless you just prefer the suburbs you mentioned (or your wife is working near those areas), there's no need to live outside the city.

And while downtown LA is very "happening," IMO, given your time constraints this visit, you should probably skip it. It's still gritty in spots; rents are really skyrocketing (even for LA) and it's not that scenic. There are a lot of clubs - but unless club-hopping is your goal, not really that much to do (unless there is a show or an event at one of the venues).

The area around the Grove where you are staying is popular with 20-30 somethings. The Mid-Wilshire/Hancock Park area -- has a lot of new complexes (and ongoing construction) but also some really cool "vintage" apartments if you are into that kind of thing. Your rent range should work in those areas. (assuming a 1 brm). You likely won't have much time for museum hopping, but you won't be far from the whole LACMA/Museum Row area. Not bad for "strolling;" lots of shops and restaurants. (Assume you know about the Farmers Market?).

The Los Feliz and Silverlake areas are popular for good reasons - very scenic; lots of shops and restaurants, and a good neighborhood vibe. There should be 1 BRMs in your price range. Check out Griffith Park if you have time. Home, Mess Hall, Little Dom's = good eateries.

Burbank is OK; in fact, a lot of young marrieds tend to migrate there. It has good shopping, restaurants and a cleaner, more suburban feel. You would probably get more bang for your buck there I think. Commonwealth is a cool new restaurant.

I'm hesitant to recommend Santa Monica. Not because it isn't awesome - it is. The air is lovely so close to the beach, and the Third Street Promenade and Montana Ave areas are fun for shopping and dining. It is very walkable, too -- which many people like. But it is among the least affordable areas in LA. Unless you get lucky, $2500 will only get you a very basic, entry-level one bedroom. It also is a very hard place to navigate to and from other parts of LA (everyone is going to or coming from the beach).

Beaches:

If your visit coincides with a weekend, expect crowds, traffic and hunts for parking at any LA beach. I would say visit Santa Monica Beach - at least for this trip. Beaches and bathrooms are well-maintained, and the paved path between Santa Monica/Venice is a fun walk (or bike ride - worth the rental!). There are a couple of Perry's Cafes along the path for a quick bite. There are a decent number of public parking lots along the PCH, but they do fill up on the weekends. Pier = really not worth bothering with. FYI - lots of homeless. They generally are polite and stay to themselves, but it can be jarring if you aren't used to it.

I also don't recommend hanging out at Venice Beach, btw, especially if you have limited time.

Malibu is just OK. Maybe I have been unlucky, but every time I have been there, the beaches were full of seaweed, and not that well maintained. It's also head-achey to get there via the PCH. For these reasons, I avoid it. Others may have a different view.

Manhattan Beach is a bit further from the city. The beach isn't any better than Santa Monica, and IMO - the view of the El Segundo power plant kind of ruins it. The town is cute and has a lot of very trendy/upscale shops and restaurants. If you are going to be that far out, Hermosa is a better beach. There is a path between the two, and like SM and Venice, you can rent a bike or walk. (I always stop for a Wahoo fish taco and a beer when I'm in that area).

If I ever move back there, I would head for the hills: Beachwood or Franklin Canyon areas (possibly affordable) or La Canada Flintridge (out of your price range, and a bit far, but lovely).

BTW -- the sites below are good sources for info about LA:

LA Weekly

LAist

Eastsider

Curbed LA

I hope this has been helpful. Good luck.

Last edited by Brookside; 04-06-2016 at 02:27 PM..
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:31 PM
 
145 posts, read 327,402 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
Your time frame is limited but doable. (Just FYI -- I do not currently "live" in LA; used to reside there and still have lots of family in the area, so I visit regularly). I do have some experience with apartment hunting in LA and spending whole days checking out neighborhoods. My advice: Leave early; pack some water; wear comfortable shoes, and map out a few Starbucks on your route (for bathroom breaks and snacks!).

What are your ages? Do you prefer city life, or quieter suburbia? (helps to know this when recommending neighborhoods). Also, keep in mind that regardless of whatever neighborhood you fall in love with, you will want to live within reasonable commuting distance to wherever your wife will be working. Your price range should work in most areas (with the possible exception of downtown) for a 1 BRM.

Unless you just prefer the suburbs you mentioned (or your wife is working near those areas), there's no need to live outside the city.

And while downtown LA is very "happening," IMO, given your time constraints this visit, you should probably skip it. It's still gritty in spots; rents are really skyrocketing (even for LA) and it's not that scenic. There are a lot of clubs - but unless club-hopping is your goal, not really that much to do (unless there is a show or an event at one of the venues).

The area around the Grove where you are staying is popular with 20-30 somethings. The Mid-Wilshire/Hancock Park area -- has a lot of new complexes (and ongoing construction) but also some really cool "vintage" apartments if you are into that kind of thing. Your rent range should work in those areas. (assuming a 1 brm). You likely won't have much time for museum hopping, but you won't be far from the whole LACMA/Museum Row area. Not bad for "strolling;" lots of shops and restaurants. (Assume you know about the Farmers Market?).

The Los Feliz and Silverlake areas are popular for good reasons - very scenic; lots of shops and restaurants, and a good neighborhood vibe. There should be 1 BRMs in your price range. Check out Griffith Park if you have time. Home, Mess Hall, Little Dom's = good eateries.

Burbank is OK; in fact, a lot of young marrieds tend to migrate there. It has good shopping, restaurants and a cleaner, more suburban feel. You would probably get more bang for your buck there I think. Commonwealth is a cool new restaurant.

I'm hesitant to recommend Santa Monica. Not because it isn't awesome - it is. The air is lovely so close to the beach, and the Third Street Promenade and Montana Ave areas are fun for shopping and dining. It is very walkable, too -- which many people like. But it is among the least affordable areas in LA. Unless you get lucky, $2500 will only get you a very basic, entry-level one bedroom. It also is a very hard place to navigate to and from other parts of LA (everyone is going to or coming from the beach).

Beaches:

If your visit coincides with a weekend, expect crowds, traffic and hunts for parking at any LA beach. I would say visit Santa Monica Beach - at least for this trip. Beaches and bathrooms are well-maintained, and the paved path between Santa Monica/Venice is a fun walk (or bike ride - worth the rental!). There are a couple of Perry's Cafes along the path for a quick bite. There are a decent number of public parking lots along the PCH, but they do fill up on the weekends. Pier = really not worth bothering with. FYI - lots of homeless. They generally are polite and stay to themselves, but it can be jarring if you aren't used to it.

I also don't recommend hanging out at Venice Beach, btw, especially if you have limited time.

Malibu is just OK. Maybe I have been unlucky, but every time I have been there, the beaches were full of seaweed, and not that well maintained. It's also head-achey to get there via the PCH. For these reasons, I avoid it. Others may have a different view.

Manhattan Beach is a bit further from the city. The beach isn't any better than Santa Monica, and IMO - the view of the El Segundo power plant kind of ruins it. The town is cute and has a lot of very trendy/upscale shops and restaurants. If you are going to be that far out, Hermosa is a better beach. There is a path between the two, and like SM and Venice, you can rent a bike or walk. (I always stop for a Wahoo fish taco and a beer when I'm in that area).

If I ever move back there, I would head for the hills: Beachwood or Franklin Canyon areas (possibly affordable) or La Canada Flintridge (out of your price range, and a bit far, but lovely).

BTW -- the sites below are good sources for info about LA:

LA Weekly

LAist

Eastsider

Curbed LA

I hope this has been helpful. Good luck.
Very helpful - thanks for taking the time to write all that up Brookside!
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:39 PM
 
4,090 posts, read 2,556,139 times
Reputation: 2621
I think the best way to enjoy Los Angeles is to just go there for the city and the cultures. Because the whole Hollywood living thing is just a fabricated world and most of the Hollywood types aren't even from here.

Come for the food, the local people, the architecture of downtown, checkout Hollywood and Koreatown. Save one day for the beach. Anywhere else, just stick to the areas with rail. It would give you more of an appreciation. Plus the west side is getting it's first rail in a long time so you can connect.


Overall, I find the west side more superficial, just go there for the beach.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:47 PM
 
4,517 posts, read 2,799,575 times
Reputation: 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
You could go to Pasadena, Silverlake, and Los Feliz(areas you might be interested in) one day, do Burbank and the Valley the next, than Malibu and Santa Monica on the 3rd day.



Come on Ryan.....LOL. I live in Eagle Rock/Pasadena area, I went to Santa Monica twice last year. Yes, traffic can be a hassle, but it's how you time it. And I moved here in 1988, so that's hardly my first year.
To each their own. I'd rather go to Oxnard, Point Mugu, Palos Verde or someplace else a little less crowded. Even Laguna is a better option but probably too much of a drive for OP
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:29 AM
 
4,090 posts, read 2,556,139 times
Reputation: 2621
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post
Thanks. I'm fully aware that we won't be able to afford to live in SM. I was just using that as an example when I was describing our desire to check out areas where my might LIVE as well as PLAY (if we were to become future residents) while we were in town. I'm just looking for suggestions, as I'm not nearly as familiar with LA as you guys/gals are. I've been out there a few times over the years for quick trips, but I've barely scratched the surface.
About the whole driving aspect, they are openning a new rail in Santa Monica. But it is expensive.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:15 AM
 
601 posts, read 554,917 times
Reputation: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicano3000X View Post
I think the best way to enjoy Los Angeles is to just go there for the city and the cultures. Because the whole Hollywood living thing is just a fabricated world and most of the Hollywood types aren't even from here.

Come for the food, the local people, the architecture of downtown, checkout Hollywood and Koreatown. Save one day for the beach. Anywhere else, just stick to the areas with rail. It would give you more of an appreciation. Plus the west side is getting it's first rail in a long time so you can connect.


Overall, I find the west side more superficial, just go there for the beach.
(mostly) Agreed.

Koreatown is a hidden gem (to tourists, that is) it's a fantastic part of LA. Truly walkable, great food, and gorgeous art-deco architecture.

Skip Hollywood, it's a tourist trap, offers very little IMHO - visit West Hollywood or Miracle Mile instead.


Also, the rail is NOT expensive - 7 dollars of a whole day pass will probably be your best bet for touring the city. (But fyi for a local's normal to-and-from use, generally the one-way fare of 1.75 will get you where you need to go, and 1.75 back, very inexpensive.)

If you're gonna go to the valley...Burbank is the only part worth a visit IMHO. If I were only in LA for 3 days, I'd skip it all together.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:11 AM
 
225 posts, read 117,916 times
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I'm an L.A. native and really don't consider the South Bay, Pasadena, Calabasas, or even Burbank to be "the city." If you really want to see the city, these are all fairly safe city neighborhoods (from west to east): Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Miracle Mile/Fairfax. I don't really go east of La Brea very often but if you have the time Hancock Park is nice, I never go to Los Feliz or Silverlake but I think they're supposed to be decent neighborhoods, and finally downtown which is very urban and supposedly has gotten a lot nicer in recent years. Also the Palisades is kind of out of the way but close to the beach so you may consider visiting there (it's near Santa Monica).
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