Need advice on different areas of LA (Los Angeles, Santa Monica: appointed, transplants)
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I am thinking of finally making this year the year I leave the east coast and relocate to LA for at least a year around the beginning of November [while continuing to maintain a one bedroom apt in Northern VA) because it's the stuff of my childhood dreams. I've visited a few times, usually staying near Bev Hills or West Hollywood or Venice Beach, and I liked it but you know what they say, visiting or living are two separate deals.
[As a sidenote there are three other places I have considered - Las Vegas, New York City, and New Orleans.]
I'm a 36 year old female who wants to break into various aspects of the entertainment business. The areas I'm curious about are West Hollywood, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and downtown Los Angeles or the area near the Beverly Center, not sure what that is called.
Out of all of these, I am most intrigued by downtown Los Angeles. I see all these cute loft style apartments. Where I live now I'm on the eighteenth floor and I have a fabulous view plus I'm used to having shops and restaurants within close proximity, you don't even need a car; however, I do enjoy cruising around and driving and I am used to long commutes or sitting in heavy traffic for at least an hour at a time.
I'd like to be in an area that is or is near the center of action. While I like beaches, I don't necessarily want to in Venice or Santa Monica, that just makes me too damn lazy lol
An area that has more of a city vibe or feel is what I would prefer. I can afford up to $2200 - preferably less, possibly more - a month, would prefer apt over house, high rise over motel looking rentals, I suppose mid rise is acceptable. As for work, it' s not an issue right now, I saved up a nice amount for this.
[Also, if you bring your car here, do you need it reinspected?] Thank you, everyone.
the vibe you want is possible in downtown. its possible in hollywood. it is possible in pasadena. and even in the mid-wilshire/korea town area. all these areas have pluses and minuses.
pasadena offers the suburban lifestyle, but also has the old town area that provides shops, restaurants, bars, dancing, entertainment and all that city excitement. the big drawback is that the highest up you will get is 10 stories maybe. and really its a bit insulated. you dont have that great of a mix of people. a lot of times it will be regional locals hanging out. and on top of that it becomes a dreadful party town after UCLA games. but it is nice, a lil more "posh" than other places.
hollywood has more and more developments offering high rise living(not that high), with decent views. its close to the entertainment industry, which means its filled with industry fakes who a lot of times are only looking to impress each other. it can feel really really plastic. and it can require a lot more money than other places in the city. especially if you want to party like the hollywood elites. its ok, but i dont even like to party in hollywood. and i still get the dirty, street kid vibe from hollywood. too many loonies to feel safe. and seriously the party scene can get out of control. ask a hollywood cop bout that...
mid wilshire/korea town offes high rise living in new developments as well. it has a thriving night scene with many 24 hour eateries. safety is a concern as well. some parts are nice and then all of a sudden its sketchy. staying towards the north, or closer to wilshire will be ok.
downtown might have everything you are looking for. enough new buildings. enough rehabbed buildings. high rises. enough nightlife. not so many 24 hour places to eat. but it is still being developed and populated, and as more time passes more and more people experience the greatness that is downtown. some parts are really sketchy, closer to skid row, some parts are really nice. i prefer downtown to most other areas. its still a humble place, but thats changing. the only other down side is that some apts or lofts are fillled with USC kids. they tend to stick to certain areas and bars, but it has not matured like other more established parts of the city.
silver lake or echo are more mixed commerce/res areas. most buildings dont get higher than 5 stories but you can get awesome views of downtown. not super close, but still awe inspiring. SL and EP are a bit more eclectic. the more hippie/hipster areas, but also lots of families. some parts are a bit dangerous tho. but this area has undergone quite a bit of gentrification and its not what it used to be. the really bad areas of LA are mostly in south central now.
los feliz is similar to SL and EP in that the homes are just a s charming and old, but more well kept. it does not feel as urban and it is a bit pricier than these other two areas. the houses are nicer in general and it is more family oriented. a bit more yuppie. or grown up hippie.
You are so setting yourself up to be disappointed. The only people who think DLA is the place to live are transplants and the developers PR firms. For what you are looking for, tall buildings with safe shopping within walking distance you wantthe Miracle Mile/Fairfax District. Park LaBrea immediately sprang to mind reading our post. Please have a car. To work in the entertainment industry successfully, you'll need it. Park LaBrea/Miracle Mile is also pretty mid-distant to the major studios.
I'd like to be in an area that is or is near the center of action.
As a young single female interested in the entertainment industry, I would suggest West Hollywood, Hollywood, or the Miracle Mile/Fairfax District. These areas are all adjacent to each other and offer the kind of urban energy, vibe and amenities you seek. Everything you need from grocers, hi end shopping, bargain shopping, bars, clubs, gyms, and anything else that suits your fancy--you will find. This is also most definitely the "center of action" for aspiring, young Hollywood folk. If you want to be among those sipping their lattes al fresco at one of the numerous cafes/bakeries with all of the beautiful and not so beautiful people (natives and transplants alike), these areas will fit the bill.
You might particularly like Park LaBrea which is near The Grove and has hi rise buildings with great views. http://www.parklabrea.com/
Downtown is great and is getting better with the addition of many new apartments, lofts and condos. It doesn't have the 24/7 feel to it yet but it is getting there as more new restaurants, bars, and cafes are opening. Downtown is definitely for people who are professional urban hipster types who aren't afraid of a little grit. There are a lot of students, including grad school students from USC, who live downtown which gives living there some edge and buzz. LA Live, a new entertainment district being built near Staples Center, will likely become a major destination and will add a new and more glitzy dimension to the downtown scene.
BTW, I am a native Angeleno who happens to love downtown.
In Los Feliz you have a walkable urban village and can walk to plenty of the things you need including groceries. You'll spot celebs...most popular spots for that are Different Light bookstore and Palermo. It's a fun, hip place to live. I love it here. It's close to the train and close to everything else.
Beachwood Canyon is a popular part of Hollywood. At the mouth along Franklin is Franklin village with restaurants, a sensational coffee house and a market. It's close to everything too. It's one of those spots, like Los Feliz that welcomes you no matter where you are in your climb up the ladder. This is a celeb magnet as the Scientology Celebrity Centre is across Franklin and many celebs live in Beachwood Canyon. It's a well-kept secret with GORGEOUS, reasonable apartments along Beachwood.
The area around the Beverly Center is called Beverly Grove. The eastern part of it near Fairfax would fulfill your shopping requirements. It's more expensive than the last two areas but the whole area is friendly and very walkable. If you're near Fairfax and 3rd, you'll also have The Grove and Farmer's Market. You might really like the Fairfax District. Some parts of BG give wonderful access to 3rd Street, Melrose and Beverly which are all hip, hot places to hang out. It's very central to lots of L.A.
Downtown is old and very young at the same time. It sat neglected and mostly dead for decades. Bunker Hill sprang towers in the late 80's/early 90's but that was about it. For some reason I still don't understand, Angelenos who really don't know Downtown at all heap loads of hate onto it. I ask them "what's the last show you saw at the Ahmanson?" or "Did you catch ------- Opera at Disney Concert Hall?" or "What do you think of the macaroni at Clifton's?" or "Don't you think the Beau Arts interior of the Los Angeles Theatre is a real mind-blower?" or "How soon do you think they'll kick off "Bring Back Broadway. Have you ever ridden a streecar? (and they have no idea why I'd ask that)" or "Isn't the bar at the Bonaventure getting more crowded with suits every day after work?" or "Wasn't the sound deafening at the last film festival at the Ahmanson?" I could go on and on. Southwest part is called South Park and is very clean with mostly new construction. It's as spotless as Bunker Hill. You've got L.A. Live and the Nokia Theatre (top concerts and mostly entertainment events) as well as Staples Center (top concerts and sports events) and the Convention Center for tons of things going on. There are plenty of rentals and they are building more by the day. A Ralph's was just opened there and new businesses spring up almost weekly. North of there is Bunker Hill where the towers are. It's a business district as well as where the Ahmanson and Disney Concert Hall are as well as Supierior Court where most of the high profile cases are tried. That chunk is called Civic Center which is the subway stop you exit when seeing something at the Ahmanson or Disney Concert Hall. There you'll find theatre, opera, film festivals...the list goes on. Go east to Broadway and things change, it becomes a gritty outdoor swap meet with sensational hidden treasures like the Los Angeles theatre which periodically, along with the Orpheum, holds red carpet events, music and theatre. Quite a few of the old buildings have been converted to lofts. You either love it or hate it there. It's not walking distance to groceries unless you're in Little Tokyo which is cute but also very close to Skid Row. Every kind of discount you can imagine can be had Downtown and it's NOT, as many claim on this board...all the same. It's split into distinct parts with their own personalities. I could go on as Downtown has many hidden treasures and most Angelenos don't know about them or know Downtown for that matter because they haven't explored it. I didn't mean to make this so long but only myself and 2 other posters will tell you these things.
Sorcerer, that was an incredibly, incredibly, incredibly helpful post. Holy crap. Do you believe in synchronicity? I was lying down about to take a nap and before I fell asleep I said, "Universe, HELP! Give me some direction."
And now I'm here. THANKS!!!!
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