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Old 02-07-2007, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
35 posts, read 103,723 times
Reputation: 32
Smile Santa Monica to "Hollywood" Commute?

Hello all,

My husband and I will be moving to LA in June/July, so I can start working at Kaiser Permanente on Sunset and Vermont, right on the edge of Hollywood and LA. He'll most likely be working near LAX.

I have been doing A LOT of research online, and we visited LA recently and explored a bunch of neighborhoods (Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica, West LA, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Miracle Mile, Downtown, etc). I loved Santa Monica the most. I like the beach and all the funky little activities and restaurants around there. We're very adaptable - we're from Phoenix, but lived in the Michigan for 4 years while I was in med school, then Washington, D.C. for the last 3 years, and we loved it.

If we move to Santa Monica, is the commute to my job going to be absolute hell, or do you think it would be worth it? We'll probably only stay in LA for 2 or 3 years, then off to the next fun place, so I'd really like that SoCal experience for a few years.

Also - We'll be renting because we bought out here and want to hold on to our investment while we wait out the market. Goal rent $1800-2500, and we don't have any kids yet, but want 2 bedrooms, just in case.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
35 posts, read 103,723 times
Reputation: 32
Default Anyone?

Anyone? I just need to know what the commute is like from Santa Monica to Sunset and Vermont Ave(just east of the 110) during normal business hours, and if it's likely to be so bad that we should consider the other neighborhoods...I'd appreciate any help, because we haven't been able to "test-drive" it and really see.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:43 AM
 
Location: South Bay, California
1,700 posts, read 4,248,055 times
Reputation: 307
Default Plus, Plus, Plus!!!

First off, Commute time, stay off the 101 and 10 freeway as much as possible, these freeways are a major handicap, containing major traffic and much needed construction. I'm going to help you out tremendously, take the surface streets. The time you will save could be thirty to thirty five minutes. Your commute time will probably be 35 minutes, I'm not sure how long you can take surface streets, but I know it's quite far. You should have a Thomas Guide, a map of California streets in each neighborhood. Not everyone has the ability to take surface streets in California, because many people travel long distances to work. There are numerous main streets between Santa Monica and Hollywood. You are absolutely right, you will love Santa Monica, it's a tremendous city. The high school is very diverse and the city itself. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, the low in the winter is high 40's and the high in the summer is high 70's. The beaches are very nice in the area, ecspecially near Malibu. Your husband's commute time from Santa Monica to LAX will probably 20-25 minutes. He should take surface streets as well, it will save him tremendous time. The 405 freeway has about 2-3 years more of Construction of two additional lanes on each side. The freeway is very backed up where your husband is driving in West Los Angeles. I used to work outside of LAX, and there's not a lot of traffic on the North End streets of the airport. He should head to the Mexican taco trucks, these tacos are absolutely delicious, and much more authentic then almost all Mexican restaurants.

All the cities you mentioned are incredibly nice, and I believe you can afford all of them, possibly not Brentwood and Marina Del Rey, because these are extremely upscale and could be a little too expensive. The commute times are pretty much the same give or take 10 minutes, considering all of these cities are located within a 6-8 mile radius of one another. There are some very nice areas of the City of Los Angeles on the Westside. If you can pay the money you claimed, you will find a very nice peaceful area, close to the beach and all-year great weather. You will really enjoy Socal, because if you have money in Socal, your options increase tremendously!!! HOPE I COULD HELP FRIEND!!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
35 posts, read 103,723 times
Reputation: 32
Default Thank you!

Thanks for the encouraging and thoughtful response!

I've been thinking that Santa Monica Blvd will be the street I most likely use, but I'm hoping that there might be another, since I've heard that it's pretty busy and Sunset and Wilshire are also congested. I'm sure they're all probably better than the freeway. I am willing to commute up to 45 min probably. I live in DC, about 2 miles from my job, and often need 35+ min to get home due to city street congestion (but it's 6-20 min in the am, depending on how early I leave).

My husband was at a conference near LAX when we were there, and I took Pershing to Culver Blvd to Lincoln and got to Santa Monica in about 20 minutes. That's not bad. I also drove up Admiralty Way to Pacific, then up to Neilson - also 20 min and very scenic, but it was in the middle of the day.

And re: taco shops - Thanks for the suggestion. We fell in love with a few while we were there. I lived in Huntington Beach when I was very young, then Arizona for 14 years, and I really miss good, cheap Mexican food!

Anyway, I appreciate the help!

Last edited by goldeneyez; 02-08-2007 at 01:22 PM.. Reason: About the taco shops
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:11 PM
 
Location: South Bay, California
1,700 posts, read 4,248,055 times
Reputation: 307
I'm happy to help Friend!!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:27 PM
 
31 posts, read 247,342 times
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Hm. Santa Monica to Hollywood, Sunset and Vermont. That's not really far enough to be hideous on a regular basis, whether you take the freeway or surface streets. Compared to what some people out here commute.... without the option of surface streets. Sometimes the freeway will be a one-hour commute, but sometimes it will be the surface streets (especially if the freeways are a mess). From Santa Monica, I would think of taking Olympic to Vermont and head straight up (north). You'll go through a microcosm of LA on the way... the West Side, Beverly Hills, Beverlywood, Mid-City, Koreatown, which actually has a large Latino population.

Depends what time you start work. If you're starting at 8:30, you're going to want to leave Santa Monica by about 7:30 to be sure you get there on time, comfortably and without rushing. If you were going take the freeway, I'd take the 10 - you'll start hitting traffic at La Brea, but you'll be getting off four exits after that. If you work at 6:30... I'm not so sure. We live on the West Side, and my wife leaves at 5:45 to be downtown. It won't be worth taking the 10 to the 101 (Hollywood Freeway), because that takes you through downtown, which is usually the worst.

Eventually, you'll learn what works for you, in terms of which freeways or surface streets. What the heck, if you're only going to be here for three years, you can try it and see what you think. Either you get inured to it eventually, or you leave!
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:27 PM
 
733 posts, read 2,301,293 times
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Olympic can be kind of slow through Koreatown. Third is an option. I also don't take freeways in urban L.A. unless I have to. I'd rather have a signal-filled surface-street drive that's predictable in time to a possible freeway nightmare.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:19 AM
 
Location: Earth
11,738 posts, read 12,300,844 times
Reputation: 3921
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldeneyez View Post
Hello all,

My husband and I will be moving to LA in June/July, so I can start working at Kaiser Permanente on Sunset and Vermont, right on the edge of Hollywood and LA. He'll most likely be working near LAX.

I have been doing A LOT of research online, and we visited LA recently and explored a bunch of neighborhoods (Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica, West LA, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Miracle Mile, Downtown, etc). I loved Santa Monica the most. I like the beach and all the funky little activities and restaurants around there. We're very adaptable - we're from Phoenix, but lived in the Michigan for 4 years while I was in med school, then Washington, D.C. for the last 3 years, and we loved it.

If we move to Santa Monica, is the commute to my job going to be absolute hell, or do you think it would be worth it? We'll probably only stay in LA for 2 or 3 years, then off to the next fun place, so I'd really like that SoCal experience for a few years.

Also - We'll be renting because we bought out here and want to hold on to our investment while we wait out the market. Goal rent $1800-2500, and we don't have any kids yet, but want 2 bedrooms, just in case.

Thoughts?
The commute will be quite hellish from Santa Monica to East Hollywood.
(Santa Monica has a justified reputation for horrible traffic within its borders - it's taken me as long to get across Santa Monica on Fri. as it did to go from West LA to Hollywood)
However, if you can afford Santa Monica, you can afford Los Feliz, which would be incredibly convenient to where you're working. There's a similar atmosphere to Santa Monica (except for the lack of a beach) - the Vermont/Franklin area is quite comparable to Santa Monica's Main Street area. Plenty of funky little activities and restaurants.
I'd look into Silver Lake as well, also quite convenient for you.
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Old 02-10-2007, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Los Feliz
1,749 posts, read 5,669,683 times
Reputation: 706
I just want to add to the above post (which was excellent traffic advice) that if you like restaurants, shops, restaurants, etc, Santa Monica or Westwood are your spots.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
35 posts, read 103,723 times
Reputation: 32
Default (Sigh)

Thank you, everyone!

Well, to respond to the most recent posts first...Thank you for recommending Los Feliz and Silver Lake, but it's just too far from the LAX/El Segundo area, thus making my husband's commute awful. I have heard great things about both areas, but I'm going to have to live west of the hospital.

My husband was in LA for a business trip on Friday and took a "test-drive" from Kaiser to Santa Monica. He decided to try Sunset Blvd because he'd seen how bad Santa Monica Blvd was the day before. He left at 4:45 pm and said it took 50 minutes (including delays from 2 accidents). Now, Sunset probably wouldn't have been my first choice, but he said it was mostly residential once he got past the strip, and it wasn't awful, just long. Hmmmm...I can see the potential for that to become an hour or more.

If you draw a line between East Hollywood and LAX, or try to find an area that would split the commute, we also came up with Miracle Mile. (I wasn't too thrilled with the parts of Culver City I saw on our trip.) He thought Miracle Mile was "right in the middle of everything" and saw some huge, older apartments, but commented that it was also congested and run down in many parts.

He liked Brentwood, Santa Monica, and West LA the best of the places he visited for us. I'm just going to have to figure out how important living near the beach is. (And yes, everywhere is closer to the beach than D.C., but you know what I mean.)

Sorry for the rambling. I'm just glad we have a few more months to figure this out.

Final question: is West LA (the neighborhood) popular strictly for its lower rents and proximity to other areas, or is there anything to do there?
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