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Old 03-06-2009, 11:38 AM
 
3 posts, read 7,989 times
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Hello! I've been a long time lurker, but this is my first time posting to these forums. I hope someone can help me.

I've decided to move to Los Angeles. I'm 24 years old, and I feel like my life has started to stagnate while living in Maryland. Sure I could move anywhere in the country and probably shake things up a bit, but I've always loved the feel of LA and loved that there is always something interesting to do. Luckily, my company has an office in San Pedro and will be able to support a relocation for me in early May.

So while I do have a job in the city, I am having difficulty finding a nice area to live. The real issue is that I have many good friends (and a serious girlfriend) living in the Hollywood/Koreatown area, and I'll probably want to be there every evening if possible.

So here are my requirements for a place to live:
- Nicer area where my property won't be vandalized or stolen on a weekly basis
- max $1350/month rent for myself, would consider finding a roommate
- max $280/month in transportation costs (fuel and/or metro pass)
- max 1.5hr in car or metro per day, would prefer to metro if not significantly longer (San Pedro for work daily, Hollywood for friends almost daily)
- Want to live near a LOT of interesting stuff. I'm into tech/nerdy things, art, music, and good food. :P

Is this possible, and could anyone recommend a good area? So far I'm considering living near San Pedro and simply commuting to Hollywood after 7PM when the traffic is lighter. Are there better options that would get me living closer to Hollywood but without suffering massive traffic headaches?

Thanks in advance!

Matt
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:01 PM
 
Location: West LA
2,318 posts, read 6,840,201 times
Reputation: 1090
Torrance is the first thing that comes to mind. It's one of the most affordable areas in the South Bay while also being safe and fairly clean. It's not a terribly exciting city, but it is very close to a lot of fun places. To get to work you would take the 405 S to the 110 S, which should be pretty easy. To get to Hollywood you could either take the Metro Blue line to the Red Line (subway), or you can take surface streets up. If you aren't too familiar with LA, Torrance is an independent city in the "South Bay", which also includes fantastic beach cities in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes. All these would be just a few minutes away on the weekends. If you are less interested in the beach vibe and want a more urban vibe, Torrance may not work for you.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:33 PM
 
2,870 posts, read 4,457,982 times
Reputation: 3554
For that housing price I think you can find an apartment at Long Beach Towers right on Shoreline these days. You'd have a non-freeway commute up Ocean to get to San Pedro and you're right next to the Blue Line station. For non-car travel I think it takes about 45 minutes to get to downtown LA then just minutes on the Red Line, so factoring in the wait you can commute pretty neatly around 1.5 hours, I think.

The apartment would be smack downtown in Long Beach on the water, very California Living (or "Cali" or whatever), but kind of second-rate Santa Monica. Long Beach is cool, though. Downtown LB isn't alt/funky in that way you probably want it to be but it's an alternative worth checking out until you get your bearings.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,091 posts, read 18,417,215 times
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while it certainly will be no picnic, you could live up closer to the city and commute to san pedro. this would be a reverse commute as most traffic will be headed north to downtown. i also think that there are express busses that run in the carpool lanes on the 110 freeway from downtown to san pedro if transit is your preference. the main problem with the 2 locations that you mentioned is that the areas immediately in between the two are some of the most crime infested neighborhoods in the whole country. if you head west, there are some in between areas near the coast, but then you're dealing with the 405. trust me, you don't want to deal with the 405 everyday.

if i were you, i would just shack up with your girlfriend. you could take the red line subway downtown and hop on the express bus to work everyday. it won't be a short commute, but atleast you'll save yourself some money on rent.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,184,784 times
Reputation: 5311
This is the problem with LA-- some of the most convenient areas of the city, commute wise are also some of the most dangerous. I live by USC but go to the South Bay all the time, as I have a bunch of friends down there, so I'm pretty familar with the 110. The stretch of the 110 freeway as it goes through downtown from the 10 to the 101 is the most backed up, horrible "freeway" in all of LA. In the evening, even as late as 7:00 it will move LITERALLY at around 2-3 mph. The 110 freeway from a few miles south of downtown to the 10 is usually backed up at most times of the day or night (but not quite as bad as in downtown itself), in either direction. The 110 freeway from about MLK/Vernon/Slauson or so southwards normally moves okay (by LA standards) in both directions. From a mile or two north of the 110/105 junction to where the 110/405 meet, it's normally smooth sailing. The 110/405 area normally backs up again. It just be okay from south of that point. Just thinking strictly transportation wise, your ideal spot would be living close to the 110 freeway a mile or so south of USC. The problem is this puts you in the heart of South-Central LA, so that's not really an option.

Getting to and from Hollywood in the evenings is a disaster transportation wise. Vermont Ave & Western are both extremely backed up. Every north-south street in central LA is horrible. These are some of the worst surface streets I have ever seen in my life. I've learned to completely avoid K-Town and Hollywood altogether.

I think your best option would be to see there's a way for you to live downtown-- or heck-- maybe just live in Hollywood itself, but right near the Metro station-- and take public transportation both to work in San Pedro (is there an express bus that goes that way?) and to Hollywood (via the subway). Attempting to "split the difference" and drive both ways is simply going to be a living hell.

Last edited by vegaspilgrim; 03-06-2009 at 01:17 PM.. Reason: added suggestion-- maybe just live in Hollywood and take rail to downtown and then bus to S.P.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:53 PM
 
2,870 posts, read 4,457,982 times
Reputation: 3554
Yeah, I just checked the schedule and the last Blue Line train southbound to LB is 11:45PM. The hours of operation really tick me off. That doesn't leave you much time in the city with the girlfriend, but it's still a do-able thing. Your daily commute to work if you lived in LB would be enviable, though, still... And why can't she and your friends come down and visit you once in a while?
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,184,784 times
Reputation: 5311
Let's also not forget that the Blue line has to stop through some of the worst parts of LA-- including Compton & Watts. I'd be scared to get on that train late at night.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Burbank
1,204 posts, read 3,909,331 times
Reputation: 430
Maybe live downtown??
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Burbank
1,204 posts, read 3,909,331 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Let's also not forget that the Blue line has to stop through some of the worst parts of LA-- including Compton & Watts. I'd be scared to get on that train late at night.
It's not that bad.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,989 times
Reputation: 11
I did some more research, and I don't think living in Long Beach is the way to solve this problem.

It seems that between getting to the Blue Line, taking the Blue Line to Union Station, transferring and waiting for the Red Line, and finally taking the Red to Hollywood/Western (near the girlfriend), the commute is likely going to be close to 1.5hr each way.

What if I simply lived in the El Segundo/Redondo Beach area (for example, Pacific Concourse Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045), or maybe even Alhambra? Would I still get pounded with traffic?

Also, what will rent (and commute) be like living in a decent place in downtown LA? Is there even anything interesting to do in that part of town?

Last edited by stinem; 03-06-2009 at 04:25 PM.. Reason: fixed hyperlink mess
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