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Old 12-21-2009, 09:59 AM
5 posts, read 8,402 times
Reputation: 10



I am a single mom (33), daughter is 13 so starting HS next fall. I am a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) wanting to move to LA area. Daughter will likely stay home after school because of her age unless there is an after school program - YMCA, etc. My daughter is not too much into sports - she would only be interested in swimming, cheerleading and maybe Yoga if matters

I've seen a lot of posts asking for complete or more information so here it is

Originally from Northeast area but have lived in S. FL. - I'm looking for a "walking city/town" (similar to South Beach, in Florida, Boston or NYC if it helps). In other words a place where I don't have to drive more than 20 minutes to just walk around and enjoy the weather, the beach, shops, etc where places stay open PAST 5 pm. I love people, I love walking - just the feeling of activity/life overall. Where I live now there is not a soul around past 4 pm. unless I drive into Boston and although it's only about 25 miles it is actually over an hour in traffic & bad weather.

Taking the above into consideration, I have a few questions I hope you can help answer:

1. What would you recommend as a fair/good family area that is not too expensive (that is a walking city)? I only have my income (I think the pay rate for PTA is ~ $22-$27 an hour from my research and from what I am told & being a single mom I need to live somewhere that my daughter can be safe.

2. I do have a car but again I don't want to drive an hour to get to the beach or museums, fun places etc. I don't want to live in "the boonies or too suburbish" I'm OK with taking public transportation if it's like NY train system (Boston's system is not that great but it works I guess.) --

How is the public transportation system in LA.

3. Where are the jobs (which area has more PT clinics, hospitals, sports medicine)? I see lots of job postings in Craigslist.org all the time for PTAs in LA area and also temp agencies that specialize in travel PT but my understanding is that mileage and actual travel time is very different so I want to live close to where there are jobs available. (I prefer outpatient clinics if matters) Where I live now, there are lots of jobs in the Boston area 2-3 a week maybe more; however I live north of Boston and here are no jobs and I can't or don't want to commute over an hour - 20 minutes is enough for me. So I am looking to live/rent for a place that is closer to where the jobs are. If I get laid off or need to change jobs for any reason I can have a few places to possibly apply. I will be doing travel PT for 13 weeks when I do go to LA which is in about 2 months. But they are asking me which areas I prefer. So I am trying to narrow it down because I am planning to relocation to the area at the end of the 13 weeks so I need to find a place where I can stay long-term

4. I've seen lots of apts in Long Beach, but since they are not as expensive as other areas I am thinking it is not a great area?

(Although I say LA area I am looking to relocate using these parameters: At the farthest north being Santa Barbara, the farthest south being Oceanside and farthest west being Pasadena so within that vicinity - unless you guys can recommend different

5. Is there anything that I didn't ask that I should know about the area - places to avoid, things to consider, what rentals/landlords require, etc?

Thank you all sooooo much in advance for all your help and guidance.


Last edited by kay72196; 12-21-2009 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:55 AM
3,747 posts, read 7,109,575 times
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In this economy, rather than moving where the jobs are, I recommend you get hired first. Then you will know will your job is, because it doesn't really matter where the other jobs are (especially if there are people in them!) Is that something you can do in your field?

You might like Pasadena. Parts are walkable, but it isn't close to the beach. Some people are scared of the schools, but there are plenty of kids who go there and survive - thrive, even.

Public transportation is nothing like NY's. I've moved away, so I'll let someone else give the details on the current situation.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:43 PM
10,630 posts, read 22,651,844 times
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Jobs in general are really tough to get right now, but maybe your field is the exception. I agree that you should probably find the job first, then the place to live. That said, I agree that you might like Pasadena. Not all the PUSD schools are bad, and it's walkable, has decent public transportation (bus and Gold Line, which is light rail). There's a lot of clinics and offices clustered around the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena; that area is right by a Gold Line station, and would also be very close to South Pasadena (a separate city from Pasadena, with its own school system). That's very safe, great for families, your daughter could easily walk home from school (it's not that big), and the schools are good. Rents are often a bit more than in Pasadena, but there are still some relatively affordable places to be found. Traffic within the Pasadena area isn't too bad.

Burbank is another popular yet semi-affordable (it's all relative) option for people with kids. It's walkable, too.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:47 PM
5 posts, read 8,402 times
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I can get hired from here even with a perm position but don't want to be in a part of the city where it's the only spot available. I guess what I'm asking is maybe a "downtown or metro area/central location"? Where there are several clinics or hospitals. Ex.: If I'm asked where the jobs are here I would say Boston or south of not North of Boston so for me they are quite a ways out. The contract/perm placement agencies are asking me which area I would prefer - (what areas do I avoid) anything closer to the ocean that would fit some of the criteria in my OP? Or a website I could visit? Thanks again
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:16 PM
Location: Southern California
890 posts, read 2,402,625 times
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I suggest ask your placement agency which areas they have available for you.
Then you got some specifics to compare with since LA is fairly big and not many people "know" the place where there are lots of clinics.

I know there is a medical center in Torrance. Torrance Memorial Hospital is there, and a block or two worth of medical buildings. But I have little idea how many are PT related.

There are also mini medical complexes scattered around, I know of 2 of such places in Carson.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:36 PM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 16,963,124 times
Reputation: 1884
There is no job center here, so that's the problem. Jobs are spread out all over. Hospitals, clinics, sports therapy centers, health clubs, etc etc are spread out pretty much from Santa Barbara to San Diego and inland in the High Desert, Inland Empire, etc. Commute times are horrific, so even if you move to a major urban center like Long Beach, you still might have long commute.

Also, Cal State Long Beach has a very good physical therapy program and many of the jobs in the region will have competition from those in the program or graduates of the program.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:53 AM
5 posts, read 8,402 times
Reputation: 10
Burback & Torrance have come up and I forgot about the colleges so thanks for that tip!

One of the agencies found a perm placement in the Joshua Tree area w/ another PT starting w/in a wk or 2. This PT lives in Riverside. I know it's far from ocean but does anyone know the area? Is there much to do there or would I have to drive out for entertainment?

I will speak with the agencies just that most of them are out of other states and visiting the area and living there are 2 different impressions. The same applies for a city's website - it doesn't present the whole picture.

Thank you all for your responses - they are helpful! If you can think of anything else please post
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:28 AM
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 16,963,124 times
Reputation: 1884
I haven't been to Joshua Tree in a long time, but it's a desert area and pretty far out to boot. Commuting from Riverside to Joshua Tree is a long commute as well. There are things to do out there, but you're much more limited. Outdoors activities are going to be a main source of entertainment outside of the home, but Morongo Indian Casino is nearby and I'm sure the cities will have movie theaters and such.
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Old 12-26-2009, 10:02 AM
5 posts, read 8,402 times
Reputation: 10
Hey hope eveone has had a great holiday. Here's an update - So another rep from another agency suggested the following: Alahambra, Corona, Garden Oaks, Oxnard, Riverside, Monterey, Salina, Santa Cruz, San Jose - Can you guys help me narrow it down?
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Old 12-26-2009, 10:36 AM
672 posts, read 1,779,229 times
Reputation: 865
The "Joshua Tree area" probably means either Yucca Valley or Twentynine Palms, since the city of Joshua Tree itself is a tiny tiny place. Yucca Valley is just a small in the desert. Imagine any tidy but boring midwestern village, remove all the grass, add some cactus and Joshua trees and 105 degree heat, and you get Yucca Valley.

Twentynine Palms is a military town: bored marines, bars, fast food, tattoos. I like it, but, I can't imagine that it would be the best place for a single mom and her daughter.
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