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Old 12-19-2011, 08:17 PM
 
29 posts, read 119,094 times
Reputation: 41

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Hi all,

I'm moving out to LA from Maine in April. For the first three months (more if need be), I'll be staying at a boarding hotel in Little Tokyo to save money while I work on photography projects, search for a job and finally, find an apartment. I have significant savings and I'm in no rush, so I look forward to exploring Little Tokyo, which from my research, looks like an awesome place for a new LA resident to get acquainted with the city.

I'm looking for a little feedback regarding the "safety" of this area. I understand that's a relative term. I spent several years living in Boston prior to this past year in Maine, so I'm very accustomed to urbanity and all that goes along with it. I know that Skid Row is to the south and East LA is to the north/east, but based on my research (scanning these boards, using Crime Mapping - Building Safer Communities!), Little Tokyo seems to be an alcove of safety compared to the previous-mentioned areas. I am only a little bit concerned because I often see people on these boards referring to downtown as an unsafe area. I do plan to explore the Arts District and Downtown quite a bit for my photography work, food and entertainment.

I'd love to hear any responses/advice anyone has. I am super psyched about the area. It's centrally located, with ample parking (I'll be bringing a car), close to several metro stops and adjacent to the Arts District/Downtown, which I'm very eager to get familiar with. The boarding hotel is spartan, but ideal for starting out in a new city. If things don't work out, it won't be any big thing to pack up, hop in my car and come right back to Maine where I have family and a place to stay.

Before anyone cautions me about the cost of living and job prospects, I just want to say I appreciate your concern, but it's not necessary as I've done my research and fully understand the situation. I'm leaving very little behind here in Maine and looking forward to taking a shot on the West Coast (been living in Boston or Maine for the past 10 years, getting tired of it). If I fall flat on my face, I'll more or less be right back where I started. It's a risk, but a calculated one I'm willing to take at this point in my life.

If it helps any, I'm a 27-year-old writer/photographer who has been working in journalism the past year. I'll likely be looking for work in a creative industry (production, photography assistant, free-lance or permanent journalism position, gallery assistant), but I'm not above brewing lates at Starbucks if it comes to that. I do have a few connections through friends that I'll be exploring as well.

Any comments on Little Tokyo/Arts District/Downtown living are appreciated. I'll be living around S. Hewitt St./E. 1st St.

Thanks so much. It's wonderful to pick locals' minds before making the move.

Brian
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,680,316 times
Reputation: 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_k View Post

I'm looking for a little feedback regarding the "safety" of this area. I understand that's a relative term. I spent several years living in Boston prior to this past year in Maine, so I'm very accustomed to urbanity and all that goes along with it. I know that Skid Row is to the south and East LA is to the north/east, but based on my research (scanning these boards, using Crime Mapping - Building Safer Communities!), Little Tokyo seems to be an alcove of safety compared to the previous-mentioned areas. I am only a little bit concerned because I often see people on these boards referring to downtown as an unsafe area. I do plan to explore the Arts District and Downtown quite a bit for my photography work, food and entertainment.
You'll be fine. And what you say about Little Tokyo is true (alcove of safety). Downtown is largely safe (expect for the Skid Row area).

You said you are 27 yrs old. Guy or girl?

You will be just a few blocks from Central & 1st which is large node of activity within Little Tokyo. Restaurants, bars, museums, light rail stop, etc. Safety comes in numbers so that specific area is quite safe.

You will be very close/next to the Gold Line (above ground light rail line) but as you said it's is only temporary so if the noise is bothersome it will only be temporary.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:54 PM
 
29 posts, read 119,094 times
Reputation: 41
Thanks for the quick response. I am a guy. I'm 6'2 190, so walking around at night I'm not too worried as I'm not exactly the ideal target for a mugging. Though I do realize if the mugger has a knife/gun it ain't gonna matter.

Train noise won't bug me. In Boston I lived close to above-ground rail lines and was fine. I enjoy the ambient noises of a city. In fact, I sort of miss them.

Brian
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:57 PM
 
4,262 posts, read 9,012,391 times
Reputation: 3262
It's fine. Much of downtown is very safe. Little Tokyo is one of those safe areas.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,680,316 times
Reputation: 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_k View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I am a guy. I'm 6'2 190, so walking around at night I'm not too worried as I'm not exactly the ideal target for a mugging. Though I do realize if the mugger has a knife/gun it ain't gonna matter.

I made my first statements with a gender neutrual view. Knowing you are a 20-something guy over 6 ft, by all means you've got NOTHING to worry about (other than normal precautions one would take in a big city).

Good luck with your move.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:46 AM
 
3,552 posts, read 5,710,500 times
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There was a time like 20 years ago when a 6 foot tall white guy would stick out like a sore thumb in Little Tokyo, but these days more and more non-Asian people live and work and hang out there so it's no big deal
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,539,455 times
Reputation: 3999
Where in Boston did you live? I am a CA to Boston back to Californian, so I'm just curious.

But to answer your question, you will be fine, especially with previous urban experience. Little Tokyo is really fun and seems to be one of the most liveable parts of DT. Hopefully you post links to your photography in the area, I am always interested in seeing new pictures!
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:53 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,821,255 times
Reputation: 10931
FYI:

Wurstk√ľche Home

A short distance from Little Tokyo.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:21 PM
 
2,914 posts, read 4,751,382 times
Reputation: 3670
I like the Far Bar too, but it seems a lot more active now than the little hideaway I remember. If you hit the Fashion District, on the (IIRC) north side of 12th around Wall, in the window of a tiny shop there are three of the absolute freakiest children's mannequins I have ever seen in my life. Lemme know if you find them. No doubt they've been photographed before, but my God they're insane.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:45 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,409 posts, read 11,544,103 times
Reputation: 2251
you will be fine. this area is pretty safe, just be mindful of how south you go on central. this is really a great area. it leaves you close enough to the rest of DTLA, but without the frenzied pace. i think you will really enjoy little tokyo and using it as your home base as you explore the rest of the city. p.s. dont be afraid to head over the bridge to boyle heights/east la. its not that dangerous really. cheers!
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