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Old 04-23-2018, 02:50 PM
7 posts, read 5,939 times
Reputation: 10


Hey all,

I'm graduating from college on the East Coast this spring and then moving to Los Angeles in the fall as I've accepted a job offer there.

Anyway, I recently went apartment/location scouting and out of the buildings that I toured I found two that I really liked, one is in Santa Monica, and the other is in Marina del Rey. Both buildings are within my budget. I don't have a strong preference, I'd be happy living in either and I liked both neighborhoods from what I saw.

The office where I'll be working is in Westwood and I'm curious about the commute to Westwood from both Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, what would it look like during morning rush hour? I start around 9-9:30 AM but get off work much later than most, so I'm not so worried about the drive back. I'm going to LA again this fall to "test commute" to work from both locations before I sign a lease, but I want to have a general idea of what I'd be getting into on a regular basis as my test commute may not be representative.

I'd also love some feedback from locals on the pros/cons of both Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, to give you an idea of what I'd value, here's a brief profile:

I'm a 22 year-old male, straight and I've lived on the East Coast my entire life. Overall I'm a pretty conventional guy, in terms of style I'm preppy, I'm an Econ major, and my main extracurriculars are the College Republicans (FWIW, I'm particularly fond of the President... I'm much more of a Mitt Romney-style Republican) and D1 Lacrosse. In my spare time I enjoy following NHL hockey, exercising, and reading. I've never been a huge party guy, but I enjoy going out occasionally on weekends, and when I do, I definitely prefer bars over night clubs.

So I'm looking for a neighborhood popular with similar demographics: Young professionals in their early-mid 20s who are just starting their career. Neighborhood walkability is a plus, as I enjoy early-evening runs.

Finally, I have a few Santa Monica-related questions: I noticed A LOT of homeless people when I was in Santa Monica a few weeks ago, as in way, way more than when I was there just three years ago. Is that something that affects people's daily lives? Or is it more of a nuisance? Also, what is Santa Monica doing to combat the homeless problem? Is there any reason to believe that they will be successful?

Last edited by EastToWest9457; 04-23-2018 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:21 PM
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,532,036 times
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In your position SM is the obvious choice. Marina Del Rey is noticeably quieter and is further from Westwood. I've lived in both and would take SM over MDR every day of the week. The one benefit of MDR is that units are generally larger and better appointed for the same price.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:22 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, that was basically my impression too, SM is a better neighborhood but the apartments in MDR are generally a bit nicer. What would you say a typical morning commute (during rush hour) from both places to Westwood might look like?
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:35 PM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
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I live in Santa Monica. It’s going to depend where you would live in SM. The southern part of SM is not going to be a whole lot different than the western part of MDR (near the beach.) You’d basically just be north of Venice and Main St. in SM instead of south of that same area MDR. Living in north SM (north of I10) is going to be more convenient for commuting to Westwood. I think the southern part of SM (closer to Venice) is going to have a younger vibe if that matters to you. The bulk of the apartment density is in the northern part of SM FWIW.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:48 PM
Location: SoCal
3,877 posts, read 2,812,251 times
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I live in SaMo as well, I think if you're looking for a more walkable experience I would go with SaMo, I have no reason to actually drive here I'm appreciating that option with LA traffic.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:51 PM
Location: SoCal
3,877 posts, read 2,812,251 times
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I forgot, Welcome to LA!! Remember it's a truly beautiful place, and i'm happy you're making the move, and good luck as well!!
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:41 AM
Location: Los Angeles
1,363 posts, read 874,218 times
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I'm from CT, FFLD county born and raised (similar background as you, prep private schools, etc) and when I moved out here, I too looked at Santa Monica and MDR. Ultimately, I went with MDR. It is quieter, but it is VERY easy access to Venice and Santa Monica--especially if you are a runner (which I assume, you don't mind walking and exploring--as I do.) MDR is it's own bubble and feels a bit more like the East Coast you are most likely used to. I too work in Westwood....depending on where you live in either neighborhood, the commute could actually be fairly similar (I say fairly.)

If you looked at any of the complexes that are on Lincoln and Maxella, in MDR, you are very walkable to everything you want. Additionally, if you looked at any closer to the Marina proper, there IS a Marina Shuttle that takes you to Santa Monica, that is free for residents.

Lastly--the homeless problem is SaMo is much more noticeable than it is in, say, NYC. I've lived here almost two years and have definitely noticed it's gotten worse (in most places) than it was when I first moved. Don't even think about using the Santa Monica Library (if you even do use a library!)

Good luck and congrats on the job!
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:15 PM
1,362 posts, read 1,110,818 times
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Yes, lots of homeless in Santa Monica. And the library restroom is Homeless Central.

Palisades Park has a night time curfew. I think it's because so many homeless sleep there. And on the Promenade.

Several times, decade or so ago, I counted the homeless on the Promenade's three blocks at around 6 a.m. Always over 40, under 50. So an average of about 45 homeless sleeping on the Promenade every night. But that was a decade ago.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:42 PM
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Santa Monica for sure. Close to the 3rd St Promenade, maybe the neighborhood a bit north of it (streets like California, Washington, Idaho, Montana). Perfect for your description. Lots of east coast transplants. Preppy types. Young professional wealth. Definitely an ex-frat boy vibe. Plenty of laid back bars (no nightclubs) and fine dining. Extremely walkable.
Yes, the homeless problem has gotten worse, but the area is more affluent than ever too. It's still very safe, the homeless issue is more nuisance. Property crime is up a bit but it's almost exclusively opportunistic (don't do something stupid like leave your car with a laptop in view).
The commute will be a little frustrating in the morning. You'll make it to about Barrington (75-80% of the way) in 10 minutes or less, then you'll be stuck in an unbearable crawl until you get past the 405 freeway. The most frustrating few blocks you can imagine. That alone might make your commute 25-30 minutes when it should really be no more than 15.
The way home will always be easy (15 min, give or take) because you're going against traffic.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:12 AM
7 posts, read 5,939 times
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Thanks everyone, really appreciate everyone's input!

On a different note, since city-data puts pretty strict time limits on editing, I noticed a small oversight that I realize is pretty problematic. I wrote: "I'm particularly fond of the President...I'm much more of a Mitt Romney-style Republican". As the second part of the sentence indicates, of course I meant to write, that I'm NOT particularly fond of the President. That is, I'm NOT a MAGA guy in any way (not that I would expect to find much of that in LA anyway), politically, I'm a polite, low-tax/low-spending "white-collar Republican" kind of guy, I just put that in because I don't want to end up in a neighborhood where I'll be bothered for holding the "wrong" opinions.

Last edited by EastToWest9457; 05-02-2018 at 12:33 AM..
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