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Old 08-10-2009, 04:47 PM
 
49 posts, read 177,297 times
Reputation: 24

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Hi all,

I wanted to do a comparative between the three neighborhoods, as I have come to the conclusion that living fairly close to the beach/ocean is an important amenity for both myself and my family. I had some general questions/opinions, and was hoping to get some feedback.

Schools:

Having a new baby and planning on having a few more, schools are becoming increasingly more important. And while I would love to be able to have the option to send all my kids to the best private school, $25,000 per year in tuition is a hefty sum. At this point, I am thinking at least if I am in the district that has top notch (> 900 API scores) public elementary/middle schools, then if need be I can deal with private high schools for 4 years. On that front, it would appear that Manhattan Beach's public schools are ranked very high. Santa Monica (residents north of Montana) seems to have a pretty good selection of publics as well. Palisades, on the other hand, scares me a little. For such an affluent area, it seems the public schools aren't nearly as good as SM or MB. In the times when I am around that area in the afternoon when school lets out, it seems the students from the high school are being bussed in from other areas? Let's just say they don't look like they are residents of the area......

Homes:

Manhattan Beach, the newer homes within a 5 min walk of the beach are obviously the priciest, and it seems like they are all small-lots, densely packed and built vertically. As you move a little east, you get more traditional homes with yards, etc. Would living in the area near the Strand (not necessarily ON the Strand, but within 5-7 blocks inland) be conducive for a family with young children? SM (north of Montana) and PP seem to provide more in the way of traditional homes.

Area Amenities:

MB seems like a true beach town, just much more upscale and pricey than, say, Hermosa or Redondo. I honestly don't spend time there much (last time I was there was 2 years ago), but from what I remember, it def maintains that beachy vibe, everyone is tanned and good looking, etc. That being said, my one concern on MB vs. SM/PP is that once you move east of Sepulveda, you sorta get that "industrial" vibe (warehouse buildings, train tracks, etc). Whereas SM or PP, even as you go west, you are moving through Brentwood, West LA, Westwood, Bel Air, BH.....basically it's all commercial and residential, with a great selection of restaurants, etc. It would seem that MB has LESS selection, and you would need to drive a ways to get those types of amenities.

Right now, we live in West LA (near Olympic, a few blocks west of Sawtelle). Neighborhood vibe, smaller older homes, but close to EVERYTHING. Best Buy is a 10 minute walk, Starbucks, Coffee Bean, a nice Ralph's, soon-to-be Trader Joe's, Century City (my office) is a 5 minute drive, close to the 10 and the 405, I really couldn't ask for more in terms of central location.....but I would never buy a home there because the houses are on the small side and the public elementary in my area is crap. So as long as my kids aren't of age to go to school, it works for us.

So ultimately, being so used to being in that area (and also spending loads of time in SM and PP), I'm wondering if Manhattan Beach would feel "too far" away from the action of the west side.

Any comments or opinions are much appreciated!
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:02 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,530,558 times
Reputation: 3402
i used to commute from playa del rey to century city and it was 30-45 minutes depending on traffic. from manhattan beach, you're probably looking at 45-60 minutes on most days each way. however, it is a real nice area and has most of the ammenities offered on the westside, just less of it from my experiences. however, if schools are your #1 priority, manhattan beach would be the obvious choice. i think with the right environment at home though, your kids could do just as well academically anywhere, including SM or PP. I don't have kids, but if I did, i'd probably go with SM so they would grow up with a bit more diversity through the high school level. as far as homeowners, all the communities you mentioned are very white, but I used to live near SM high and saw a pretty diverse student population.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,866 posts, read 87,274,042 times
Reputation: 45430
and I feel just the opposite, with kids, considering schools and everything else I think I would go PP, then Manhattan Beach and finally Santa Monica. All three have things to offer, but I would certainly concentrate on the first two for family life. If you are very liberal and diversity is one of your top priorities than Santa Monica would be best.

Nita
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,530,558 times
Reputation: 3402
The thing with PP that the OP stated is that the high school is LAUSD, thus students are bussed from all over the district. When you're paying millions to live in an area, the schools better be top notch, which isn't necessarily the case with PP.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Acton
63 posts, read 182,841 times
Reputation: 31
Palisades Elementary is an excellent school. I was a TA there a couple of years ago. The API is great, and parents are very involved. The school has a good arts program, primarily funded by the PTA. Paul Revere is the middle school that Palisades and Brentwood residents attend, and it has a good reputation but is extremely huge. Paul Revere also has a technology magnet program. Palisades High has a lot of students bussed in from other areas because it's a charter school. Lots of parents in Pac Pal seem to send their kids to public school for elementary, then private starting in middle or high school. That makes room for students from other areas of LAUSD to apply for spots at Pali High, and the school does a lottery to determine who gets in.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:44 PM
 
4,212 posts, read 6,984,397 times
Reputation: 2649
Quote:
Originally Posted by egold70 View Post
Hi all,

I wanted to do a comparative between the three neighborhoods, as I have come to the conclusion that living fairly close to the beach/ocean is an important amenity for both myself and my family. I had some general questions/opinions, and was hoping to get some feedback.

Schools:

Having a new baby and planning on having a few more, schools are becoming increasingly more important. And while I would love to be able to have the option to send all my kids to the best private school, $25,000 per year in tuition is a hefty sum. At this point, I am thinking at least if I am in the district that has top notch (> 900 API scores) public elementary/middle schools, then if need be I can deal with private high schools for 4 years. On that front, it would appear that Manhattan Beach's public schools are ranked very high. Santa Monica (residents north of Montana) seems to have a pretty good selection of publics as well. Palisades, on the other hand, scares me a little. For such an affluent area, it seems the public schools aren't nearly as good as SM or MB. In the times when I am around that area in the afternoon when school lets out, it seems the students from the high school are being bussed in from other areas? Let's just say they don't look like they are residents of the area......

Homes:

Manhattan Beach, the newer homes within a 5 min walk of the beach are obviously the priciest, and it seems like they are all small-lots, densely packed and built vertically. As you move a little east, you get more traditional homes with yards, etc. Would living in the area near the Strand (not necessarily ON the Strand, but within 5-7 blocks inland) be conducive for a family with young children? SM (north of Montana) and PP seem to provide more in the way of traditional homes.

Area Amenities:

MB seems like a true beach town, just much more upscale and pricey than, say, Hermosa or Redondo. I honestly don't spend time there much (last time I was there was 2 years ago), but from what I remember, it def maintains that beachy vibe, everyone is tanned and good looking, etc. That being said, my one concern on MB vs. SM/PP is that once you move east of Sepulveda, you sorta get that "industrial" vibe (warehouse buildings, train tracks, etc). Whereas SM or PP, even as you go west, you are moving through Brentwood, West LA, Westwood, Bel Air, BH.....basically it's all commercial and residential, with a great selection of restaurants, etc. It would seem that MB has LESS selection, and you would need to drive a ways to get those types of amenities.

Right now, we live in West LA (near Olympic, a few blocks west of Sawtelle). Neighborhood vibe, smaller older homes, but close to EVERYTHING. Best Buy is a 10 minute walk, Starbucks, Coffee Bean, a nice Ralph's, soon-to-be Trader Joe's, Century City (my office) is a 5 minute drive, close to the 10 and the 405, I really couldn't ask for more in terms of central location.....but I would never buy a home there because the houses are on the small side and the public elementary in my area is crap. So as long as my kids aren't of age to go to school, it works for us.

So ultimately, being so used to being in that area (and also spending loads of time in SM and PP), I'm wondering if Manhattan Beach would feel "too far" away from the action of the west side.

Any comments or opinions are much appreciated!
I grew up in N. SM for the most part and even spent a couple years in the PP. So here's my take...

First off I'm assuming you can buy or rent in those areas. They are more expensive than Manhattan Beach, as expensive as MB is. 90402 was the most expensive zip code in LA county and still is in the top 3.

MB is far from the action, yes. It's a nice community but it's a little too insular. Kids growing up there get cliquey. Very surf/jock oriented. I might even say it's closer to Orange County than the Westside. Very All american. and like you said its a little hard to get to the fun parts of town like brentwood, century city, bev hills, mid wilshire hollywood weho

Westside has its problems but its a more tolerant place to grow up than MB. All kinds of kids are around here, its more friendly to diversity.

PP has more community than 90402. Especially if you live in the Highlands, which is like its own isolated village. PP is undoubtedly beautiful and the elementary schools are some of the best in the area. it's a very kid friendly part of town, lots of families who do stuff together. The middle school and high school are mediocre (Paul Revere and Pali). But I still think Pali is a bit better than Samo (which also buses in kids). PP is definitely more friendly and liberal than MB.

90402 doesn't have as many kids as PP but is also closer to the action. The elementary (Roosevelt and Franklin) and middle (LIncoln) are some of the best in the nation. Then you get to SAMO. Montana Avenue is a great place for little kids and moms. It's always peaceful in 90402. Now that I'm older I shun it, but growing up was mostly positive there. As nice as it gets in La area.

But if your kid is smart, they will prosper at Samo or Pali. They are good schools overall. And they are, in my opinion, better than Mira Costa high. so I'd say PP or 90402.
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