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Old 02-08-2008, 11:57 AM
 
15 posts, read 49,056 times
Reputation: 11

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I posted this exact same thing in the Los Angeles forum and I apologize if that's not okay, but I thought different people might visit the different forums.

I live in Orange County right now in a cookie-cutter stepford type of area, and I'm ready to move. I'm basically seeking advice on specific areas, not just general cities. I'm young, single, and extremely flexible. I can really go anywhere. I know that there are great places to live in LA, Long Beach, Pasadena, etc but I don't know specifics. I tried searching the forums but I didn't find exactly what I was looking for. I want to live in an artsy and friendly type neighborhood that has places I can walk to (grocery store, bank, etc). If you know the surrounding areas, please don't limit your answers to just this county! I'm not hugely worried about money because on craigslist i've always seen tons of places to live with roommates that aren't terribly expensive. My original plan was to move up to San Francisco, but it didn't end up working out. I LOVE it up there if that gives any kind of clue to my tastes. Thanks so much in advance.

p.s. I'm not really interested in Laguna Beach. That one always seems to come up.
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,865,756 times
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Santa Ana has an arts area. Not real big, not super exciting, but decent. U.C. Fullerton (Fullerton college??) has a graduate art school there and there are some good restaurants and a few good galleries. One or two places in the area are open at night. There are some artists lofts condos in the area that are not bad. They have "openings" once a month (or used to) which range from really great to lame. There is a farmers market within walking distance on Wednesdays (or maybe it is only one Wednesday a month) that is small but worth visiting.

In the village is gypsy Den (hippie food no meat, but very good); Memphis (pricey soul food); and a place that changed its name so I cannot remember, but they have good food for a reasonable price. Nearby is Original Mikes (nighttime hang out with bands, decent food but overpriced); Shelly's (now called something Bistro - pricey cajun food sometimes musicians on the weekends); and Jasons (was boardwalk - just re-opened the food is good, a bit high priced, don't know if they are going to do dinners or have music. there is also a subway and a quiznos that you can walk to.

The artists there are less commercial than in Laguna. In most cases many people would say less talented. Some of the things are downright weird. Speaking of weird, if it is still open you could visit the angry Gorilla theater (something like that) and watch performances that make no sense and then have coffee at the gypsy den and talk about how deep and meaningful the performance was.

A long walk from the village is the Bower museum which is excellent, but in trouble for allegedly accepting pillaged artifacts and the discovery science museum. Main place mall is near there too, (a bike ride away, very very long walk).

You have to know downtown Santa Ana to stay reasonably safe. There are some areas to stay away from. I lived there for 9 years and walked to and from work, and often walked through the artists village at night. Generally there was no one out, good or bad, except on weekends.

Santa Ana has a bad reputation outside Santa Ana that is ill deserved. It was once bad and most people will not accept that it got better because it is still mostly populated with Hispanic people. It is not a wealthy city, but it is a neat oder downtwon with some awesome architecture. There is a lot going on downtown, but you have to go find it. The presbyterian church has a lot of neat programs and a community theater group as well.

Aside from Laguna, that is about it for artsy.
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:53 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 19,774,501 times
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Long Beach as an area that is "artsy" if old.

East Arts District is just east of downtown Long Beach. Full of Craftsman houses, interesting people, etc.

East of that is Belmont Shore and then Naples. All seem to fit the area you're looking for.

If I was to look anywhere in the local area for what you're talking about, I'd start their first. Other beach communities generally fit part of the bill as well. Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, etc
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,865,756 times
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Yes Long beach has a great arts area. Pasadena is probably the best, if you can afford it. Pricey there.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
543 posts, read 1,902,045 times
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I would also say Santa Ana and Belmont Shore.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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You should check out the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of LA, as well as Eagle Rock and South Pasadena. Los Feliz has a lots of art shops, coffee shops, and quaint restaurants within the city, although you still have to drive to most places. The Eagle Rock area has grown to be a mini-extension of Los Feliz (check out the strip of small businesses along Colorado Blvd (between Eagle Rock Blvd & Figueroa). I live in Eagle Rock and it's a nice and diverse city.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:04 AM
 
15 posts, read 49,056 times
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Default thank you!

Thank you all so much for your answers (especially Coldjensens with your especially lengthy one!). You were all very helpful. I'm definitely going to be doing some driving around and visiting the different areas.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:50 PM
 
Location: SD and OC, CA
34 posts, read 201,756 times
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Laguna Beach and Santa Ana in Orange County. You really have to go to Long Beach, LA or even San Diego for anything more artistic. Keep in mind that Orange County is still basically a giant suburb, but hopefully that will change with the new development that is going. I still worry that these new "downtowns" that are springing up are too cookie cuter and fake.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:59 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 3,907,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Yes Long beach has a great arts area. Pasadena is probably the best, if you can afford it. Pricey there.
ka-ching.Pasadena rocks - too bad you can't breathe the air in the summer - It is THE BEST!!!!! San Diego is geat Santa Barbara mega artsy ...

Palm Springs is very artsy..of course Venice the tribeca of LA county
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:11 PM
 
158 posts, read 582,234 times
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Yes, Laguna Beach is right up there (even though you've already been told that.)

I'd recommend Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Downtown San Diego, or Catalina Island.
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