School me on L.A.

ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
edited May 2009 in Strut Central
My fiance is taking a fashion internship for the summer in L.A. and I'll be driving across the country at the end of the month with her to help her get set up (anybody wanting to get up May 26-29th hollerate). I'm looking at moving out there as soon as this fall.Just from checking Craigslist, rent prices seem to be all over the map. I've got two young daughters so I don't want to move someplace shady but I have to keep my monthly expenses low. I know there's mad Strutters in L.A. so I was hoping I could get some knowledge dropped on cheap places to stay, good safe neighborhoods to check for housing, spots to eat, good clubs, etc.
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  • grandpa_shiggrandpa_shig 5,799 Posts
    where you live is dependent on where you work. unless you dont mind sitting in a car for 4 hours a day.

  • DJ_NevilleCDJ_NevilleC 1,922 Posts
    where you live is dependent on where you work. unless you dont mind sitting in a car for 4 hours a day.
    so true. where is your fiancee's job?

  • soulmarcosasoulmarcosa 4,296 Posts
    I moved out here in October and am loving it. Apartments ain't cheap though. Most decent 1BR's start around $950. Anything less than that is probably garbage and/or in a sketchy neighborhood. Cosign on the commute aspect - driving only 15-20 miles can take you 1+ hrs if you're not lucky with traffic.

    If I were in your position, I'd look at Glendale. It's a nice quiet area, most apartments I looked at were decent and not too pricy (relatively speaking; a decent 2BR will probably run $1600-$1800), and the neighborhoods are clean, if a little unexciting. But it's only a few miles away from the excitement.

    But if you really want to be closer to nightlife, I love my $1175 1BR in Echo Park. Just gotta be careful where you select; my neighborhood is pretty safe but a few months ago there was driveby only a mile away. The lines between "nice" and "shady" areas can be a difference of only one block.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    where you live is dependent on where you work. unless you dont mind sitting in a car for 4 hours a day.
    so true. where is your fiancee's job?

    One is in Echo Park, the other is in West Hollywood (is that an area? I don't know.. that's what she told me).

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    Just gotta be careful where you select; my neighborhood is pretty safe but a few months ago there was driveby only a mile away. The lines between "nice" and "shady" areas can be a difference of only one block.

    Thanks for the info.

    We currently reside in Richmond, VA, and from what you describe it seems very similar here. Many neighborhoods are nice on one block and shady on the next.

  • DJ_NevilleCDJ_NevilleC 1,922 Posts
    where you live is dependent on where you work. unless you dont mind sitting in a car for 4 hours a day.
    so true. where is your fiancee's job?

    One is in Echo Park, the other is in West Hollywood (is that an area? I don't know.. that's what she told me).

    Those are about 30-45 minutes apart. Someone suggested Glendale which might be good (closer to Echo Park). Silverlake, Los Feliz and Hollywood would be between those two places.

  • grandpa_shiggrandpa_shig 5,799 Posts
    koreatown isnt bad, especially the closer to hancock park you get. nice craftsman homes, great korean and central american food, centrally located, close to metro. i mean, if you can afford hancock park or larchmont village, do it. those are the nice parts.

  • mannybolonemannybolone Los Angeles, CA 15,032 Posts
    where you live is dependent on where you work. unless you dont mind sitting in a car for 4 hours a day.
    so true. where is your fiancee's job?

    One is in Echo Park, the other is in West Hollywood (is that an area? I don't know.. that's what she told me).

    West Hollywood is an incorporated city (unlike Hollywood which is, technically, a neighborhood). It's a bit confusing. West Hollywood is, in my opinion, the most inconvenient part of town imaginable - it's pretty much squarely between the 405 and 101 but close to neither and as far away from the 10 freeway you can get. I would never, in good conscience, recommend anyone live there unless they work there and even then, I wouldn't recommend you live there but that's mostly b/c I find the scene rather obnoxiously LA but that's just me.

    I think Shig called it: K-Town. It's massive, with a lot of cool individual streets you can find housing on that isn't all ugly apartment buildings (of which K-Town has many). And K-Town would also be pretty much in the middle between West Hollywood and Echo Park and central to downtown and not that far from the Westside either (if you like beaches).

    And yeah, Larchmont or Hancock Park would be very very nice but I can't say rents would be that great in those specific neighborhoods.

    You could also do Hollywood proper so long as you're close to the 101 since that would give you relatively easy access to Echo Park (down the 101) AND West Hollywood (vis a vis Sunset or maybe Santa Monica Blvd). I personally find Hollywood isolated too but that's because my life tends to orient every direction EXCEPT north.

    But yeah, try K-Town, especially the northern end. I have a friend who lives in Kenmore, right at the edge b/t Hollywood and K-Town and its lined with these gorgeous, older apartment buildings with really beautiful units. And his rent is dumb affordable by my standards (probably a bit over $1000 for a spacious 2 BD)

  • mannybolonemannybolone Los Angeles, CA 15,032 Posts
    BTW: Shig, what part of town you living in these days?

  • street_muzikstreet_muzik 3,919 Posts
    West Hollywood is, in my opinion, the most inconvenient part of town imaginable - it's pretty much squarely between the 405 and 101 but close to neither and as far away from the 10 freeway you can get.

    That's what I love about it. Keep me away from those cancer factories we call freeways. Commute to Santa Monica takes 20 minutes. Downtown, the same. Hollywood, 5 minutes but who cares. South side, 10 minutes. The Valley? Who cares.

  • mannybolonemannybolone Los Angeles, CA 15,032 Posts
    West Hollywood is, in my opinion, the most inconvenient part of town imaginable - it's pretty much squarely between the 405 and 101 but close to neither and as far away from the 10 freeway you can get.

    That's what I love about it. Keep me away from those cancer factories we call freeways.

    Dude, if you wanted to avoid bad air, move out to one of the coastal cities. Sitting at the base of a mountain range = smog trap!

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    Koreatown sounds like a good contender. I will definitely start scoping out that area.. thanks for the recommendations.

    Seems like there's decent public transportation. I'm assuming there's a good Asian market in the area? Any crucial Thai/Vietnamese/Korean/sushi joints I should check?

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    i'm biased because i used to live in echo park. but i think you can find value and high quality of life in the echo park area if you look in a box bounded by the 2 FWY on-ramp to the north (basically, just south of Silver Lake), Chinatown to the east, Beverly/1st to the south and Vermont/Normandy to the west. mind you, avoid looking along the Sunset Strip...it's a bit pricey and not as child-friendly.

    there's plenty of culture and entertainment to soak in in this area, and your wife could easily take the #10 bus to West Hollywood - it shoots right along Melrose and take about 40 minutes...my wife took it daily to get to her job at UCLA.

    The lines between "nice" and "shady" areas can be a difference of only one block.

    YES (unless maybe in Brentwood or Malibu!)

    also, there are HUGE differences between west hollywood and the echo park area, so you'll want to check both out before you decide what's right for you.

    ps. i studied air pollution and asthma in children when i was in LA. my two cents: a) if you don't live close to a freeway (i.e. within 200m), you probably don't need to worry about any health outcomes because pollution just doesn't travel very far off major roadways, and b) kids exercising outdoors in polluted areas seems to be especially bad for asthma (go figure!).

  • mannybolonemannybolone Los Angeles, CA 15,032 Posts
    Koreatown sounds like a good contender. I will definitely start scoping out that area.. thanks for the recommendations.

    Seems like there's decent public transportation. I'm assuming there's a good Asian market in the area? Any crucial Thai/Vietnamese/Korean/sushi joints I should check?

    That area will be great for Korean, natch. Thai is good up by Thai Town (basically "East" Hollywood). There's some decent but not extraordinary pho places all around K-Town but if you want the really good stuff, you need to get out to San Gabriel/S. El Monte. Sushi-wise - most of the better places are Westside (Sawtelle area).

    I forgot you have kids with you but I still think K-Town would be kid-friendly depending on the block.

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    I'm assuming there's a good Asian market in the area? Any crucial Thai/Vietnamese/Korean/sushi joints I should check?

    BCD Tofu House on Whilshire is a MUST. it's a 24-hour joint that does a proper hot and spicy soon meal.

    there's also a really good asian market on sunset just east of Echo Park Ave. good seafood/meat, kim-chi bar, fresh fruit/veg, imported treats...

    Gingergrass in Silver Lake is awesome for vietnamese (non-pho). it's fancy/trendy, but they back it up with very tasty food. i highly recommend the pork bun sandwich. there's also Pho Cafe on Sunset near Silver Lake Blvd for the pho.

    we used to really like the pad thai at Rambutan, in the same plaza as Pho Cafe.

    good sushi is not usually cheap in LA, which was disappointing to me (although we stopped looking after a while). i actually went to Koi once...it was expensive, but the food was AMAZING and we saw Nick and Jessica on a date.


  • ps. i studied air pollution and asthma in children when i was in LA. my two cents: a) if you don't live close to a freeway (i.e. within 200m), you probably don't need to worry about any health outcomes because pollution just doesn't travel very far off major roadways, and b) kids exercising outdoors in polluted areas seems to be especially bad for asthma (go figure!).
    200 miles?? I don't see how it's possible to live in L.A. and not be within 200 miles of a freeway!

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    oh, also there's a Bhuddist temple up in North Hollywood that has a Thai food fair once a week...forget the name. it's a very family friendly outing. find the guy who sells the dessert with sticky rice/sweet coconut milk/mango. it will slay thee.

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    200 miles??

    m = meters (sorry to get metric on you - i'm canadian.)

  • street_muzikstreet_muzik 3,919 Posts
    Dude, if you wanted to avoid bad air, move out to one of the coastal cities. Sitting at the base of a mountain range = smog trap!

    Looks like ketan cleared this one up for u.

    BCD Tofu House on Whilshire is a MUST

    Yeah. Pretty good. I'd like to hang out and see how many vegetarians get fooled my the name.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    oh, also there's a Bhuddist temple up in North Hollywood that has a Thai food fair once a week...forget the name. it's a very family friendly outing. find the guy who sells the dessert with sticky rice/sweet coconut milk/mango. it will slay thee.

    Is this it?

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/wat-thai-of-los-angeles-north-hollywood-2

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    [non intentional threadjack]

    health effects of pollution are really complex to study so it's never going to be a straight answer. i was talking more about pollution directly from traffic on freeways - you can probably live safely around freeways, but not TOO close to them.

    days with high smog levels are not generally good for anyone. for example, i think there's research showing higher rates of death from heart attacks in susceptible people following periods of high smog. but smog is going to be especially harmful if you live in an area where there tend to be a "temperature inversions" because they trap pollution close to the ground. mountainous areas CAN be bad for this.

    [/non intentional threadjack]

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    ^ yeah, that's it.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts


    good sushi is not usually cheap in LA, which was disappointing to me (although we stopped looking after a while). i actually went to Koi once...it was expensive, but the food was AMAZING and we saw Nick and Jessica on a date.

    That's too bad! I've been making my own sashimi/makizushi lately though so I might just have to step my game up a bit.

    There was some discussion a while back about a restaurant in LA I believe that was basically taken apart in Japan and shipped over here.. is that Koi? (I could be wrong about this.. it was a while back).

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,073 Posts
    ^ i doubt it. Koi isn't terribly authentic - it's very fusion-y.

    just wander around Little Tokyo and try a few different spots...eventually you'll find a place you like and that's affordable.

  • djdazedjdaze 3,099 Posts
    learn the gang sign for Neighborhood Piru and then go to Watts and try it out.

  • grandpa_shiggrandpa_shig 5,799 Posts
    why anyone would want to move to LA with kids is beyond me. if you want to live in LA proper, that is. and im not talking about the crime. im talking about the prevailing attitudes toward living.

    hey odub, im at 6th and normandie in the heart of ktown. right there on kenmore and beverly where your friend lives is one of the greatest bakeries in LA. guatemalteca. they opened another one in hlywd but this one's the og and they have the best guatemalan chorizo. its raw and in their fridge thing but its so fresh the herbs and shit are still green inside.

    re: markets in ktown, there are definitely great korean markets with quality produce. theres a few thai markets along melrose at the cusp of ktown. u can get all kinds of rare shit like kafir lime leaves, lemongrass, oddball greens etc. e. hollywood jon's is real close and they have a great selection of armenian and eastern block goods. larchmont has a farmers mkt cuz, well, theres lots of white folks right there.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    why anyone would want to move to LA with kids is beyond me. if you want to live in LA proper, that is. and im not talking about the crime. im talking about the prevailing attitudes toward living.

    Care to elaborate?

  • grandpa_shiggrandpa_shig 5,799 Posts
    BCD Tofu House on Whilshire is a MUST

    Yeah. Pretty good. I'd like to hang out and see how many vegetarians get fooled my the name.

    haha! u have to be really specific if u a veggie cuz theyll still put fish in your soup unless you specify NO FISH.

    bcd is decent if its late late nite but this is ktown. beverly soondoobu on olympic just east of vermont is my pick. also, never eat pho in ktown. or drink their $5 cups of folgers coffee.

  • grandpa_shiggrandpa_shig 5,799 Posts
    why anyone would want to move to LA with kids is beyond me. if you want to live in LA proper, that is. and im not talking about the crime. im talking about the prevailing attitudes toward living.

    Care to elaborate?

    a thin veneer of progressive ideology wrapped around staunch conservative nimbyism.

  • ZEN2ZEN2 1,540 Posts
    why anyone would want to move to LA with kids is beyond me. if you want to live in LA proper, that is. and im not talking about the crime. im talking about the prevailing attitudes toward living.

    Care to elaborate?

    a thin veneer of progressive ideology wrapped around staunch conservative nimbyism.

    Haha.. right on.

    Thanks everyone for all the

    If anyone knows of anything dope going on May 26-30th, or if you just want to catch a drink let me know.
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