Backstage Message Board
LA Neighborhood Breakdown

This topic can be found at:

July 24, 2010, 09:50 PM
LA Neighborhood Breakdown
oh and the micro-hoods you mention about hollywood are really just little high school kids we call tagbangers

LMAO! DewRag, I think the original poster meant "micro neighborhoods" but your take on it was hilarious and totally spot-on!

Speaking of Hollywood Microhoods, my favorite is Cahuenga Pass, right past the Hollywood Bowl. Backdoor of Runyon Canyon. If you're at the level where you're going to studio lots (to shoot or audition) its the perfect spot b/c you're within a few minutes of Warner, Universal, CBS Radford, and Disney I think. Plus easy access to the 101/170 and 134 or you can bypass 101 with Cahuenga/Ventura for miles and miles and miles!

The thing I hate about WeHo is that its NOWHERE near the freeway. You're locked in by neighborhoods and surface streets for miles! So that sucks for getting to an audition quickly.

Burbank is my second fav. spot. Its like young, unpretentious people who are doing cool things but don't need to spout their mouths about it Smiler You'll meet young fun editors, animators, etc. who just like to live their lives and have a good time.

Great thread!

Michelle Ann Harrison
July 24, 2010, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by mymeeshell:

The thing I hate about WeHo is that its NOWHERE near the freeway. You're locked in by neighborhoods and surface streets for miles! So that sucks for getting to an audition quickly.

I agree with you. If you need to get to the 405, you have to take Santa Monica Blvd., which bogs down in Beverly Hills big time. If you need to get to the 10, La Cienega and Fairfax bog down. To get to the Valley and 101, you have to take Crescent Heights/Laurel Canyon-or you have to get over to Highland somehow(Fountain is best). It may be in the epicenter of everything, but it's not quick getting anywhere from there.

In Santa Monica, Venice, and Culver City you are at least close to the 10, PCH(1), and 405. Not that the 405 is ever a picnic...
July 25, 2010, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by Patrick92:
What about North Hollywood?

I lived in North Hollywood for a couple years a few years back. I really liked it because it is actually strangely convenient. You are right next to many major freeways so can get to auditions in Hollywood and on Ventura Blvd. in the Valley (a couple commercial casting places there) really easily. You're only far away from the westside (santa monica/venice) but those areas are pretty inconvenient for anyone who doesn't live ON the westside. I lived in the part of North Hollywood called "Valley Glen." It's really quite decent with some nice streets. It's adjacent to Valley Village (even nicer) adjacent to Studio City (which is even nicer). Generally, the farther away you go from Ventura Blvd. the less nice it gets.

If you live near Ventura and Coldwater Canyon Blvd. or Laurel Canyon Blvd. you have the choice of taking the 101 Fwy OR Coldwater or Laurel over the hills to Hollywood and other areas you'd like to get to. It's nice to have several options to get through the traffic.

In North Hollywood, there's also an area called "NoHo." A few theatres and restaurants and things. Not SUPER nice, but good aspects. It's something to check out if you are thinking of that area.

I also lived for many years on the westside and Santa Monica and Venice are great (try to live West of Lincoln Blvd. if you can afford it). Culver City seems like a nice possibility as well. I also like West Hollywood, Los Feliz, Studio City, and Silverlake. Lots of people like Mt. Washington and Atwater Village too. Topanga Canyon is super neat, but far away from things.

Jackie Apodaca
Senior Columnist
Back Stage
July 25, 2010, 12:09 PM
Denell Johnson
I've lived in the Valley (North Hollywood, Van Nuys) since moving here 3 years ago.

To be honest, I wouldn't move anywhere else in LA. I like the convenience and "out of the wayness" of living in Van Nuys. I'm personally not into the party scene or being seen and love the peace and quiet associated with living in a huge suburb. I'm from a big/small city (Washington D.C.) so living out here in the Valley is definitely my cup of tea.
Twitter: @DenellJohnson
Instagram: @itsjustdenell
July 28, 2010, 12:21 AM
North Hollywood is fairly cheap and decently located. As with any neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, the further north from the 101 you go, the more ghetto it is, but a lot of transplants end up there the first year because of the cheap rent. No clue if it is safe but anything more than 2 miles north of the 101 always skeeved me out. My friends who have lived there have never had problems though aside from being annoyed by the wannabe gangbangers.

The NoHo Arts district has become pretty trendy and I think its also showing that in the rent. For 3k a month for a 3 bedroom I'd personally rather live in Santa Monica.

Venice is a horrible place to live if you ever plan to have guest overs. The parking situation down there is atrocious.
Same with West Hollywood. Almost all the parking there is "permit only."
July 28, 2010, 12:33 AM
When I first considered moving to North Hollywood in 1996, a guy told me, "Oh you don't want to move up there. It's all Mexican."

And so it proved to be (and Guatemalan, Colombian, etc.) Which for me, a white guy freshly moved from New York's Upper East Side, was, I'll admit, a tad disconcerting. One of the first nights I was here, a guy came out the side door wearing - I kid you not - a full dress sombrero. One of the younger guys living here was in a wheelchair - and yes, it was from a gang shooting.

But I got to know my neighbors, got invited to pinatas and carne asadas, sat around and chatted, amused the kids as I once amused my own younger siblings and soon was quite happy in what came to feel like a little village where everybody knew each other. Which among other things meant it was really safe (try breaking into a place when everybody in every apartment knows who's who). And quiet (people had to get up early, often very early, to work).

Over the years, the area has seriously gentrified - including my neighbors, who have all moved to nicer places, and in some cases bought homes, started their own businesses, etc. The place is very mixed now (one of the last original Latino residents, an old Colombian man, died last month, soon after his car got banged up in an otherwise harmless accident). Only some of us know each other and the few times there are parties in the courtyard, it's for the people holding them and their invited friends.
But, hey, the neighborhood's improved. It's even got a Starbucks.
In other words, it's pretty much become like everywhere else.

I'm glad I knew it when it wasn't.

Jim Chevallier
July 28, 2010, 10:30 AM
Denell Johnson
I love the time machine trip of Van Nuys Jim Smiler Southern California in general was rough during the 80's and 90's and huge props to those of you that were living here during those decades.

It's still really a predominate Mexican and Latin descent out here in the Valley, but it's more peaceful (in my eyes) than H'wood or West L.A.

I have a couple of gripes that really bug me such as cleanliness and overcrowding which I'm really not going to touch too much into as it's a pretty sensitive topic for some. Yes, I have had my car broken into while parked in the apartment complex secure parking, but that was it and can happen anywhere. If you think just because you live in a "safe" neighborhood, nothing like this will happen, guess again. Believe me, when I step out of the door everyday, "Gangbangers" are the absolute last threat that I'm looking out for. Watch the news and you'll understand.

This is L.A. and because of the economic climate, people are desperate these days and will do anything to get a quick buck. Unfortunately now-a-days you can't go to any neighborhood and not have to deal with "seedy" type individuals and all out "ghettoness",

I just want the transplants from middle america total town population 1,000 to know if you decide to move to L.A. there's really no one place that is the safest of all and to be prepared to deal with the harsh realities of living here.
Twitter: @DenellJohnson
Instagram: @itsjustdenell
August 03, 2010, 04:30 PM
I've lived in Hollywood, North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, West Hollywood, Los Feliz, and Pasadena. (Never have roommates you don't know, if you can avoid it)... The valley is pretty gross... all the cliches are true... though everyone is different. The beach cities are nice, but the marine layer makes everything cold and perpetually cloudy. Los Feliz/Silverlake area is very lovely, and WeHo the most convenient. Right between Bev Hills and Hollywood and take the Canyon into the valley. Hollywood was fun, but could get gross at times. Once you hit 25, you feel like you are living with a bunch of Paris' and Lindsey's...But, I would say I love Pasadena. After living here, everything else feels dirty. It is not technically "LA" but there really is no "Central" area. It has ample free street parking, a subway stop, and is convenient to three freeways. I have a great deal on rent, so not sure what the norm is... but people often dismiss it for being "far". Distance-wise, maybe, but with less traffic it takes less time than living many other places.
August 03, 2010, 05:00 PM
It's funny that people don't understand that taggers have been known to kill people,
and are often gang members themselves.

If you want a clear crime comparison of the different areas, go to the LAPD crime maps and plug in
the zip code.

Nobody has mentioned that the valley tends to be MUCH hotter. I lived in Burbank for two
years and it was awfully hot.

Venice has crime and gang problems, same as the north parts of the valley.

The westside is cleaner, nicer, and cooler, but more costly.
August 04, 2010, 10:07 AM
Me, my wife and our buddy are moving out there in March. We plan to hit Studio City--several of my friends in the industry live there and recommend it.

We stayed in SC for a week once and loved it. Reasonable rent, nice area, good food, plenty to do, safe...

Michael Reed
"The question isn't whether the glass if half empty, or the glass is half full...the question is, does it have to be a glass?"

March 26, 2011, 05:44 PM

- MIB -
"If you can dream, you can do. Making it happen is up to you!"
March 26, 2011, 08:09 PM
Ann Margrock
If you are going to live in the valley make sure you have a car with air conditioning and your home/apartment has air conditioning and a pool. If you live in downtown/central/west LA/Santa Monica make sure you have parking or live in a parking permit area so your friends can visit you. It's not as essential that your car has air conditioning but it helps if you plan on using any freeway. Though in downtown/central LA the heat and air quality is not that much better than the valley.
March 26, 2011, 10:12 PM
Am I missing something about West Hollywood? I have heard of a lot of people living there, but when I drove around there, I was kind of freaked out. It's weird because I felt like I was looking for where weho really was. I looked at some places and some where very expensive, like 3000 for a br, but they were in a really crappy area. Is that what weho is like? Was I missing something?
March 27, 2011, 01:08 AM
Weho is more expensive. If you have money, it's also kinda nice. Keep in mind, some parts of weho are too gay even for some gay people.

Hollywood is good and central, preferably north of Sunset or north of Fountain even. Los Feliz is good, best if you are near Franklin Village, Vermont & Hillhurst, or in the Beachwood Canyon area.

Downtown is a counterintuitive choice but if you are an openminded person, it's the hottest frontier. Also lots of jobs there in service. Best and least pretentious nightlife/cocktail/dining scene. I wouldn't live there for location purposes but it is pretty awesome. Not like it used to be.
March 27, 2011, 10:56 AM
Ann Margrock
Originally posted by AustenCA:
Am I missing something about West Hollywood? I have heard of a lot of people living there, but when I drove around there, I was kind of freaked out. It's weird because I felt like I was looking for where weho really was. I looked at some places and some where very expensive, like 3000 for a br, but they were in a really crappy area. Is that what weho is like? Was I missing something?

If you are looking at $3K apts in weho you are probably looking at new construction. The housing boom is long gone but the builders are still trying to make back their investment. Though some of the historic landmark buildings can go that high too. Most 1 bedrooms in weho average $1.2 - 1.5K Also you definitely need to have a dedicated parking spot in weho. Though most streets have permit parking even that goes fast.