This is what I found LA to be like, neighborhood wise. For some reason this type of information was very hard to squeeze out of people when I was trying to move down here. Either they didn't know, couldn't put it into words, or didn't feel like taking the time to tell me. So I had to do my own research and legwork. Here it all is for free just for fun. Prices were for late 2008.
East Hollywood/Los Feliz/Silverlake - good starter area. Relatively thrifty but livable. Air quality not so bad. 15 min to Hollywood center. Studio apts from 800. Alt/indie/boho spots. A little grungy in spots. Lower-income, hipster, Thai/Armenian/Latino. I prefer areas north of Sunset. Near Franklin Village or Vermont/Hillhurst is most quality of life. Better studios can be found 850-950. Roommate situations same.
Silverlake/Echo Park are hip, a little grungier looking, a little cheaper. Looks grody at first but probably grows on you. Fixed gear types take heed. Nice hipster cafes, stores and restaurants, prices lower than elsewhere. Area is farther from where you need to go but manageable. Areas south of here in no-man's land are cheaper but not recommended.
Hollywood - many nice houses and decent apartments here. Somewhat higher prices than above perhaps, but affordable options are there. Best apts are perhaps those north of Hollywood Blvd near the parks and hills. I would guess 900 and up for a good studio/single here. Parking and parking for your friends/scene partners may be an issue. Crime does happen. My preference is to avoid heavily foot-trafficked areas with unknown elements, and look for a quieter street near some shops/cafes/restaurants/theaters. Would not prefer to live in Hollywood proper, air quality not the best either. Many micro-hoods in Hollywood, too many to name.
K-town - Wouldn't live here but many people I've known do, happily. Cheaper, studios from 700 range. Higher crime, slightly embattled feel. Walkable areas, good Asian restaurants, upscale new developments. Korean/Latino. Crazier driving goes down here. Not the cleanest or the cleanest air. Some nightlife. Fast movement to Hollywood central, mid-Wilshire.
Studio City - Nicer, cleaner, more wide open, but over the hill, which works for a lot of people. Would stay very close to Ventura, air quality and livability declines as you go north. More white, more younger people, more affordable eateries and stores, more preppy. Industry presence in offices, classes, services. Slightly more expensive than above but still cheaper than other areas.
Valley Village, Universal City, Burbank - A little far east for my taste since I work in WeHo but Burbank downtown is really nice, dense upscale small-town feel. Preppier, more suburban, perhaps more family-ish.
West Hollywood - Somewhat expensive, but nice apts can be had for say, $1100+. Cheaper ones no doubt exist. Boys' town. Many beautiful small homes/residences. Cleaner. The farther west the better.
Santa Monica - Very expensive but gorgeous, clean air, nice urban development, bustling/laid-back vibe. I'd like to live here, but wouldn't do it until I had at least $1300/mo to blow and was ready to lengthen or stop my commute. This is the LA you think of with babes jogging. Nightlife with UCLA crossover. Roommates are out there but they and renters are more selective than in other areas. Areas in 'east' SM are in kind of a no man's land, in my opinion, basically being West LA.
West LA - Big amorphous area, dunno. Wide fast streets, big apt blocks, inhuman scale. Nice restaurant row on Sawtelle.
Century City, Westwood Village, Brentwood - Wide fast streets on an inhuman scale. More affluent. Apt situation/neighborhoods unknown. Corporate industry presence. Westwood Village is nice perhaps for UCLA students.
Feel free to chime in or correct me guys.
tags: Where should I move in LA, parts areas of LA, where to live in LA, best places.
West Hollywood and beyond, as in West LA. Otherwise, bring Kevlar. It is a crap shoot.
It's nice of you to put it all together, nightrider
Maybe someone would want to add some current info about North Hollywood and/or Pasadena? Not for me, I'm in NYC now, but from what I recall those were areas where actors sometime end up living. Sherman Oaks, too.
- MIB -
"If you can dream, you can do. Making it happen is up to you!"
Great advice. I echo most of these thoughts, and here are some of my own- particularly to women who are moving out here:
I would stay away from K-town, when possible. I've heard so many horror stories over the years. I warned my friend before she moved there, and she moved anyway... her boyfriend's car got broken into 3x, and they were held up at knife-point on a quiet residential street at 8PM.
Silver Lake is great... I lived there (I'm female) and always felt safe. A lot of families. Sunset Junction has great restaurants and bars within walking distance.
West Hollywood has great parts and not so great parts. Little Russia area (basically between La Brea and a few blocks east of Fairfax, between Santa Monica Blvd and Fountain) is a cheaper area. Although relatively safe as far as apartments go, there are a lot of car break-ins and that sort of thing in the area. Further south (between Melrose and Beverly) is a little safer. West of Fairfax is pricier, but quite safe.
Hollywood is not glamorous (not like you'd imagine if you've never been out here), but it is cheaper. Franklin Hills area has permit parking and nice apartments-- just north of Hollywood/Franklin. You're still in the middle of everything, yet a little more detached. Little Armenia (around Kingsley, Western) is kind of shady... If you're set on the Hollywood route, try to get as close to Vermont/Franklin as possible.
Miracle Mile area is great- around Wilshire between La Brea and La Cienega. Parking is a pain at times, but there are a lot of comparatively inexpensive apartments. Very much a young professional type area.
Hope this helps!
I've lived in both Pasadena and Sherman Oaks.
Most people in LA don't consider Pasadena as part of Los Angeles. If you live here you'll have a hellacious time trying to get anyone to come visit you. You'd think it was the other side of the moon when it's really only 30 minutes from the middle of Hollywood. That being said... It's a great town. Very quiet, clean, and affordable. It's a good place to live if you don't want to be directly in the line of fire.
I loved living in Sherman Oaks! It's close to everything. I lived off Ventura and could walk to restaurants, bars, the grocery store, etc. I always felt safe. It's decently priced and cleaner than other parts of town. One word of warning... It gets frickin hot in the summer so make sure you have A/C.
Not a bad idea if you can to visit and stay in a hotel for a week checking out the area...or bunk with a friend to get the lay of the land without committing to a lease
I have been considering moving to LA recently so this thread is a godsend. Just a quick question re. West Hollywood. My previous trips to LA have been vacations really and I never had a clue where the heck I was. A few years back at spring break we ended up bunking in someone's parents apartment. I now wish I had paid more attention but all I know is that it was across the street from the Empire(?) aparts. Does that make sense to anyone? What part of WH would that be and is it all that nice?
hahah i never thought about it but i thought it was funny how you said santa monica is the hollywood most people think of! its so true!
me personally i have lived in the heart of hollywood since i moved here at 15 (i am 21 now) and it is the place i feel the most safe out of anywhere else in the city. it seems scary at first if your new or visiting but the people here are just characters. we have the party kids, homeless dudes, drug addicts, musicians, actors, reality stars and all these other stereo types but they are everywhere.
oh and the micro-hoods you mention about hollywood are really just little high school kids we call tagbangers. all they do is fight amongst each other and to get themselves feeling like they are gangsters or something. we call them tagbangers because most of there beef is due to someone tagging in their area or crossing out there name and thus starting a fight. they dont bother you, i know a ton of kids like this since i went to high school with them and they are nothing to take seriously. They are nothing compared to the gangs in south l.a ....
over all it seems you got it down pretty well as far as being a girls point of view. I would just say that hollywood is the best but i am super biased because its where i basically grew up and i hope I stay in this neighborhood my whole life because i love it!
i cant stand hipsters!
I live between Culver City and Venice; both are missing from your list, sooo...
Culver City: Used to be a no man's land, but was recently gentrified and is now pretty hip/trendy. Lots of late 20's-late 30's professionals and industry types (Culver Studios and Sony are there.) Shoot for as close to "Downtown Culver City" (ie. the intersection of Washington & Culver Blvd.) as possible. A great cluster of restaurants/bars within walking distance of each other. The beach is 15 minutes away, and freeways are pretty close by. Nicer studios start at about $700-800+.
Venice Beach: Basically lives up to its stereotype. Lots of pothead surfer bums living in shacks, lots of artists, lots of rich pseudo-boho types in super-modern mansions. If you have the money, the Abbot Kinney area is an awesome neighborhood to call home. But it's pricey (plan to spend at LEAST $1200 on rent alone) and for the same price, you could live in Santa Monica (which is much cleaner, preppier and urban.) I personally love Venice, but I'm a total hippy at heart ;-)
I currently live in Burbank and I love it! I moved from NC to L.A. in August '09, but spent the prior year researching on the internet for the best areas/neighborhoods to relocate to. I spent a lot of time lurking on this board gathering advice and info from fellow actors who were already here because I was moving out here without knowing a soul.
I found my place through Westside Rentals and I'm renting from a great landlord in beautiful Burbank. Definite small-town feel, clean, well maintained homes and well patrolled by police (Burbank has their own force). Just a short hop over the hill to Hollywood and Weho for classes.
I feel very lucky to have found a good home!
Actually LA is in the middle of the lowest crime rate in over 50 years. The crime stats are lower than Omaha, Nebraska, and the murder rate is less than half what it was in the 90s. People are not 100% sure what to credit for it, but there was an article recently in the New York Times about it.
Culver City is indeed lookin' sharp, main drag looks like a set for some kind of Beverly Hills. Nice restaurants, more preppy, etc.
Venice is hella far from Hollywood and I'm not that grungy, but I know people do like it there.
Little Armenia shady? Lol... I never thought of it that way. I know what you mean, but it's not that bad.
I am totally biased, but Santa Monica is worth every penny if you can stretch it. North of Wilshire is amazing, but way pricey. I would try to stay north of the 10 if you can, otherwise south Santa Monica is the same as Venice in my opinion. Not too close to the beach is also a plus because it's still walkable, but when you go east of Lincoln you at least get away from "scene" and can still get there in a 10 minute walk.
What about North Hollywood?
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