Westside Village.. safe, convenient to 10 and 405. Lots of street parking.. and apartments are affordable with good space. I looked everywhere.. and this area offered the space and convenience of acting. Westside Village is also known as Palms area.
Plugging in my 2 cents. I've done a lot of "LA exploration" and am looking to eventually move to either Glendale (go the more suburban route) or into the thick of LA -> Koreatown (K-town.)
* Glendale: safe and nice area, lots of natural places to roam and hike, great public library system with a vast collection of plays, books about film and acting, cheap intra-city bus system (for those who like to save gas and avoid parking when going short distances) etc...the Americana mall (designed by the same man who did the Grove) adds a bit of glitz and nightlife activity to an otherwise quiet town, and plenty of special, charming places to eat and visit mark the city as a whole.
Above all though, it is great for its *central location.* You can be in the most "forested, wilderness-like" part of town, and *still* have a view of the Downtown LA skyline, reminding you that you're never too far from "the action." As far as driving goes, you can go straight down Brand Boulevard, which takes you through Atwater Village, into Silver Lake and end up on Sunset Blvd! So you basically end up in LA in less than 10 minutes without having to take the freeway (or you can just drive straight down Los Feliz blvd, and make your way to Hollywood--but that can be a bit more congested during rush hours.) Glendale borders Burbank and has both easy surface street *and* freeway access into NoHo and the Valley, etc...(I appreciate having surface street route alternatives for times when the freeways are packed. I think traffic can add a lot of unnecessary angst before auditions and whatnot.)
* As for being in the thick of the city, I love Koreatown--the closer to Wilshire the better. The high-rises and digital billboards on Wilshire just make for an exciting, urban somewhat NYC-ish feel. There are all sorts of architectural treasures to explore: cool buildings that boast of art deco architecture, interesting churches and temples as well. Most of all, I love that there are plenty of restaurants and cafes that are either 24 hours or open till real late. I'm actually an early sleeper, but I just like the idea that the neighborhood doesn't fall dead asleep right at 10-11...I appreciate the ethnic diversity. It's not unusual to drive a few blocks and find Hispanic kids skateboarding, a Korean man walking his dog, a Muslim Bangladeshi woman carrying groceries, and hipsters scoping out the "organic tofu soup" joints etc...
Most importantly, is its central "within LA" location. It borders Hollywood, and isn't far from the West Side either. And, because of the metro-subway stops, you have options on getting to Hollywood, Universal City on days in which driving through hefty traffic may take longer (and gas money adds up just saying!)
Hollywood is convenient yes, but something else I appreciate about Glendale and K-town are the prevalence of..."normal" people --> like families, middle-aged married couples, elderly people, etc...Since being an actor can be such an unconventional lifestyle, it's nice to have a sense of normalcy and tradition around...but that's just me.
Glendale is nice but yes very suburban. Also slightly less mobile to Hollywood. People drive a bit more sloppy there and police may be a bit more predatory as well as they have their own municipality I believe (as does Burbank). Larger newer apts though for the same money.
Koreatown is happening but a bit edgier/grimier and slightly higher crime and pollution. Lots of good Korean food around though. Also keep in mind the driving is a bit nuttier than other parts of LA and some of the main streets are f'ed up (Wilshire) or prone to congestion (Western at times, or Vermont).
Huge thanks to the OP and the others that have chimed in. This is a great thread (and hopefully once BBS adds "stickies" this will be one of them!)
Involved in the process of an LA move, looking at Weho/Miracle Mile area but also not ruling out nearby Valley (Sherman Oaks, Burbank, etc.). Have a lot of people recommending Silverlake or Echo Park but not sold. Safety/security definitely a priority as is parking (which probably rules out Miracle Mile LOL.)
Question no one has addressed and would love some thoughts ...
Looking for a studio ... have had people recommend looking at guest houses and the ones on Craigslist make it an intriguing option.
Anyone here gone that route? What would you look for? Pros/cons vs. a "regular apartment"? Security issues? Landlord issues?
Thanks in advance.
Hello to everyone.
I have been researching these post for a while and I really can not find info. on moving to LA with family. Yes, I have a daughter and our goal(wife and I) is to move to an area that has a good school, if not a great school. I have been looking at Sherman Oaks, Studio City, etc. Are these good areas to move to if you have a five year old?
We have researched zillow.com and greatschools.org.
Any help you can give us is or point us in the right direction greatly appreciated.
I lived in Westwood Village, Brentwood in 1996
and loved it. I would move back in a heart beat if i could.
Stumbled upon this gem of a sight a while back.
Put in any area in Los Angeles and you will get a ton of data on crime rates, schools, diversity ect. I would assume this data is all from that census that was going around a few years ago during election time, so i'm sure some of the data is a bit off, but it's a start.
The crime rate reports are creepy. Lists exact crimes, with the police reports for each week in each area. I don't think i'll ever move again without checking this out first. It's addictive... Enjoy!
As you've already doubtless figured out, there aren't that many good schools in LA county! For the Valley--In Studio City, people really like Carpenter school. And in Woodland Hills, Woodland Hills Elementary is considered good, as well as Wilbur elementary. You have to live in the right areas to be considered in these districts though, so you'll have to research that. There are a few other schools people like, but research on greatschools.net is your first step. I hate that it distills things down to test scores, but it's a place to start.
I think Valley Village/Studio City and Woodland Hills are both nice places for families, as well as some of the pricier areas like Santa Monica. I also like Los Feliz for families, but am not sure about the schools there.
Chiming back in with an update six months later ...
My DD is happily ensconced in WeHo right on the western border of "Little Russia", referred to early in the thread by another poster (basically, next door to the "hipster Whole Foods" at Santa Monica and Fairfax).
For an east coast girl who has been averse to change, graduated college a year early and went to LA as the best of career options among there, NYC and Nashville, she is ridiculously and unexpectedly happy.
LOVES her neighborhood. LOVES her studio (very affordable, updated kitchen, old-fashioned living area, in a bungalow colony, no one above, below or next to her, lots of palm fronds and avocado trees). Best of both worlds between urban and green.
Has had minimal trouble finding parking with her permit. Lives very near a public lot which makes it easy when collaborators come by to work with her.
Would recommend her neighborhood highly for anyone who wants "city living" without feeling like it's really skeevy.
Oh, to follow up on that and the earlier post to which I referred ... I didn't mean or intend to have two different screen names here (though I know of a few posters who have several simultaneously) ... I couldn't remember my log-in at one point and created a second name for that reason. Still not sure which of my e-mails connects to which screen name So not being coy, just confuzzled.
In your particular case there's not even a comparable alternative: Beverly Hills. Best (and over-funded) public school by far.... And before you get scared, yes you can afford it... although it will have to be in the not-so-nice part of town: East of La Cienega and South of Wilshire.
I LOVE where I live, West Hollywood (West of Crescent Heights). Only like 1 mile away form Bev Hills, nice, clean, upscale, my own underground parking space. Soooooooo glad I didn't settle in Studio City but on the other side of the Canyon. I go to Sherman Oaks / Studio City a lot to work out and I find it boring and lacking the "glamor" and "excitement" of West Ho. West Hollywood is more hip, trendy, younger and cooler in my opinion. Studio City is safe and quiet but not for me; I don't like the suburban family thing despite all the life on Ventura. I love West Hollywood!
So glad I didn't pick one of those cheap studios in K-Town either; it's more grittier down there which is not for me.
Hollywood to me is on the ghetto side; I would never live there. West Hollywood is just the best.
The further west you can go the more "upscale" it gets, the closer to Beverly Hills the better. It's also nice West of the 405 freeway (Santa Monica).
Century City is nice too; I LOVE the Century Westfield Mall there; it really reminds me of the Irvine Spectrum back in OC. However, no L.A shopping mall even compares to South Coast Plaza; there is always something lacking at the shopping centers here. OC wins by a mile when it comes to shopping centers.
Pluffy is onto something about West Hollywood I think... also prices may have come down a notch in the last 3 years. I am reconsidering moving there... thanks Pluffy
Studio City/Canoga Park = agree with Jackie200, it's a different crowd.
East Hollywood has good pockets but unless you're in one of those pockets it's not really that nice. Some people don't care. It's just a little skeevy and I've been here for a while now.
To me too, Hollywood proper is too high-traffic, unless it was by Runyon or in a nicer building. Also, good luck with parking, anywhere, east or west.
Don't get me wrong, LA is not bad, and there are cool places in any of the above neighborhoods...
But also, wherever you move in, parasites are a risk in this climate. I would ask around with tenants if possible, and try and make sure the space is as sealed as possible. Check floors and walls for cracks or voids from construction, repairs or remodels. Look for cracks in walls, cracked tile, voids in the wood under the sink, loose moldings, cracks or spaces inside floor-level cabinets. Carpet is a risk for this reason. Hardwood floors, even new ones, with seams of any kind or divots between the panels are a risk. If you begin to have a problem, they will make treatment more difficult. DO NOT bring in furniture you find on the street, anywhere. Because good luck ever getting rid of a flea or bedbug infestation. Ants and roaches are like friendly little angels after that. Don't ask how I know this.
Hollywood proper is a scummy place. West Hollywood is nicer. For walking areas, Santa Monica is fairly brilliant. Forget safety 24/7 though, this is a metropolitan city.
Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. Acting is such a big part of my life and obviously something I want to pursue much more intensely soon in LA but my daughter attending a somewhat decent school, if not better, is priority number one.
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