Where to live in LA?
June 18, 2006 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Where to live in LA?

I'm an actor recently transplanted to LA from SF. I'm looking for a 1 or 2 br in neighborhoods in LA that are:

1. Are neighborhoody enough that I can ride my bike.
2. Are convenient enough that I won't kill myself in traffic going to auditions in santa monica and the valley.
3. Ideally the apartment would have a bit of style... more NY/SF 20's/30's style than 60's LA shoebox.

Price isn't too much of a determining factor.

West Hollywood would be ideal in terms of convenience, but I haven't found anything that isn't inSANEly expensive or just gross.

Seems like Silverlake/Los Feliz really feel like SF, but I worry about commute. Or am I just making a big deal about things?
posted by dentata to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've pimped the neighborhood out before, but the area around Wilshire & Fairfax is really nice. Old 1920s buildings. Plenty of places w/in walking distance. The 10 Freeway is close, and Cresent Heights feeds directly into the Valley.

Silverlake's cool, too. Mind you.

If rents are a killer in the basin, consider North Hollywood, especially between Riverside and Magnolia (but I won't venture too far north of Magnolia, as the cutesy stuff starts to give way to everyday cookie-cutter complexes. Not that NoHo has all that much charm, I'm just saying...). Biggest drawback of the Valley is the lack of biking opportunities.
posted by herc at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2006

1. Are neighborhoody enough that I can ride my bike.
2. Are convenient enough that I won't kill myself in traffic going to auditions in santa monica and the valley.

You realize you're not going to be biking to and from Santa Monica and the Valley, right? You can bike IN Santa Monica and IN the Valley, but you can't bike FROM most locations in L.A. TO most other locations.

I mean, not if you want to be fresh for your audition, that is...

Otherwise, seconding the areas mentioned above, especially the area of Hollywood in and around Melrose and the Grove.
posted by frogan at 5:24 PM on June 18, 2006

Wait... you have to drive in LA? You mean I can't just bike down Laurel Canyon?

huff...huff... yeah... sorry I'm late....
posted by dentata at 5:37 PM on June 18, 2006

i live in silverlake. love it. it's actually really centralized...the 101 is 2 minutes away (which'll take you to the 10W for Santa Monica) and then the 5 is even closer (which takes you to the valley in a straight shot).

Santa Monica -- 25 minutes away, no traffic.
The Valley -- 10 minutes, no traffic.

Problem is, this is L.A. So there's pretty much always traffic (other than late night).

I've lived in a few areas and love this the best (so far). If you're looking West Hollywood, I wouldn't recommend it. Though I dug living there, you're sort of locked in...no highways near by to hop on to.

I don't bike, but see a lot of people around here do. I miss being able to walk to places (and in west hollywood you might find you're able to do that) but there's one or two pubs that I can get to by foot if hard-pressed.

The community is really cool, artsy. And it's rather affordable, although rates everywhere seem to have spiked. Or maybe that's just my tastes.
posted by ryecatcher at 6:42 PM on June 18, 2006

I live in Koreatown. It, too, is central. Biking here is easy, and there are tons of historical apartment buildings that are well-maintained, affordable, and have lots of character.
posted by Lillitatiana at 7:48 PM on June 18, 2006

Ktown is happening
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:33 PM on June 18, 2006

Wait... you have to drive in LA? You mean I can't just bike down Laurel Canyon?

Sorry if I came off incredulous there, but I've seen waaaay too many people planning a move to L.A. expecting to actually find, you know, a real city there, and not a million square miles of traffic.

There was just a thread here recently from a woman wanting to know about public transportation to a job in South Central. Which is a lot like asking the best bus route for American tourists from Baghdad to Fallujah.
posted by frogan at 8:57 PM on June 18, 2006

Silverlake and Los Feliz fit your neighborhood requirements pretty well, but I have to say that the commute is a potential worry. Check out Miracle Mile and Park La Brea. The commute to Santa Monica will be easier, and you can always head over to the valley via one of the canyons (Beverly Glen, Laurel Cyn).

In the valley, check out Sherman Oaks, south of Ventura Blvd. There are some nice apartment complexes on Dickens, and that area is very quiet, good for walking and biking on the streets, lots of cafes and stores to walk or cycle to. North of Ventura gets much busier and I wouldn't want to cycle there.

One other random thought, there are a couple of apt complexes on Roscomare Road in Bel Air. They are nothing fancy or charming, but you can't beat the neighbourhood! Excellent commute for Santa Monica and the valley too.
posted by Joh at 6:17 PM on June 19, 2006

When I lived out there, I rented in Culver City (Sawtelle & Venice Blvd. area) and it wasn't prohibitively expensive, and fairly central, at least to the West Side. That was in the 80s, though, and things have really gotten built up. But I would still look in that area and/or Mar Vista.

K-town would be neat, too. There is a lot of diversity in a short distance of K-town with respect to food and stuff.
posted by Doohickie at 7:40 AM on June 20, 2006

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