Is East Hollywood Right for Us?
May 27, 2007 1:51 AM   Subscribe

What can you tell me about East Hollywood/South Los Feliz/North Koreatown? (Los Angeles)

So following up on this, nearly two years later, we're going to do it!

We'll be moving in the fall, but I'm trying to get super prepared; apologies in advance as I become one of those people that ask a string of related, narrative questions! I've narrowed our housing search down to a fairly small area I think, and I'd love some feedback on whether it's a good choice, and some LA resident perspective and info on it.

We're looking at the area clustered around the 101, a little way north of Downtown. That means the northern part of Koreatown, down to about Wilshire, and the area above the 101 to the west of Silverlake that I've seen called East Hollywood (and Little Armenia and Thai Town) - up to about Franklin Ave. I'm especially interested in the area around Barnsdall Park and Los Feliz Elementary School. This is what we need, and why I think this area sounds good:

- One of us will be working at Wilshire and Normandie, and would love to stay sane by metroing there (the other will be working from home or driving just about anywhere, so we also need easy freeway access.

- We need room to park two cars, not being able to do that will make our lives hell, I have the impression that further East in Silverlake or Echo Park parking is much worse and apartments tend to be more cramped.

- We want to be able to walk to a coffee shop and grocery store. We live in unwalkable suburban hell right now, no more thanks!

- We want kids in the next couple of years, so we want to be near an ok elementary school (Los Feliz Elementary?) and we're not comfortable with a slightly higher level of crime (Westlake?) that would probably be ok for just us.

- We're lesbians in our mid twenties and want to live somewhere that will be ok. We want easy access to things like a lesbian parent's group that we've heard we might find in Echo Park. However, the gay scene is not all that interesting to us, and we'd rather be near cool, sleazy dive bar type stuff.

- We can afford $1300 - $1800 a month for rent fairly comfortably, and need a 2 bedroom (realistic?). We'd love a decent amount of space, and an attractive building.

So, ok choice? anywhere else I should be thinking about? what's it really like around there, and what else should I know? Bonus point, what do you call that area north of the 101?
posted by crabintheocean to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
These neighborhoods are loosely termed "the Flats." Los Feliz is the most pleasant and walkable of the neighborhoods, followed closely by Silverlake and Echo Park, and you will pay accordingly. K'town and Thai Town/Little Armenia ("Apartmentland") are overpopulated and, as a general rule, run down and ugly neighborhoods with traffic you wouldn't want your future little kid anywhere near.

You might want to look at the NELA communities along the Gold Line: Highland Park, Mount Washington, South Pasadena, Eagle Rock, Pasadena. Maybe downtown until the child is in the picture.

I'd suggest you get a Westside Rentals membership and browse their house and apartment listings. It will give you an idea of how far your money will go in various neighborhoods, and the photos are a great help for aesthetically minded people who want to avoid wasting time on considering an ugly building.
posted by Scram at 5:03 AM on May 27, 2007

This is going to be biased, because I live in Los Feliz, north of Franklin, and I love it. Honestly, before we moved here I thought I would hate LA, but it's been a blast, mostly due to the awesome neighborhood. I agree with Scram--some of the areas you mention are high-density apartment nightmares with no parking and kind of grungy buildings. (In general, Ktown is a congested zoo--driving and parking generally sucks). I know we could find slightly cheaper apartments in Hollywood or Ktown, but I would never trade the safe, vibrant neighborhood feeling for a slightly lower rent.

If you are looking for a nice neighborhood in which you feel safe walking at night, I would not confine your search to south of Franklin--look at the way up to Los Feliz Blvd, there are some nice buildings all along LF Blvd, and the proximity to LF Village, with its boutiques, cafes, movies, etc, can't be beat. I also love how close we are to Griffith Park, which has awesome hiking trails and greenery. My husband takes the metro to USC every day and it's super convenient and fast to walk to the big station at Vermont/Sunset or Vermont/Santa Monica.

I don't know too much about schools, being childless myself, but from talking to friends I know that Ivanhoe Elementary in Silverlake is supposed to be excellent, so maybe also investigate those school boundaries--sorry I don't have more specifics.

I think your budget is do-able, but depending on the area, you might be looking at the high end for a 2 bedroom with 2 parking spots.

[In rereading your post, I should mention that access to the 101 and the 5 are a snap from Los Feliz, but the 10 is a little more of a pain.]
posted by Bella Sebastian at 1:56 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Scram hit it dead on. The only thing I'd add is if you need a place with two parking spots, be damn sure you get them. Parking really sucks in all of those neighborhoods. And definitely get a Westside Rentals membership. It will make searching much easier.
posted by inviolable at 6:38 PM on May 27, 2007

Response by poster: After a trip out there we decided that we love this area (around Vermont Village/Sunset and Vermont Metro, not too far north, or east), we can just about afford it, and we're moving there on October 20th. See you all at Machos Tacos!
posted by crabintheocean at 10:58 AM on October 5, 2007

Response by poster: Now we live halfway between Hollywood and Franklin, halfway between Vermont and Western (if that makes any sense). The bottom of our street is definitely Thai Town and the top is definitely Los Feliz! We pay $1475 a month for a lovely big two-bed/two bath in a medium sized complex. We only have one parking space, but the alternate sides parking is just about bearable.

Oh, and we love it here, it's the perfect place for us!
posted by crabintheocean at 9:15 PM on May 3, 2008

Response by poster: Btw, we did get a Westside Rentals membership (and it was ok, I'd recommend it) but we actually found this place on Craigslist.
posted by crabintheocean at 9:19 PM on May 3, 2008

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