As promised, part two of the LA Guide covers some of the trendier neighborhoods for the young and single. (Click here if you missed part one.) Beware though, that with trendiness come rapidly rising rents to match the rapidly rising coolness of their inhabitants. And some of the average rents are deceptively low and likely to reflect more studio prices than, say, 2 bedrooms.
Note: all rents below are averages for the neighborhood and do not take into account the number of bedrooms. (Source: neighborhoodscout.com )
Venice – Beachy, arty, and oh so charming, Venice is the ultimate cool. Citizens of this nabe define the phrase “march-to-their-own-beat” and are known to discourage chain stores in favor of independent small businesses. The famous Abbot-Kinney is one of the most walkable streets in all of Los Angeles and home to the famous First Fridays where all those unique retailers, hip bars, and foodie restaurants (and food trucks!) stay open late so Angelinos can, in rare form, take to the streets. Be careful though, crime and parking can be an issue, and apartments are usually small.
Pros: Close to the beach. Strong sense of community. First Fridays. Great shopping and restaurants. Cons: Pricey for small digs. Crime might be a problem. Without a reserved parking space or a permit, you may have to circle the streets for hours. It’s hard to get anywhere else (although, a lot of residents don’t tend to leave).
Average Rent: $1,730
Santa Monica - Venice’s neighbor to the north embraces commercialism a little, ehem, more strongly than its southern partner. Its famous promenade is filled with heavy hitters like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales and anything you might find in a well-stocked mall. Easily walkable, with decent parking and ocean views, there isn’t much to dislike in this western edge of the city. Except of course getting in or out. Crossing the 405 Freeway is no cup of tea.
Pros: Close to the beach. Clean, good parking, walkable, great shopping and restaurants. Cons: Nightlife limited to bars and pubs. Getting there can be difficult, if not time consuming since the 10 moves at the speed of a rampaging heard of turtles. Can be pricey. A little too commercial feeling at times.
Average Rent: $1,185
Silverlake – Did Williamsburg move to L.A.’s eastside? By the looks and feel of Silverlake, the answer might as well be yes. Edgy, young people (with cash to spend) have converged here, sipping Intelligensia coffee at Sunset Junction or running around the reservoir to burn off calories from the mucho delicious but less nutritious Pazzo gelato. Funky shops and colorful bars form clusters around the neighborhood, serving as tiny hubs of creative activity for surrounding residents. It’s minutes to downtown and teems with cool, but rent prices are on the rise. It’s getting hot hot hot.
Pros: Great nightlife and restaurants. Silverlake Reservoir. Close to Downtown, and not far from the major studios. Cons: Crime can be a problem. Far from the Westside. Parking can be tricky and rents can be steep, especially around the reservoir and Sunset.
Average Rent: $ 1,160
Los Feliz – Silverlake’s northwestern neighbor borders Griffith Park, the largest untamed urban park in the world, home to the Griffith Park observatory and a personal favorite, Trails Café. It has a young vibe and plenty of late night joints for the young ’uns with a case of the munchies. It’s becoming hipper and hipper, and in turn pricier and pricier.
Pros: Bars and 24-hour joints. Proximity to Griffith Park. Close to Hollywood (which is nice if you work there, but not great if you don’t. Tourists swarm.) It has a nice sense of community and a flavor all its own. Cons: Traffic can be bad, especially as Los Feliz spills into Hollywood and you have to deal with out-of-towners used to driving on deserted South Dakotan roads. Gets really hot. Rents are rising and parking is tricky.
Average Rent: $1,155
Did I miss any of your personal favorites? Your comments are welcome.