Monday, May 12, 2008

West, Studio, Valley, Santa, who...???

I realized I keep mentioning areas: West Hollywood, Studio City, The Valley, Venice Beach...

You may have heard that LA is an extremely sprawling city, but prior to moving here I didn't know what that meant or much of anything about its geography.

Basically the famed and expensive Hollywood Hills separate "The Valley" from LA, Hollywood, West Hollywood and all the beach communities. Here are a few different maps for you to get a better idea where/what in the hell I'm talking about:

- As I've mentioned before, if you're leaving your community, you really need to give yourself like an hour to be on the safe side.

- Taking the highways 14 miles from my apartment in Studio City to LAX has consistently taken about a half hour around noon; but that could easily double or triple in rush hour traffic.

- San Diego is about 130 miles south; this weekend I made two round trips there ranging from 2 and a half to nearly a full 3 hours in really shitty traffic... I guess in comparison that's not terrible; Toledo to Cleveland is about 115 miles and on the Turnpike that takes an hour and a half to 2 hours.

- When looking for an apartment it's always important to consider proximity to the the highways. I loved temporarily living in West Hollywood, but it took 20 to 30 minutes just to get out of the congestion and into other areas or onto a highway.

- You have to always remember to add 10 to 15 minutes to find parking!

- I have found many grocery stores, drug stores, McDonald's and Bed Bath and Beyond have free costumer parking lots; I make purchases at these stores, even if it's just a small soda, then leave my car in the lot and walk to neighboring locations. Keeping a time limit in mind of course.

- Surface streets are usually tolerable. It takes me 10 to 15 minutes to go about 3 and a half miles into North Hollywood to either Target or the theatre for musical rehearsals.

- Hollywood is both a figurative term and three literal areas. West Hollywood is a happening neighborhood nestled between Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills. Hollywood has all the landmarks like the Chinese Theatre and Walk of Fame, but it's not somewhere you want to walk alone at night. North Hollywood is in The Valley and while it's only a few blocks away from my apartment, it's not an address my roommate was comfortable having. They're trying to revitalize it with the NoHo Arts district, but overall it's a tad sketchy.

No comments: