Numerous banking centers, retail destinations, and medical facilities are located on the Valley Boulevard Corridor, while the Main Street, Fremont Avenue and Mission-Palm business districts combine to give the local economy a supercharged shot in the arm as well.
News flash: Traffic getting in and out of, and around, Los Angeles is frequently about as pleasant as a tequila hangover, so if you’re making the daily trek into the heart of the City of Angeles, get ready to “become one” with your car. Public transit is available (the Metro Bus hits up all the major Southland communities including Pasadena, L.A., Highland Park, San Gabriel, Paramount, Altadena and many others). Our advice: Invest in some quality sessions with a hypnotist who can convince you that soul-sucking traffic is actually your friend. On the bright side, driving within Alhambra’s city limits is generally headache-free and parking is rarely an issue (19 free public parking lots dot the downtown streets).
Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit, but the truth is that you’ll never really run out of things to do while living in Alhambra. The city and its surrounding areas boast countless entertainment options including a variety of museums, theaters, public art displays, parks, and after-hours hotspots. The annual Lunar New Year’s Festival remains popular among residents while the downtown Main Street District, with its variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, is frequently buzzing both day and night. As an Alhambra apartment dweller, you’ll also find yourself in close proximity to the rest of the L.A. area’s attractions such as Disneyland, Catalina Island, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Rose Bowl, and a variety of professional sports venues.
Alhambra’s 30,000-plus residential units include new, old, and refurbished apartments, lofts, and condos, as well as mixed use commercial/residential high rises (especially in the downtown area), and grandiose historic homes (mostly in the Midwick Tract and Emery Park neighborhoods). Do plenty of research online about a neighborhood and an apartment complex before scheduling a visit, but even more importantly, visit an area of town to see with your own eyes if you’re comfortable with its ambiance, pace of life, and amenities.
A few things to keep in mind before scouring the listings for your future homestead: Unlike other Southland communities where it’s a rat race to score the few apartments that occasionally pop up, rentals are pretty much always available in Alhambra, where more than 5 percent of them are currently vacant. Move-in specials can frequently be found (especially in the newer mixed-use complexes on Main and along the western edge), so don’t rush into a lease until you’re positive you’ve found your dream abode. Requirements for renters can be a little stiffer in SolCal than some renters are used to, and many landlords run fairly in-depth credit/backgrounds on prospective tenants. Your record doesn’t have to be squeaky clean necessarily, but if you have a history of reneging on apartment leases or using your credit bills only to practice origami, you’ll need a credible (and overly trusting) co-signer to seal the deal. Also, be prepared to show proof of income and your most recent 3-4 paycheck stubs when submitting a leasing application. Most leases in Alhambra are for a full year, although a handful of properties offer short-term and month-to-month deals as well (usually at a cost of at least an extra hundred bucks a month). It’s not hard to find pet-friendly rentals in Alhambra, but, again, expect to pay an extra $100 or more each month if you’re bringing a four-legged friend along. Landlords sometimes have drastically different rules regarding pets, roommates, and even late-night visitors, so peruse your lease carefully before attaching your John Hancock to it.
When calculating your budget, be sure to set a few bucks aside each week for the price of pastrami. Yes, pastrami. “The Hat,” a local legend of a restaurant that serves up its “world famous pastrami” at a rate of about 14 tons a week, is sure to become a popular destination for any carnivorous renter in Alhambra. And now it’s time to get to work and scour the listings for your future Alhambra stomping grounds. Best of luck, happy hunting, and welcome to SoCal!