One of the great things about Los Angeles, much like New York City, is that it is truly a cultural melting pot. People from all over the world, from all walks of life, flock here for the climate, the entertainment industry and the wide open spaces. Of course, because of its close proximity to Mexico, Spanish is the first language for many of the areas inhabitants, and this is especially so for Huntington Park. With its bustling Latino commercial district on Pacific Boulevard and several movie theaters which feature original Spanish films as well as blockbuster movies with Spanish subtitles, you may find a renewed use for your old 10th grade language arts textbook.
SoCal rental perks - or not
Although utilities and amenities differ from apartment to apartment, in most places, it is generally a given that when you rent an apartment, the appliances (particularly a stove and a refrigerator) will already be there.Not so in L.A.
With few exceptions, Los Angeles apartments do not come with a stove or a refrigerator. Either youll have to purchase your own or rent them from somewhere. Many buildings will rent appliances to you for a fee added to the monthly rent. Fees usually range anywhere from about $20 to $50 extra per month.
A few apartment units will allow for washer and dryer hookups within the apartment (you will have to buy and install your wn machines), but in most cases there are coin-operated washing machines and dryers located in an on-site laundry room.
Also, one of the perks of living in sunny Southern California is that many apartment complexes have pools. The rent for a building with a pool may be a little bit higher, but I think most people would agree that its extra money well spent - especially in August.
For those hell-bent on getting near the glamourous side of Los Angeles, a few miles to the west of Huntington Park lies the holy grail for many entertainment industry up and comers and celebrity seekers - Hollywood and Beverly Hills.But Huntington Parks closest cities include Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, and Downey, which are all similar culturally diverse neighborhoods. A little further north, youll find Downtown Los Angeles, an area with a bit of a sketchy history but which is deep in the throes of major gentrification.
Hope Street/Mountain View Ave:This area has a dense urban feel and lots of old homes and small town homes. It's one of Huntington's pricier areas. $$$$
Santa Fe Ave/Cass Place: This area has lots of small homes and small apartment complexes. It's characterized by mostly blue-collar workers and a large foreign population. $$$
E. 60th/Gifford Avenue: Up on the northeast corner of town, this neighborhood is pretty representative of Huntington as a whole. Lots of blue collar workers and a crowded, city feel with fairly cheap rents on homes and apartments. It's expensive to buy here, which is why most people rent month to month.$$$
Downtown LA:In its heyday, thiswas a busy urban center with fancy department stores, expensive hotels and the "the last great railway depot, Union Station," which connected it to cities all over Los Angeles and beyond. After the growth of the L.A. highway system and suburbanization encroached, the downtown area was abandoned by the wealthy and plagued by a growing low-income and homeless population. For a long time, this part of Los Angeles was associated with seediness, drugs and desolation. In recent years, however, thanks to an extensive redevelopment initiative, Downtown L.A. (or DTLA) is now touted as "New York West" by some, and is making a big, splashy comeback in the form of swanky restaurants, trendy nightclubs, cafes and sprawling loft-like apartments. $$$$
Whats the best way to travel around Los Angeles? The short answer: grab your car keys.
That being said, dont hate on L.A. Metro.Now that you've settled into your new Huntington Park neighborhood and are feeling the urge to explore the surroundings beyond your own block, in L.A., there are basically two options for getting around town. In spite of what most people say about public transportation in Los Angeles, theres a lot of options for bus and train travel. The Metro system may seem a little more difficult to navigate than, say, New York or Chicago, but thats mostly because newcomers to those cities mainly use the buses and trains to get to the center of town, i.e. Manhattan. Its easy to navigate a system that is converges from everywhere into one central location.
In the enormous spread that is Los Angeles, on any given day, you may find yourself heading to one of the many beaches, exploring the museums and diverse cultural neighborhoods in the The sprawling Valleys, or going hiking in the mountains. If youre taking public transportation, The travel time to these different locations may be long, but in the intricate web that is the L.A. Metro system, there is certainly a bus and train route that exists to get you where you want to go - if youre willing to take the time to map it out. The bonus is that, in your travels as you learn your way around, youre bound to find some hidden L.A. neighborhood gems along the way.
Traveling By Car
If youre like a large majority of people who live in Los Angeles, you will eventually get to the point where you hop in your car to get just about anywhere - even if its just up the block.At first glance, driving may seem like the fastest way to get anywhere, but given the state (and randomness) of L.A. traffic, thats not always the case. Nonetheless, traveling by car is certainly the most convenient option. If you get to know the least traffic-congested routes and all the side streets which will get you where you need to go, you can save yourself a lot of time and headaches of dealing with highway parking lots and road rage. To that end, youll want to arm yourself with either a good navigational system or a Thomas Guide.
Years ago, Thomas Guides were the travel bible of most Angelenos and no one would be caught dead without one in their car. It is a thick book of maps depicting every Los Angeles street, highway and major thoroughfare throughout the city. It has detailed directions on how to get anywhere you want to go in L.A. or area counties.In the age of technology, of course, you have a variety of online mapping systems as well as car and phone navigational programs that can easily talk or visually walk you through any destination from start to finish. But sometimes, oldies are the goodies.
In many cities, for families will school-aged children, the decision to move to a particular location is dictated by what school district that location falls into. Los Angeles is no different.Los Angeles Unified School district (LAUSD) covers a huge area of schools in L.A. county, including Huntington Park. LAUSD tends to get a bad rap in general from many locals, but individual schools vary widely in the level of quality and academic or extracurricular programs available. Private schools are always an option for those have extra money lying around, and L.A. has many alternative education choices, including many parents who home-school their kids.