Validation required


I once made a list of the pros and cons of living on the Westside. Parking was definitely one of the negatives along with several other complaints. I had one or two items on the pros column. Since then, I’ve added a few more:

  • I have a short commute to school/work on the Big Blue Bus. It would be shorter if the area was less congested. Oops. I was trying to stay positive.
  • It’s cooler in the summer. I don’t need a fan or air conditioner to get through July, August and September.
  • I can find restaurants and shops in my area reviewed in magazines, newspapers and mainstream blogs.
  • I don’t have to challenge perceptions about my neighborhood being unsafe or dirty.
  • The city won’t dare run an at-grade light rail line through this side of town, unlike in poorer, blacker, browner areas
  • Transplants with no respect for history are not trying to rename other areas as the new Westside.

It’s not so bad. Just don’t forget to validate your parking. Or better, spend a few minutes looking for a spot on the street.

16 thoughts on “Validation required

  1. To broaden my perspective, I’m entertaining the idea, lately, of spending a decade on the Westside after putting in a decade on the Eastside.

    I’d probably choose a lush canyon like Beverly Glen or Benedict. … the Westside appeals to my imagination; a daydream of jungle flora, privacy, and disciplined indulgence.

    Ultimately, though, the Westside’s traffic and price per square foot will likely keep me an Eastsider. Some things are, perhaps, better preserved in daydream.

  2. “Transplants with no respect for history are not trying to rename other areas as the new Westside.”

    Ironic since most East Coast/Midwest transplants I’ve met chose to live in the Westside, making it one giant tourist community of people just passing through with no roots or sense of history.

  3. If you have to claim that “it’s not so bad” you are challenging perceptions of the Westside, not as being unsafe or dirty but of being soulless and suburban.

  4. BG,
    Well someone has to challenge the perceptions of the Westside.

    The cooler beach air is nice. The hot headed drivers, less so.

  5. pro: I don’t feel like I have to look over my shoulder like I do at home.

    con: people are looking over their shoulder and at me because they think I might do something to them because where I’m from. ;-P

  6. After several years on the Westside, we left for less-congested pastures and are delighted. I’ll take a little more heat in exchange, particularly since our apartment was not livable without A/C in the summer. (Seriously, the place just got hotter at night, and fans did not do the trick. Not even a half-dozen of them.)

    As for at-grade rail, it depends on how much of the old Expo Line rail they use. A fair amount of that is at-grade.

    But I know where that photo was shot. And in Westwood, you’re better off getting your parking ticket validated than trying to find street parking.

  7. “I can find restaurants and shops in my area reviewed in magazines, newspapers and mainstream blogs.”

    I remember thinking about that when I was living at home during the summer in the San Gabriel Valley. Unless it was in Pasadena, it didn’t actually exist on the internet.

  8. I house sat on the westside once and it was eerie quiet at night. During the week-days, there was a lively brown community of gardeners, maids and baby sitters speaking Spanish. That was the cool part of the day. My host’s neighbor bitched her out when she returned, because he ‘allegedly’ saw her walking her dog in front of his house and said she let the dog poop without picking it up. It was me that was walking the dog that day and he only peed. The weirdest part of this is that my host is Chinese. I guess all us yellow-browns look alike.

  9. Hahaha, EXPO Design Centers are closing from what I’ve heard. Thanks Metro for pointing out the $50 maximum, that’s crazy!

  10. I drive to Santa Monica to work from Silver Lake once a week. I take the street (Santa Monica Blvd.) all the way down. Here’s my typical traffic report: Heading West.
    -Vermont to LaBrea: Not too bad usually, but only two traffic lanes sucks when the bus slows down the right lane and cars on the left lane make turns. Around Western, where Little Armenia & Little El Salvador meet driving becomes a test of nerves & sanity.
    -La Brea to La Cienega (WeHo): Not too bad. But many drivers & pedestrians alike seem like they’re hopped up on something.
    Beware of random, sudden inexplicable driving & walking moves.
    -La Cienega to Beverly Dr.: Beverly Hills. Traffic is damned slow on two existing lanes for no apparent reason. Don’t think of driving through the side streets, cops will pull you over in a heartbeat.
    -Beverly Dr. (Century City+ South Westwood)to the 405- Traffic can become a nightmare here at a moments notice. Drivers become ruder, inconsiderate & desperate. I see drivers cut-off & weave around traffic at unsafe speeds, just to get to the nearest Starbucks. Lots of really expensive cars.
    -405 to 26th st.-The area by the Nuart still keeps a lot of traffic congestion problems due to the proximity to the fwy. Stay alert around here! Nowhere to stop for a quick bagel around here. Mini malls are impossible to enter/exit!
    -26th St. to Ocean-Santa Monica- Traffic becomes remarkably mellower. I have never experienced many traffic delay problems navigating this stretch (save for accidents or construction)people seem calmer & layed back. Many Senior Citizens in SM on the road. I fear they’re going to plow into something at any given moment.
    Also, I see countless dog walkers, joggers and cyclists the further west I get, with the sprinkling of homeless here & there (even in Beverly Hills).

  11. Solomon,
    The traffic is insane. I’m pretty sure walking through Westwood village would be quicker than the bus during rush hour.

    Very simple,
    I know there are a lot of students in my area. We’re temporary in nature, but I’m not sure I’d consider myself a tourist. I don’t meet too many people from other parts of the country in my neighborhood.

    You can have a soul and still be boring.

    El Chavo & Al,
    I used to sometimes commute with my ex from City Terrace to Westwood. That was awful. The worst was driving through West Hollywood. He was convinced that drivers were worst on the Westside. He said on the Eastside, people just tended to drive slow. On the Westside you have the entitled drivers.

    Random Hero,
    *Looks over shoulder at RH*

    I really wanted to go to a community meeting on the development for the Phase II of the Expo Line (Culver City to Venice). I was curious as to the comments. I know a lot of people in nearby Cheviot Hills complained about the use of the rail on the right of way there.

    Finding free parking in Westwood isn’t that bad. I usually have no trouble finding a spot on Hilgard or Tiverton. Even if this lot was free, it always seems like a hassle just to get in or out of the lot.

    Anywhere on the Westside or in Westwood?
    Yes! I’ve noticed that too.

    When my parents used to drop me off at school, we’d enter the UCLA campus from side that abuts Bel Air. On one side of Sunset Blvd is the entrance to the UCLA dorms and the other is a fancy gate into Bel Air. I once joked to my siblings that the only Mexicans on the other side of the gate were the nannies and gardeners. They laughed. My neighborhood isn’t too quiet at night. I’ve been here 8 years and in the last year or two, I’ve heard more helicopters at night.

    I’ve never seen such a rate, I had to look twice. Also, I’m pretty excited that one of the Expo line stops will be a few blocks from my apartment.

    I’ve never been in the store, but I’m sure $50 wouldn’t get you too far there anyway.

  12. I don’t know how it compares to living East Side, but I enjoy living West, especially as a bicycle commuter. I live and work in Santa Monica and can get most of my commute in on bike lanes. Rent is more expensive here, but the amount I save on not having to commute to my job more then makes up for it, I sold my car a while back. Sure some areas are exclusively rich and white, but there are plenty of more diverse areas too. Living off of Pico I see plenty of diversity. Not everybody on the West Side are North Santa Monica and Brentwood types.

  13. Gary K.-
    You are quite right! I too notice quite a bit of diversity when I take Pico or Venice Bl.
    towards the Westside. Venice itself has a bit of a diversity, although rents & prop values have soared there in recent years as well.

  14. Yeah, it used to be pretty working class south of Pico, and Oakwood in Venice was ganged out and messed up. Mar Vista was affordable and kind of like the eastside on the westside.

    A long time ago, Santa Monica was super-liberal and had more diversity, especially economic diverstiy. They so dominated the progressive scene, it was almost weird. I’m sure some folks remember jokes about “The People’s Republic of Santa Monica.” Those days are over, and in a way, it’s kind of sad. There are probably holdouts in Venice, but the rest of that area is feeling more like Marina Del Rey or Beverly Hills.

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