Relocating to California

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Sep 26th, 2000, 04:50 AM
  #1
Dorna Mitchell-luke
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Relocating to California

I am relocating from New York to California. Worked on Wall Street for various Investment firms for years. Don't drive, use to taking buses,trains & taxi - Typical New York who likes theater, art, music, exercise, open to new ventures, etc. and would like to know where is the best place to live on a somewhat moderate income. I like working in fast pace environments that are challenging, like Wall Street. PLS HELP!
 
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Sep 26th, 2000, 10:24 AM
  #2
xxx
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Dorna, the only place that I know of in California that even comes close to your criteria is San Francisco, but it's certainly not inexpensive. I believe it's one of the most expensive areas in the U.S., even more so than Hawaii or New York! L.A. may provide the arts and nightlife you enjoy, but you'd never survive without a car.

If you are willing to have a few roommates to help cut costs, try look into S.F. Beautiful city for those who can afford it.
 
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Sep 27th, 2000, 09:12 AM
  #3
Dorna Mitchell-Luke
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Where is the next best area to live, I was told WLA or try some places in Hollywood or Outside of downtown Los Angeles, which I'm told I could find work. I would need access to public transportation. I just don't want to end up coming from a decent living environment to a bad one. I want to be able to walk in my own residential area without fear. Thanks for the roommate, idea, I have never had one before - this seems to be an excellent resolution to a possible potential situation. I appreciate your response, I didn't think I would get any! Any suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated! With Much Thanks!
 
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Sep 27th, 2000, 11:10 AM
  #4
lisa
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I'm sorry, but living in southern California without a car is really (in my opinion) not very practical at all. And I am speaking as someone who uses public transportation every day (I do know how to drive, but I sold my car when I moved to DC). When I was in LA last summer, it was clear to me that the public transportation system out there is not great for a city that size, and that EVERYONE drives everywhere. I'm not defending the system, I'm just saying I think it would be really frustrating to live in that environment without a car. The San Francisco area does have good public transportation though and I don't think you would need a car there nearly as much as you would need one in LA.

Personally, if I were going to live in the LA area I think I would try to live in Manhattan Beach, which has (to me) a nice neighborhood feel to it, and you can walk to shops, restaurants, the beach, etc. But I still wouldn't live there without a car.
 
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Sep 27th, 2000, 02:09 PM
  #5
xxx
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Dorna, you're welcome! Lisa is right on -- L.A. and cars go together. The city was designed for the automobile. Everything is spread out and not easily accessible, and what little public transportation that exists is just downright frightening. I lived in L.A. County for four years (attended college there) and I packed my bags as soon as I graduated. Very expensive and very high crime area, IMO. I never felt safe there.

I think you'll find that in S.F. and L.A., it's very common for people of all ages to have roommates, because the cost of housing is so high. Check the clasifieds in the S.F. Chronicle or the L.A. Times and see how many roommate ads are there! I know someone who moved from the southern U.S. to the Bay Area, and he lived in a beautiful restored Victorian home near the Haight Ashbury district. He had two roommates to share costs and no need for a car. S.F. has cable cars, taxis, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), etc...., plus the cost of insuring and parking a car in the city is so high that most people can do without.

Good luck!
 
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Sep 27th, 2000, 11:23 PM
  #6
Ted
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Actually, Dorna, you probably COULD survive without a car, if you chose to live somewhere in the West L.A. area which is quite a nice place to live. There are PLENTY of "Wall Street" type environments around, especially in the Century City area which is a large office complex environment right next to Beverly Hills. I don't know what your rent range is, but if you could find something decent near Century City/Beverly Hills/Brentwood/West L.A., you would have access to the major bus lines that traverse directly down Wilshire Blvd. or Santa Monica Blvd., enabling you to walk around any of these areas (unfortunately, right now they're on strike!). These buses would also take you downtown to the Music Center for your required "culture." But there's also a major theatre in Century City as well, and probably many other small, local theatres that I'm not aware of or have forgotten to mention (perhaps even the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, a bit further out of the way but still not impossible to get to. By the way, a new subway system [short!] was just recently completed in Universal City, so you can also take the bus there and then take the subway downtown as well). You would also be close to the beautiful, new Getty Center Museum on top of the hill in Brentwood, also easily accessible by bus. Don't despair or be discouraged -- you'll be able to do it, believe me! But as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, it's radically different than New York!

 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 12:11 AM
  #7
SFSally
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I agree with the above poster that San Francisco is certainly the place that is closest to what you are looking for. However, as they said, it is certainly not inexpensive. I do not think that it is any more expensive than New York City but is probably pretty close.
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 10:39 AM
  #8
xxx
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Dorna, while Ted has generously offered you some tips about L.A., you and I and every other woman out there know that as a man, he doesn't have to exercise the same kind of caution that we do. When I lived in L.A. County twelve years ago the rape statistics were one in three: one out of every three women was a rape victim. When your only choice in public transport is a bus filled with drug addicts, gang members and homeless people and general weirdos, you can see why.

When light rail first began operating through L.A. they had to station police officers every one hundred yards along the stations and in all cars, because no commuter in their right mind would ride through some of the most notorious gang areas in L.A.

Yes, San Francisco is a big city with its share of crime as well, but nothing like L.A. Make no mistake, the warm weather there attracts certain types of people and if you are a lone woman without a car, you are an easy target. I was assaulted twice while riding a bicycle so I gave up and bought a car for safety's sake.

Are you planning to visit and check out some areas before you decide?
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 11:32 AM
  #9
Caitlin
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Doma, the posters above are certainly right in noting that San Franscisco is as expensive as New York City now, but they are also correct in their estimation that the SF Bay Area best fits your wants and needs. If I were you, I'd check out both SF and the East Bay, especially Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany (three cities which literally overlap one another). The East Bay is a tad more affordable than SF, has pretty good transportation, plenty of culture, opportunities for outdoor activity, and easy access to SF for work or play. Especially if you are willing to try the roommate/housemate oprion, you may well decide you can afford something in the East Bay or SF. I suggest checking out www.sfguardian.com and www.eastbayexpress.com, the web sites of the two major "alternative" weeklies in SF and Oakland/Berkeley, respectively, which, similarly to the Village Voice in NYC, have both extensive culture and restaurant listings and classifieds. You can get an idea of the cultural milieu and also the going prices for rentals and shares. There are many shares available for mature working folks; it's not all college students! I also recommend www.transitinfo.org as a comprehensive info site about public transportation in the SF Bay Area. www.craigslist.com is also an excellent resource for both rental and employment info in and around SF.
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #10
Gary
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I have difficulty with the earlier post stating that twelve years ago, one in three women in L.A. County were rape victims. That would indicate mayhem the order of which I doubt exisited in Berlin when the Russians marched through.

On the other hand, she is quite correct in the assessment of rapid transit in L.A. Though it's come a very long way in twenty years, the system is an embarrassment compared to eastern cities as well as San Francisco. It is possible to commute on the relatively new and quite safe Metrolink, but that system only links far-outlying communities with Union Station.

It sounds like Dorna wants to reside in an urban locale. When I first read her post, I immediately thought of some friends living in Silver Lake--a little community just northwest of downtown L.A. The town has a nice stretch of shops/cafes/etc. and a lot of converted apartments. Conceivably, one could live there, ride the bus downtown for work, and then return safely--all during the daytime. It's close to the Music Center as well. And the people I know certainly don't make a lot of money, but they live in a fairly nice, diverse neighborhood in a large apartment. They do have roommates, though.

Anyway, it sounds like San Francisco is more suited to what Dorna is looking ofr, but I do think it is possible in L.A.
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 03:08 PM
  #11
xxx
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Anyone who has lived in the L.A. area knows that it IS mayhem -- and that was before the riots. Heard the stats on the evening news, can't offer you any more evidence than that, but as a woman who lived there I can tell you that I was followed, accosted and ambushed by strange men so many times that I lost count, so I never personally never doubted the news report. L.A. County encompasses some of the highest crime areas in the nation.

It may be difficult, but if you haven't experienced things that others have (like harassment or discrimination) you can't say it doesn't exist, just because it never happened to you.

As a New Yorker you are obviously a savvy city-dweller Dorna, so you know how to be cautious.

 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 05:35 PM
  #12
anotherxxx
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God almighty! How in the world did I, a woman, manage to live for ten years in L.A. and feel safe there? I must be missing something, but I would ask Dorna first of all, does she have a job??? Maybe she just thinks she can walk into to any one of the cities and get a job with an investment bank? At any rate, San Francisco seems to be more what she's looking for, but life in that city is not easier and no cheaper than in New York. Plus is no snow.
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 10:30 PM
  #13
www
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XXX -- you are definitely a scaremonger and a LIAR!! One in 3 women? Pure NONSENSE!! Where did you live anyway -- South Broadway? And the subways in New York are filled with human TRASH!! And did you ever check out the crime rate in EAST PALO ALTO?!?
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 10:42 PM
  #14
Cal
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Pay no attention to xxx ridiculous comments about rapes in Los Angeles. Los Angeles certainly does have some problem areas like most large cities. However the official crime rate in Los Angeles is lower than most major cities in the US.

Do not take my word for it. Check it out at the following web site:

http://www2.homefair.com/calc/salcalc.html

It has the national crime lab calculator as well as lot of other neat stuff for relocating.

I personally would choose San Francisco but Los Angeles is not nearly as bad as many people would like you to believe. Its public transporation certainly is not on a par with San Francisco.
 
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Sep 28th, 2000, 11:25 PM
  #15
noname
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Oh please, as usual people post here not to help the original poster with their question, but to insult, sneer and condescend to others who HAVE tried to give information. Put a lid on it.

Dorna, are you just looking for a change or do you have to move? Sounds like you have a nice life in New York, why move? If I had access to Broadway plays and fabulous restaurants like you do, I don't know that I'd want to leave!
 
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Oct 3rd, 2000, 07:11 PM
  #16
Wendy
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Hi Dorna:

California is very different from NYC, as you must be aware. I just moved from CA to NYC. My life changed 180 degrees. You're going to need a car, you're going to be surrounded by people who wear shorts to nice restaurants ('cause anything goes in CA) and you're going to have to put out that cigarette (I'm not assuming you smoke, but smoking is not permitted in any CA bar or restaurant). If you're looking for NY in CA, you're not going to find it.

That's not to say that CA isn't a wonderful place to live...just go there understanding that you're making a major lifestyle change, and you're best off going with the flow.

I moved to NYC from San Diego. I think you can live a decent life in San Diego on a moderate income - at least I did. It's absolutely gorgeous there, and you'll find plenty of recreation/outdoor opportunities. Theater options are nice - Old Globe and The La Jolla Playhouse are town favorites. Restaurants are good - and you can't find better Mexican food on this side of the border.

Business in San Diego isn't a fast-paced corporate environment - relative to New York. Tech firms are finding it cheaper and more beautiful than the Silicon Valley and are relocating by leaps and bounds. Telecommunications is big.

All in all, I whole-heartedly recommend San Diego as a place to live. I know that when I'm ready to settle down, buy a house and stop being a fast-paced New Yorker, that's where I'm returning. Best of luck to you.
 
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Oct 3rd, 2000, 09:25 PM
  #17
Don
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Wendy, just exactly WHAT do you mean by "gorgeous?" You certainly don't mean the Mission Bay area do you? Or downtown? Besides La Jolla, Del Mar, Coronado Island and Rancho Santa Fe, are there other areas that I missed that you find so "gorgeous?" (I assume you must be referring more to the North County area which I didn't have time to explore more thoroughly, like Vista or Poway, but then again, maybe these are not really so great either, I don't know!)
 
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Oct 4th, 2000, 07:13 AM
  #18
Gary
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Don (previous post):

I, too, think San Diego is a "gorgeous" city. As for areas you didn't mention, Balboa Park--a huge park with theaters and many museums--comes to mind, as does the view from Pt. Loma, as well as the tidepools and cliffs below. Too bad you didn't have time for a more thorough inspection; North County also is beautiful, as are the inland desert areas and Mt. Palomar.
 
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Oct 4th, 2000, 08:50 AM
  #19
kayla
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I am planning a relocation to Cali--my husband is going to Stanford B school. While I know this is not a "relocation" forum, I was wondering if anyone knows of a good website or dicussion forum focusing on this subject. Thanks so much!
 
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Oct 4th, 2000, 09:54 AM
  #20
Caitlin
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This is for Doma, in response to Wendy's post above about the differences between NY and CA. I moved from California (but the SF Bay Area) to NYC five years ago, and of course it is true that it's a very different place--that's probably why Doma wants to make the move! But I want to point out that, aside from the comment about the state non-smoking regulations, Wendy has offered her perspective as a southern Californian, and one thing you will find out when you spend time in California is that, other things aside, northern and southern California are culturally different. While people in California are in general more "laid back" and casual than NY, the SF Bay Area is not as casual as San Diego; you will not likely see people in shorts in nice restaurants, even when shorts weather actually occurs there (not too often in SF itself). And it's obviously incorrect to say that you will have to get a car. There are places where it is difficult to survive without one, but there are also places where it is not a problem, and Doma is clearly looking for the latter. San Diego, regardless of its beauty, is not suited to her needs. She can certainly find a fast business environment in SF is she wants, and probably in LA, too. All of CA does resemble life is SD, as lovely as that is or can be.

To Wendy: we had a nice exchange about the CA-NY transplant experience and restaurants in Murray Hill back in March on the NY hosted forum. Welcome to the neighborhood, and if you have any questions about neighborhood/local stuff or anything else, please feel free to email me. BTW, nothing wrong with what you told Doma, I just wanted to broaden the view on California a bit.
 
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