Santa Monica- Ocean Park Neighborhood

Old Jan 8th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Santa Monica- Ocean Park Neighborhood

Could anyone tell me about the Ocean Park neighborhood in Santa Monica? Wondering if it is a nice place to live and also what is the neighborhood school? I think that it might be John Muir Elementary. Does anyone know if this is a good school?

Thank you in advance,
Gem
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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I have two friends who have lived in Ocean Park, each for at least 8 years. One lives in a small freestanding one bedroom bungalow three blocks from the beach (around OCaen Park and 3rd), and the other lives closer to the beach on corner of Neilson Way and a street leading directly to the beach (technically, I am not sure if that is Ocean Park per se, but it is on a block in direct path of Ocean Park going towards the beach). I am not sure how far away from the beach Ocean Park area covers. You will be close to Main Street and the good restaurants and shops there. Some of those restaurants are neighborhood places that I personally like to go to, some of them are more upscale. There is a very nice Sunday morning market in a parking lot next to the restaurant in the Victorian house (I think it is called "the Victorian") on Main St., running back twoards Neilson Way; lots of vendors w/organic produce, breads, cheeses, stands making omelets and other goodies for breakfast and early lunch, etc. I never miss that market (or the Wed./Sat. market at the Promenade, Arizona and 2nd-3rd) when I am in Santa Monica on a Sunday. Both of my friends love the area (and one has small children).

There is a branch of the Santa Monica Public Library on Main St. at Ocean Park Blvd., in Ocean Park area. You are also pretty close to access to the 10 hwy.

One thing I have observed and also dealt with when I visit them is that it is all street parking in this area - almost no one has a driveway to park in. So unless you have a driveway, you are vying for street parking space.

I do not know about the schools; my friend's kids go to private schools.
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:18 PM
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Thank you for all the great information, emd. It does sound like a nice/fun neighborhood. If you do not mind my asking, what schools do your friend's children go to? We are hoping to find a wonderful school for our daughter and then let that determine where we will look for housing.

Thank You Again,
Gem
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Gem - I can tell you that the Santa Monica school district is a very good one. The 2 best elem. schools IMO are Franklin & Rooselvelt Elem. Check out the school district's website: smmusd.org. Ocean Park is a very fun hip neighborhood. Grant Elem. I feel is the best near that neighborhood. The Montana Ave. area is where the other 2 schools are located and it's very nice with many boutiques & restaurants. When we were house shopping, Ocean Park was more expensive per sq.ft. than the Montana/No. of Wilshire Area. ALL of it is expensive, but if you're wanting the bonus of a top notch public school check out the areas in the Roosevelt & Franklin boundaries.
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Old Jan 30th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Thank you, Lizpz.

We are deffinately looking in the Franklin and Rossevelt neighborhoods.

We just got back a couple of days ago and are now trying to jump throught the hoops to get our daughter in.
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Old Jan 31st, 2006, 12:22 PM
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As a teacher who did some student teaching in Santa Monica the previoius poster is correct. The school system is excellent and not a part of LA Unified which is a good thing. Franklin and Roosevelt are great neighborhood schools. The library on Montana has lots of kids programs as well.

I think that North of Wilshire in Santa Monica is more neighborhoody than Ocean Park but Ocean Park is a good alternative. I always thought it was much less expensive down in O. Park than Montana. I would definetely choose North of Wilshire if that is the case!
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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We have ended up in Franklin district. The school is great and the teacher is amazing. Our condo closes in a week and a half. Cannot wait to get settled.

Thank you so much to everyone who has posted such helpful advise. It made the move so much easier.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 08:57 PM
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What area is the condo in? I don't know the school district areas...

Are you going to be in Ocean Park area? You originally asked about Ocean Park. Is Franklin area on other side of downtown SM, by Montana Ave.?

I wonder because I am currently doing a several month work duty in Santa Monica so am getting to know the neighborhood even more than ever before, and just recently discovered Montana Ave area.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Franklin School is on Montana Ave. Very Good choice the kids and you will love the pedestrian friendly great neighborhood and school.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 07:22 PM
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Thank you. We are very excited, too. We are going to go down to one car and try to walk every where. We have just purchased bikes and are waiting for our daughter's to arrive from Portland so that we can take family bike rides. We are so excited to be here. It was a huge undertaking, and I am not done yet, but Santa Monica is so wonderful that has been worth it.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 02:47 PM
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emd, I did a search on your name to try to find a trip report on Japan that I think was mentioned on another post. I was surprised to find you on this post as I grew up in Santa Monica (born in SM Hospital), my kids went to Roosevelt (great school), Lincoln Middle School and SAMOHI (one graduated, the other is a junior). I also work in SM at SMC. Small world.

I love Santa Monica (parents still live here), but I have to admit that the parking is TERRIBLE all over the city. The entire city has become either metered or residental permit parking only and heaven forbid you should get a ticket!! It'll cost you almost $50!! Ouch!

Well, gonna keep looking for that trip report...

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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:16 PM
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jlaughs: I am at the Sheraton Delfina (used to be the Four Points) for a few wks, which is across Pico from SM High School. I can go out on the balcony and see the soccer players and track, etc. I am thinking that in a few wks I will be able to go over and hopefully watch a baseball game at the school, which will be nice because I will be missing my own son's junior varisty baseball games at home during the week while I am here for a client.

I think Santa Monica has a community atmosphere that does not come through for the tourists, like many places. It has it's own bumps and bruises too, like all communities do.

Oh, btw, to find my japan trip report, just search on the Asia forum for: EMD's japan trip report. It will come up as the 2nd post. The 1st post will be my preliminary itinerary for my trip that is coming up in 5 wks. Can't wait for that!



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Old Feb 24th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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emd: I'll look for you out on a balcony tonight and wave. I'll be at the school in the gym as my son is a starter on the Varsity basketball team and they're playing a quarter-final game in the CIF playoffs. Keep your fingers crossed!!
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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jlaughs, I wish I would have known about the basketball last night! My son also plays basketaball (freshman stater this year and we are hoping for JV next yr.) So I would have loved to see a game. I had looked at the SM hi website for basketball and it looked like the season was over. I'll check it again. Did they win last night? Will there be another game at the high school?
My husband and kids are going to our local Northern VA regional basketbal finals tonight. I'd really like to get to a game in SM. I know there is a baseball skrimmage today at SM at 11 but I am in downtown LA working til this afternoon.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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jlaughs: I have rechecked online and can't find any info on the varsity quarterfinals game last night, whether SM advanced, and if so when the next game is. Please let me know.
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Old Feb 25th, 2006, 09:10 PM
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ttt for jlaughs
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Old Feb 27th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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ttt for jlaughs
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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emd, so sorry for not replying sooner! Was pretty busy since I was going to take a few days off (3/1-4) to go to San Antonio, so I wasn't on Fodors much after I posted that message.

We DID win the quarterfinal game (GREAT game). Too bad you missed it. You definitely would have known who my son is if I told you that he was the guard who stole the ball in the last minute with the score tied, threw an alley-oop pass to a teammate who slam dunked it. Believe me, everyone went wild! Can you tell that I'm a proud mom?

The Semifinal game was the following Tuesday (2/28) at Millikan HS in Long Beach. Unfortunately, we lost by 4. My son played a pretty big role in this game as well, but for not as good a reason. He was high scorer on our team (17 pts, four 3-pointers), but he had the ball poked away from behind with 8 seconds on the clock and we were down by 1. The other team recovered and got fouled on an attempted layup. Made 1 free throw - up by 2. We inbounded with 6 seconds and the other guard slipped (seemed like the floor might have had a wet spot) while dribbling. They recovered again and made the last basket - won by 4. My son actually made the LA Times as well as every smaller newspaper around. Oh well, it was a good season.

btw, the reason you didn't see the playoff games on the Samohi website is that it's not part of their regular season. The playoff games were listed on the CIF website for the Southern Section and also on the MaxPreps website. You might want to know about the MaxPreps site (www.maxpreps.com) if your son plays sports because it's for high school sports (football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, baseball, wrestling - boys and girls) for all states. If you look at the Santa Monica HS page (California, Southern Section, Ocean League), the picture on the page is of my son making a rebound. Not a great picture of him on the cuteness scale, but not a bad picture considering he's only 5'10".

Okay, I'll stop now, but I could talk about my son and basketball forever.

And, my apologies to everyone else that this is not travel related (although I did mention that I was traveling to San Antonio, right?).
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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jlaughs, I loved reading your post. Congratulations on a great season (and how many copies of the LA Times did you buy that day?!) It is definitely travel related, since I got interested in this by traveling and staying so much in Santa Monica.

I will check out that website and your son there. My son's winter sports banquet was this week and there were 3 awards given out for freshman basketball - MVP, Most Improved, and "Mr. Hustle", for the one who goes all out and hustles every play. My son got the Mr Hustle.

I will be following Samohi baseball this spring while I am there and hope to go to some home games. Will be back in SM at same place 3/22 thru end of the month; then I need to come home to get ready to go to Japan!
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 07:48 PM
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Your son is #3, right? I love the look on the man in the blue jacket and the woman in the yellow sweater behind him.
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