Friday, May 27, 2011

"Is that in the Valley?"

So we found the place we will actually call home for at least our first year in California, and it’s in a place I never expected… Sherman Oaks.

Now for those of you who don’t know much about L.A. life, people are very particular about what section of town they live in. We have friends on the West Side (Venice, Santa Monica, etc), some in Hollywood, and a couple in the Silverlake/Los Feliz area. These places are all really nice, but for a few reasons we decided not to move there.

So to put a positive spin on this, I’m NOT going to tell you why we AREN’T moving to those places; I am going to tell you why we ARE moving to…. The Valley.

Let’s talk about the location of the valley. Look at map, turn on the terrain function. See that giant mountain range that seems to separate Los Angeles/Hollywood from the North? Yeah, look just North of that mountain range, that’s the valley.

I have always heard negative things about the valley. All over America (maybe the world) the Valley has a stigma about it, thanks mainly to movies and TV. You have Valley Girl, Clueless, and even Saved By the Bell showing you the negative side. Valley Girl playing up the mall centered mind-sets, Clueless making it seem like a dirty, uncool place with lame parties (as my lovely friend Ryan McGinnis put it “Be careful, Cher got mugged in the Valley!”), and Saved By the Bell made Valley out to be the mean guys. (*** IMPORTANT Side Note: Cher was mugged in North Hollywood. NOT in Sherman Oaks or Studio City***)

So when we got our place in Studio City, I was excited and nervous to see what I thought about living in this location. (Studio City is just North of those mountains you see. It has Ventura Blvd running through it, Laurel Canyon taking you down to Hollywood, and Coldwater Canyon taking you to Beverly Hills)

Within the first week of being here we had a few days of heat, just barely over 90 degrees. I thought that was it for me! I mean, I didn’t move to LA for heat. Then, the weather evened out, and I found I preferred the temperatures here over other LA locations.

Here are a few more things I’ve loved about Studio City:

  • I feel safe here! That is a big deal because in our last place I felt a little uncomfortable being home alone. Here, we leave our windows open, even at night.
  • There is a great park beside our house with FREE workout equipment, a nice track, a playground, tennis courts. Adler has become so much better around people just because of walks in this park.
  • We are near an AMAZING dog park in Laurel Canyon! It is HUGE and has amazing views of the mountains surrounding it (and the fancy houses). It’s right off of Muholland Dr, and is by far Adler’s favorite place in the world.
  • Contrary to popular belief, not ALL of the celebrities live in Hollywood, Beverly Hills or Malibu. So many live here in or around Studio City. You can’t walk outside your door and run an errand without seeing someone you’ve watched on TV. While this is neat, what it’s really meant to show is just how preferable and lovely it is to live here; even the celebs pick it!
  • There are roses everywhere (that’s really Southern California in general)! Everything is just beautiful and quaint.
  • Ventura Blvd! I love it. It has almost every shopping place we need on it, lots of great restaurants, and you can just park and walk to get all of your errands done.
  • Studio City Farmers’ Market every Sunday. This place is great and has great deals on fruits and veggies.
  • We go to a home church here that has been amazing, and has introduced us to a ton of really nice people. They have made LA such a welcoming place for us!
  • Location, location, location! We have Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon, Sepulveda the 101, and the 405 just a short jaunt away! It takes no time at all to get all over this town with those roads so near by.

So of course, as you can see, I love Studio City; and I want to live here…. But we weren’t able to find exactly what we need in our price range here. This is where Sherman Oaks comes in to play.

Look at that map again. Look West of Studio City, but before the 405, that’s Sherman Oaks. It’s a little bit less shiny than Studio City, but still very homey and convenient.

The place we have found is just 2 miles down Ventura from where we are now (for those that know the area it’s East of Woodman, West of Van Nuys, and South of Ventura…in the fancy area). Here are all of the things that have drawn us to this place

  • It’s an apartment with a yard! It’s own personal yard! This means it’s tons cheaper than a house, but still has a place for Adler.
  • It’s in a small complex of only 11 units; so the owners focus more on making it feel like a home than just another apartment.
  • It’s a VERY affordable price!
  • No pet deposit!
  • We get the month of July FREE!
  • We get to use (maybe keep) a big flat screen TV while we’re there.
  • It’s 2 bedrooms, 2 bath, which means lots of space for guests to come visit us.
  • It’s a nice, roomy kitchen.
  • REAL hard wood floors in the living room/dining room.
  • Off-street parking
  • It’s in a nice neighborhood, perfect for walking Adler.
  • It’s right down the street from some of our friends.
  • Our property manager is easy to contact and very nice!
I am sure there will be even more nice things about it once we move in, and I will be sure to let you know (i PROMISE)! We move in on May 31st/June 1st.

P.S. Yes, this means we will be returning to Texas for the rest of our things sometime soon. I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

P.P.S. I am working on writing shorter blogs. Hopefully, you will no longer be exhausted by the end.