LA neighborhoods

What irritates me about the way people south of the hills attitude about the Valley is that we provide something like 2/3’s of the tax base for LA. There have been several measures over the years to split the valley into it’s own entity, but that would cripple LA’s finances.

Most of the neighborhoods in the Valley are actually part of LA. Burbank, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, San Fernando and Pasadena are the only ones that are truly their own city.

I think you would be hard-pressed to consider Pasadena a part of the Valley. If you do, you’d certainly have to include Glendale, which also is an incorporated city.

As to the tax base, I doubt it’s that bad a split, but 50/50 would not shock me at all.

I can’t find the numbers at the moment, so I can’t back that up right now. And my figure was probably way off. (Posting numbers before coffee is a bad idea)

A major part of the problem is that we get a very small return for our tax dollars. We account for 1/3 of the population of LA but as an example from the last time the SFV tried to secede, we had 1.2 police officers per capita while LA proper has 2.0, only 14% of the street repair dollars in the city went to the valley, we have half the number of libraries per square mile, etc. (Sorry for the rant, but the Valley really does subsidize the rest of LA in a very uneven way)

I guess you had to be there.

In the 1980’s, the rule in LAUSD was that you go to school based on where you live based on streets, not neighborhoods. PERIOD END OF DISCUSSION. A common practice was to borrow a nearby relative’s address to move to a better school. We were 2 blocks east of Sepulveda Blvd so despite the fact that we went to Porter JHS and that fed (for most students) into Kennedy HS, we had to go to San Fernando HS PERIOD END OF DISCUSSION

In 1983, my sister used my uncle’s address and ended up at Monroe (no offence but it is now a pit after the gangs took over North Hills. I actually refused to take a job there since it was so dirty.) When it was my turn, LAUSD was cracking down on addresses so I ended up having to go to a private school (Alemany).

There are two high schools in that area, Reseda and Birmingham. I don’t have the maps in front of me (and they may have been changed), but IIRC, west of White Oak and south of Victory would have been Encino but within Reseda HS’s boundry (go Regents!!!). In fact, the idea that the snotty Encino kids in the movies would go to school there is reasonable since Reseda is further west than Birmingham and as a general rule in the valley, the further west you go, the better.

I just want to say this is a very interesting and informative thread, answering many questions about LA that I have always had!!

I think it’s technically possible that they both went to Taft HS which would have some kids from Encino and Resseda in it (Tarzana too I think). But then there is also the possibility that they were both in a magnet program, or that one was in an open campus magnet program and that is why they went to the same school. I lived in Sherman Oaks as a kid and went to Hollywood High because of magnet programing. It’s an easy thing to handwave away if you live here, and if you don’t you wouldn’t know.

Well many people come to know L.A. only though Woody Allen films, and have no idea of how varied, diverse and complex it is. (The Westside is just one limited part of L.A.) I got to know the city–in all of various moods as they changed from place to place and time of day–by driving a taxi here for almost two years. LAUSD has over a hundred different languages and dialects spoken by its students at home. The class and cultural associations which accompany different neighborhoods can be subtle, and as mentioned above, have been changing in many places. Central Hollywood has been trying to change its image as a seedy place which once had a major crack-dealing neighborhood, while West Hollywood–a more upscale city incorporated separately from L.A., with a large gay population–has the Sunset Strip. East Hollywood is mostly a working class Thai and Armenian enclave, which lies at the foot of the Hollywood Hills, where Madonna and Leonardo Dicaprio used to live.

I don’t know of anyone who considers Ventura part of L.A., let alone Kern. You might consider Ventura as part of the Santa Barbara area, but Kern is definitely in the San Joaquin Valley, far north and on the other side of huge mountains.

Yes, as mentioned above. The two areas are adjacent, but Encino goes up into the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains, and Reseda is on the floor of the Valley. Tom Petty mentions Reseda in the song “Free Falling,” as a way of saying the character in the song lives in a characterless, working-class area of post-dingbat apartments. On the other hand, a large number of the people who vote on the Academy Awards live in Encino.

Yes, and there are quite a few unincorporated parts of the county that are policed by the L.A. Sheriffs (most notably East L.A.), and I believe Malibu and West Hollwood, though now incorporated as cities in their own right, are still policed by the L.A. Sheriff, while Beverly Hills, which is right next to West Hollywood, and otherwise surrounded by the city of L.A., has its own police department. And a lot of people don’t realize that much of the really old money in L.A. live in Hancock Park–not Beverly Hills and Malibu–an area which is surrounded by Hollywood, Wilshire Center/Koreatown, and Mid-City.

People tend to refer to parts of the city of L.A. as though they were separate cities, because of the expanse. For example, I picked up a couple of guys in Hollywood once and they just said, “Take us to L.A.” Well, they were in L.A. already, and I had to ask before I understood they meant downtown.

Compton, BTW, is an incorporated city, but Watts is part of the city of L.A.

As mentioned Pasadena isn’t in the Valley, so on the the other 4 you are batting 50%. Calabasas and Hidden Hills are not incorporated cities. Wiki link.

I’m going to LA (essentially, first time ever) to do some interviews with people who used to work in the film industry, and who used to live or work in West Hollywood. (Corner of Sunset and Laurel, for example.)

  1. Any recommendations about where I should stay? Looking for for fairly cheap and fairly safe–any decent motels in the area? Bed and breakfasts?

  2. If I stay in an area within a mile of the neighborhood I want to explore (ideally I’d like to meet these folks for lunch, etc. in that area, but not necessarily–most of them live in Beverly Hills, so I’ll do these interviews at their convenience), is it walkable, or do I need to rent a car to get around?

  3. Is Sunset Blvd and points east (about a mile) a good neighborhood?

  4. What’s a cab run for side trips? Specifically, about how much $$$ to Beverly Hills, to Encino, to Santa Monica? Thanks for the help.

Laurel Canyon is probably the most well-known, because that’s where the Manson murders took place, and also because it’s heavily trafficked as a way of getting between the basin and the Valley without using a freeway.

BTW, there are some cities/neighborhoods in L.A. County with strange names. For example, El Segundo (Spanish for “The Second”) because it was where they put the second Standard Oil refinery. Or Hawaiian Gardens. Driving by I got off the freeway to ask random people why they called it that. I think it wasn’t until the sixth person that I got an answer (there once where some gardens that were “Hawaiian” in nature, that have long since vanished). And then there is the area (close to Reseda and Encino) called Tarzana, because Edgar Rice Bourroghs lived there.

And two others with remarkably unimaginative names: Commerce and Industry. And nearby there’s one city (Cudahy) that has only eleven streets. I think these places incorporated separately for tax reasons, to attract businesses.

Go east on Sunset and there are some cheap motels. I can’t remember their names, off-hand. They’re safe. You might see some prostitutes at night, but you’re not likely to be accosted. Bed and breakfast? Probably in West Hollywood and B.H., but otherwise I doubt it east of there.

Not really walkable. I’d rent a car, especially if going to the Valley. But the Sunset Blvd. bus will take you to B.H. pretty quickly.

“Good” for what? Sunset goes from downtown to the ocean, so you might want to be more specific. About which part of Sunset you mean exactly? Sunset (and Hollywood) east of Western have great, cheap Thai and Armenian restaurants.

From Sunset and Laurel Canyon to B.H. is something between five to ten dollars. To Encino? Forget it. The cab fare would at least equal the cost of renting a car. Santa Monica would be something nearing $20, I think. (It’s been a while, so rates could have risen.)

I just wanted to add that it was not until relatively recently (maybe the last 10 years) that I truly understood that “Silicon Valley” and “the Valley” not only are not the same, but are, in fact, at opposite ends of the state.

Sorry–I meant Sunset Blvd around Laurel Avenue and Hayworth Avenues, that one block in particular (and “a mile or so east” being the mile I was thinking of walking).

And of course they forgot San Fernando

Yes, they are.

Ventura County is considered part of the Greater L.A. Metro Area. Kern and Santa Barbara are not.

Fun fact: More L.A. residents commute to jobs in Ventura County than vice versa. This has the odd effect of making rush hour traffic on the 101 freeway (the main link between the two counties) flow the opposite direction of what you’d expect – outbound traffic is much heavier in the morning, while inbound traffic backs up in the evening. It’s actually quite easy to drive out of the Valley on the 101 at 5 p.m., but God help you if you’re going the other direction. :wink:

Nothing in L.A. is within walking distance. Rent a car.

Right, it would have to be laurel ave because sunset and laurel canyon don’t cross. Laruel Canyon is Crescent Hights by the time you get to Sunset. Laurel Ave is a little bit east of cresent (a couple of blocks).

Sunset and Laurel is dead in the center and at the north end of West Hollywood, but all of West Hollywood is rather near Beverly Hills. The whole area is safe enough, I used to live around there and would have no problem walking late at night (after 2am) as long as I was careful and stayed to major streets. I do know several people who have been mugged in that area though.

On the other hand, parking in Beverly Hills is a nightmare. I suggest avoid doing anything actually inside Beverly Hills if you can help it. There are tons of great places to meet up in West Hollywood.

I would rent a car though. While West Hollywood is probably one of the more walkable parts of the city, you are going to miss out on a lot and cabs are going to get expensive fast. I never recommend anyone do anything other than renting a car if they want to actually enjoy themselves while they are here. If you are staying near there and a bit south you can be in the Fairfax district which is entirely walkable as it is an Orthodox Jewish community. But I don’t know how easily you will find a place to stay. I haven’t ever tried to rent a hotel room in that part of the city.

Sunset and about a mile east is a fine neighborhood. It gets you into Hollywood proper and, while there isn’t much going on, the same thing I said about safety applies. You will probably see a fair amount of hookers, but it isn’t actually dangerous. In that part of the city Sunset isn’t really the main drag so much as Santa Monica and Melrose are (both just a few blocks south). Sunset and points west for about a mile is the sunset strip and…well I avoid the strip. Nothing but tourists and scensters. The Standard on sunset is supposed to be a nice hotel, but I think it’s pricey.

Feel free to PM me with other questions. I lived right in that area for a few years, so I can give you tips on places to get breakfast and such.

This I do not get. The guy I’m writing about lived on Sunset and Laurel for a while, and I’m mainly trying to get some kind of feel for his neighborhood–so why would I not want to walk? I ask because if you wanted to come my city (NYC) to get a feel for the area that, say, Truman Capote lived in while writing Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I would advise you in the strongest possible terms just to walk around the area a bit, even though Broolyn Heights is densely packed, complex and impossible to find parking in. Walking’s ideal for wht I’m trying to do, yet every Los Angeleno grips my forearm and intones the mantra “Rent A Car!” as if I were risking life and limb, and not just risking getting slightly tuckered out, by walking there. What’s up with that?

I’ll take you up that. I’ve been thinking about a hotel that looks to be a mile east of Laurel, and I’ll send you their website later on. I’ve got to leave now, actually, to conduct a walking tour of lower Manhattan, by purest coincidence.

You might want to try looking in more than one quick place. :wink:

Calabasas incorporated in 1991. Wiki link

Hidden Hills is not only incorporated, it is gated. Wiki link