About a month ago, I started a temp assignment at a cable network located on Miracle Mile. Miracle Mile is located in the “Mid-City” area of Los Angeles. In other words, NO WHERE near a freeway. The fact that it takes at least 20 minutes to get to the closest freeway/highway is mind boggling to me. Maybe because this isn’t my part of town it’s just so weird to me.
For most of my life, I grew up in a middle-class suburb of the San Fernando Valley. What I consider to be my part of the “Valley”, is a perfect square. Each block is about a half-mile from the next. Streets run parallel and perpendicular to each other at 90 degree angles. The 118 freeway is at the most northern part. The 101 freeway at the southern most part. The 405 runs north to south, in the middle of the rest of the valley. I consider home to be west of the 405 freeway. Whenever I’m at the top of the hill on the 405 headed north and see the landscape of the Valley, I can’t help but sigh and think “Home”.
My commute runs from the northern end of the valley down to Miracle Mile. It takes me about 75-90 minutes to get to work, an hour if I’m lucky. I’m sure you can ask anyone, but driving is not the issue. It’s sitting in traffic and losing 2.5 hours of your day that drives people crazy. For anyone looking to move to LA, you better know how to be really comfortable in your car, by yourself, for long periods of time. Phone dates, audio books and music do help pass the time!
Getting back to my point, I like having easy access to a freeway. I like that in the valley, if you need to go 10 miles across the way, jump on any freeway and you’re done. Not in LA. The City of Los Angeles has too much surface street for my liking. The streets are smaller and more crammed. Just now, I looked up directions to go from Miracle Mile to Glendale, hoping that some freeway would be easier. Nope. 10.8 miles all surface street.
Another thing I like about the valley are the hills. It’s true, I do find myself signing “The hills are alive, with the sound of music” whenever they hills look particularly majestic to me. I love when the sun is peeking through the clouds and you can see the shadows of the clouds on the hills. I love around March, their fresh and bright green color. I love the day after it’s rained, when the air is fresh and crisp and there’s no smog. I look all around I can clearly see the hills at all ends.
At the age of 24, I shouldn’t be thinking of “settling down” but I am. Just . . . not yet. I’ve come to realize that I do genuinely like the city of Los Angeles. However, when I do plan on “settling down”, it MUST be near a hill and near a freeway. I don’t want to live on a hill, just at the bottom of a hill, I must also be accessible to my cities of choice/need (for work). Where would I want to live permanently-ish? Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Franklin Village, Los Feliz, Silverlake (maybe?).
I don’t plan on settling down in LA anytime soon. I love this city, but I will be taking a break from it in the near future and then come back and hope it still welcomes me with open arms.