and they moved to Beverly…”
Which is what we’ll be doing soon. Sue now has considerable business in Beverly Hills and we will be relocating there. Our house in the San Fernando Valley (AKA the Valley) is nice, but the twenty mile drive to Beverly Hills can easily take her 60-90 minutes each way. L.A. traffic continues to get steadily worse with every passing month too. So, soon enough, Sue will be able to walk to her clients, a rare treat in the traffic-clogged megalopolis that is Los Angeles. (I have a home office and just need a net connection to work.)
We will be in an area with lots of restaurants and stores within walking distance, so that’ll be fun. Another nice benefit is that during the summer temperatures are usually 20-30 degrees cooler in Beverly Hills (and the rest of L.A.) than in the Valley. So, if it’s 105 in the Valley, it’ll be a mere 85 in Beverly Hills.
The Valley routinely gets ridiculed by others in L.A. are being somehow backwards, yet according to the L.A. Times, it’s the most ethnically diverse part of L.A. However, the pockets of ethnicities are small, not big like the Armenian diaspora in Glendale or Korea Town near the downtown area. Thus, some still think the Valley is Anglo Republicans like it was in the 50’s. Not anymore. Our quiet suburban block has Latinos, Iranians, and African-Americans on it, as well as a pocket of lesbian couples who have been here for years.
The primary reason people live in the Valley is that housing isn’t as astronomically priced as elsewhere, though hardly cheap. You might get a one bedroom condo in the Valley for $250,000. That same condo on the Westside of L.A. (where Beverly Hills is), would at least $400,000-500,000.
Housing prices and long commute drives are serious problems in Los Angeles (and elsewhere too, of course) that no one really has an answer too. If the freeways are constant parking lots, it doesn’t really matter if you’re driving a beater or a Bentley. The long delayed plans to extend the L.A. subway from midtown to the Westside via light rail has finally gotten the ok because, among other reasons, the formerly balky homeowners associations finally realized, hey, our homes might be worth 2 million but we can’t get anywhere on surface streets during rush hour.
So, while we’ll lucky enough to be able to dodge the traffic bullet, many can’t, and too many here in L.A. drive more than 90 minutes each way to work. Mass transit on a mass scale is what’s needed. The subway helps, but it doesn’t go many places yet. The problem is compounded when you realize that L.A. County is bigger in square miles than the State of Connecticut.
I mentioned the upcoming move to a friend who has multiple websites, saying that once we knew for sure we were moving, I made the first phone call to arrange things. “For DSL or cable?”, he said. Well, of course…