#MakingLAMine Moving Journal | From the West Side to Downtown

My trip to LA was only supposed to last just over a week… Get into my Moving Journal posts to read more about how my vacation turned into a permanent move, and to learn about the setbacks and successes I encounter during my transition from DC to LA.

Let's Switch gears and bring it back to LA...

As you might remember from my previous moving journal post, I was enjoying my numbered days in my temporary west side residence in the Sawtelle/Brentwood part of town. Those 6 months FLEW by. Knowing my lease was only a short-term situation, I couldn't let myself get too used to it. I didn’t feel as nostalgic saying goodbye as I did, say, when I  moved out of my last apartment back in College Park where I'd collected two years of good times, but there were definitely things that I would miss about my first official spot in LA.

Bye-bye to my old spot! 

I like long walks on the beach... ;-) 

I adored living minutes away from the beach, with Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu only moments away. As as an ocean fanatic who also  loves being in the midst of all the happenings, the west side is naturally my favorite part of town. The townhouse was gorgeous, my landlord/roomy was super cool (and barely there), and I lived in walking distance to an array of good eats. Proximity to food is probably higher on my list of apartment requirements than it should be. But most of all, that twenty minute walk to work in Cali's daily perfect weather was everything. I got my daily dose of sunshine, exercise, and peace of mind without spending a dime on transportation.

It was amazing while it lasted.

Now, I'm back downtown with my sis Tamika where my LA journey started -- only this time as an official roommate, not just a couch crasher.

My significant other was actually supposed to be making the move out here when my lease ended -- we were planning for it over the past several months. I was looking forward kissing our long distance life goodbye, having him here to tote all over California with me, and of course being able to split living costs and have more financial breathing room. Long story short, he ended up deciding it wasn't a good time for him to move yet.

Initially, I was pissed. I cussed him out, I threw tantrums, I stopped talking to him. But then, we came to an understanding. Not everyone will feel comfortable with quitting their job to up and move across the country. He knows even fewer people in LA than I did (which was only a handful) and he's a lot less likely to go out and meet new people. It's like expecting a man to marry you before he's ready - I would never want that!  

Just like I made the decision for myself to move, he made the decision for himself to not move just yet. The toughest part about it all was going from a  budget planned around a 50/50 cost of living split, to suddenly having to cover everything myself. Huge financial blow. I didn't even have time to look for alternative living options. It left me in an awkward position that I still loathe thinking about, but I know I will be fine.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation where your plans are riding on someone else’s decisions , note any noncommittal signs and always have a backup plan or two. My biggest clue-ins: he kept putting off buying his plane ticket and starting to apply for jobs. I mean, hello! Clearly he wasn’t exactly as gung-ho as me about picking up his life and plunking it down somewhere so far away from where he’s spent over two decades calling home.

Thank God I’m independent. I am a huge believer that things to tend to work out for their own specific reasons. Yes, I’m spending a lot more than I should be on rent, but I do absolutely love the apartment as well as living with my friend. I’m grateful!

I moved pretty much by myself. I rented a mid sized car via Relay Rides for the weekend during my move, packed it with my boxes, and made two trips back and forth. I tried so hard to get my bike in there, but that thang would just not fit. I requested a Lyft driver (my first one was driving a car so I cancelled, my second was was driving an SUV - bingo) and asked if he could transport my bike for me and follow me to my place. That was my quick and easy alternative to having to hire a mover or something. It would have made sense to rent an SUV from the jump instead of a sudan, but everything worked out. Moving is a b*tch and I’m so glad I only had one room to pack up and unpack -- still, when is moving ever NOT a hassle?

Several years back, downtown LA’s sketchy reputation made for it being an unpopular area to reside in. However, renovations and revitalizations have been at the forefront of DTLA in recent years,  such as in many of the country’s largest urban cities (DC, NYC, etc) where there’s an abundance of new businesses, residences, and happenings being pumped back into its streets. With the Staples Center/LA Live, plenty of dining options, and a few new shopping centers being just down the street, it’s a pretty cool area to live in (or just outside of).

It amazes me how quick it is to get to places from downtown when there is no traffic. Sunset Blvd starts right down the block from me. Hollywood? 15 minutes away. Burbank? 20 minutes. Santa Monica? 30 minutes. It’s very centralized! But anyone who knows a few things about LA knows that you can rarely expect a traffic-free commute anywhere -- during daylight at least.

In with the new

Now that I can tell you a little bit about living on the west side and now living downtown, please do let me know if you have any questions about either area! Moving to/visiting LA? Ask away. LA native? Leave your girl some tips. I’m all ears. =)


Kristen Noelle

I consider myself a softly eccentric urbanista. I’m quiet by nature, and I’ve generally always had a mellow laid-back vibe. However, when it comes to my preferences for fun, my style, and my overall thought process, I get a bit more eccentric. I like stepping out of the box of normalcy -- but without forcing anything. I’m a thrill junkie and I live for things that get my adrenaline pumping, such as riding on top of party buses in New York City and hanging off of skyscrapers in Vegas. I spring for bold hues, colorful prints and patterns, and a relaxed look that gives effortless-chic. I like exploring new places and capturing exciting sites. I’m a creative, with a million different ideas running through my mind each day. Whether I’m designing waistbeads, imagining up new clothing concepts, envisioning my next business venture, or planning my next adventure abroad, I’m always thinking of how I can create something great. Being raised in the suburbs but not far from the city and constantly traveling, I developed a love for the best of worlds. The calm and the crazy. The easy-going and the always-buzzing. The soft and the eccentric.