Down and Out in Beverly Flats

Beverly Hills The City Unveiled
Recognize this? Yes, my street actually looks like this.

After lots of searching, I finally found and ultimately decided to move into a small studio in Beverly Hills, just West Hollywood adjacent. This was no easy decision– I even gave up the option of living with a very cool roommate, just blocks from the beach! And when I say West Hollywood adjacent, I really mean it. I am quite literally in the most southeastern corner of Beverly Hills, where it ends and where WeHo begins. When I cross the street, I am in West Hollywood and I can’t even park my car on the opposite side of the road with my Beverly Hills parking permit! (Oh, L.A., can’t you be one really big city? No, I mean like really, really one big city!)

I definitely did my due diligence before moving. I looked at several places throughout West L.A., in Hancock Park, which is absolutely gorgeous, and several more in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Surprisingly, however, I found the best studio, in terms of size, design, price and distance to my work, here in Bev Hills. Go figure!

For the last few months, I felt Santa Monica was a good place to live, but it wasn’t perfect. Not for me now, anyway. Obviously, no place is perfect, but there’s something a little too suburban about Santa Monica in particular at this stage in my life, despite it being so alluring because of its ocean views, breezes and beach lifestyle. And I’m sorry for all you die-hard Santa Monica fans, but I’ve talked to several other friends who feel the same. (They happen to live in Koreatown, Silver Lake, West Hollywood and Hollywood.)

I guess you can say that I feel just a tad more connected to other parts of Los Angeles now, and I am also a little bit closer to friends in Hollywood and West Hollywood, to Downtown to some degree, and even to the San Gabriel Valley, though not by much. I’ll post a few pics of my new place up soon. I have tons of ideas about how to make it more beautiful and comfy, though I’m already pleased with how it has turned out so far.

I also sort of feel like I’m in more of a real city here. Not sure why or how true this is. Maybe it’s the diversity or maybe it’s the attitudes… Or maybe it’s just because I have to drive through more of L.A. to get home. Would I be better off walking home after work? Maybe. I suppose if thinking green I would be, I would save on money and gas, pollute the environment less, and fit that extra exercise into my day. I still certainly hope to be able to do so some day in the future…

I know that Beverly Hills isn’t exactly a Millennial mecca or the place to be like parts of Downtown L.A. or Silver Lake. But it has a solid reputation and its ties to Hollywood history and glam are inseparable, at least on the surface. Oddly, Santa Monica and West Hollywood seem to have much more in common with each other, at least politically speaking, than with Beverly Hills nestled between them. (I also really like parts of West L.A., Century City and Culver City by the way!)

Cities, like companies, organizations, and even people, project an image. Call it marketing, if you will. Barcelona does. So does New York City. And so does L.A. And this is often promulgated in film and TV. But it is also to some degree rooted in each city’s historical context, right? Everyone knows the rich and famous live in Beverly Hills. Or do they? Maybe in the actual hilly part above Santa Monica Blvd., but the section I’m in is pretty normal anyway. So normal, they actually call it “The Flats” here.

studio the city unveiled
A studio, not mine!

That’s about it for now, but more stories about studio living, home improvement, and my ever-evolving life in L.A.– and in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, specifically– still to come!

Signing Off,

~ Erica

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