Monday, March 12, 2012

La Nueva Casa

And so it appears that our days living as gypsies is about to come to an end. We have found a new home.

Photo from Westside Rentals

Our apartment is located in Santa Monica, which for those of you who don’t know, is awesome. It’s kind of what you imagine all of Los Angeles should look like -- with palm tree-lined streets, cute shops and a beachy vibe. Everyone here appears to be in a constant state of shopping, surfing, jogging or bike riding. Yes, people are actually functioning outside of their cars, which is rare in these parts. Our place is about a half mile walk to Main Street, which is filled with plenty of boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops, and a block from that--the beach. That means the ocean is closer to us than Central Park was to our old NY apartment. Plus, everyone tells us that the temperature here is about 15 degrees cooler than the rest of Los Angeles, which makes for breezy, comfortable weather, year-round. I think I am going to like it here.

The apartment is small for California living--about 900 square feet--but will probably suit our New York City standards just fine. It has a sunny living room area, two bedrooms, one bath, a balcony, a washer/dryer in the unit and a kitchen with all new appliances--a huge upgrade from our old place back east and we’re spending $200 less per month than we did there.

Picking this apartment was not easy, as we found another great place on the very same day and couldn’t decide which one was better. The other place was much bigger and spacious. With two floors, it felt more like a real home. Not to mention it was even CLOSER to the Main Street/beach action. But it was at the top of our budget, a little dark, lacked the washer/dryer in the apartment and the outdoor space was a bit useless, and so we opted for the smaller, more affordable one.

Dan’s work is about 5 miles away, so hopefully it will take him less than 30 minutes to get there (we pray!), and I am now only looking for work on LA’s west side so I have a comparable commute.

There is still a little part of me that is disappointed we’re living in such a generic apartment that has none of the charm of the quaint Spanish style cottage with garden I was imagining before we moved here. Those apartments don’t exist on this side of town, or at least, not in our budget.  (It also didn’t help on the day we were making our decision that we visited a friend’s new apartment in Los Feliz that was pretty much EXACTLY what I was imagining for us--with a much bigger price tag, I do admit. Plus living in that part of town, it would take Dan over an hour to get to work each day).

However, I can’t deny the appeal of our location. Even driving around Santa Monica while looking at apartments, I immediately felt invigorated and revived, and I can’t wait to explore everything. I already know that I will be going to the beach at least once a week, walking to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, riding my bike to the library and shops and running along the beach. I am going to sign up for a plot in the community garden so one day I can grow my own vegetables. (There is a waiting list that might take years, but maybe we’ll get used to this California lifestyle). I’ve already started dreaming about our home decor. I have named myself creative director of the project. Dan is finance manager. I am thinking a palette of ocean-like colors of turquoise, greens, tans, white...and of course, some yellow.

I am just not sure how often any of our friends -- most who live all the way across town -- will come visit us. But I imagine we’ll find something here by the ocean to entertain ourselves. And maybe our east coast friends will stop by for a visit (hint, hint).

We move April 1st.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I'm so happy for you guys. I loved riding through Santa Monica. The bike/run trail along the beach is awesome. I can't wait to visit you guys.