We are relocating from NY to Southern California. One of us needs to get to Redondo Beach and the other to Oxnard, everyday. At the moment we are considering Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks area, Sherman Oaks area, or Santa Monica area. Ideas? Advice? Ideally, we are looking for a strong, active (observant) Jewish community with decent access to both these places.
Thanks for your help!!
My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12
Thousand Oaks is lovely and mostly affordable whereas Santa Monica is not affordable but really nice as far as community goes. The promenade and farmers market there is AMAZING. I'm not sure about Jewish communities. I'm sure there is a yahoo group or forum that'll connect you with areas which are Jewish. LA is HUGE. I live in the San Gabriel valley and enjoy the short commute to downtown LA or the South Bay area (Redondo, El Segundo, Hermosa) and day tripping to Ventura barely takes an hour on a good day.
You'll have to worry about traffic traveling to both of those cities but I feel like Oxnard will be less of a commute traffic-wise. Your rail systems in NY are FAR superior but on the metrolink you may be able to get a pretty good commute in both directions from the areas you mentioned.
Mama + Daddy +DD (12/20/09) =
Expecting #2 in September!
Mama + Daddy +DD (12/20/09) =
Expecting #2 in September!
Oh, wow. Those are two commutes! Honestly, I would not advice two people to live in the same house and do those two commutes every day. I mean, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but that is going to be much worse than it looks on paper (or on a map). Right now, the 405 is under construction so it's worse than usual. It has been worse the past 6 months, so any forums that are dated before that, are not accurate. The construction will probably go at least another year, because it's a year behind schedule. Going south on the 405 in the mornings, and north in the evenings, is the way most people go, which is what you are setting yourself up for. You would almost want to just live in Redondo Beach, because going from Sherman Oaks or Thousand Oaks to Redondo in the mornings would be rough. You will want to live south, and commute north, in the mornings, if using the 405. Either way, it's rough.
I am not Jewish, but there are plenty of Jews in Santa Monica, and moving westward from there. Sherman Oaks would be close enough to other Jews...I get the sense that there are more Jews in neighboring Encino, but they are like 5-10 minutes apart. Thousand Oaks is more suburban....I am sure there are Jews there, but it has a much more suburban feel to it, so you don't see the really observant Jews there, because there is not as much of a village/walkable feel. It feels like the 'burbs to me....just a mix of people, but maybe fewer Jews?
Let me give better advice: I have never driven to Oxnard, but based on my knowledge of the freeways, getting to Oxnard will be much much easier than Redondo. So live as close to Redondo as possible, if you want the commute times to be even for both people. Going towards Oxnard on the 1 or the 101 in the mornings will be the easy side of the road (opposite of the majority). Going towards Redondo from any of those places will be rough.....I'd pick Santa Monica. But it also depends what is important to you. Do you want more space for your buck? Or is living in a Jewish community the most important thing? If you would like to be close to other Jews, I would not recommend anything south of Marina Del Rey. Venice has a stoner vibe in some areas, so you like that or you don't. I am a little too "square" for it, and I prefer Santa Monica. Rancho Park, Beverlywood, and Pico Robertson are all inland a little from West LA, and I would say are mostly Jewish.
Getting from Redondo to Thousand Oaks in the afternoon/evening would be hell. I know someone that goes from Sherman Oaks to Calabasas, and doesn't like it. That skips the portion that is the 405. But once you get past Calabasas on your way home, it would thin out some. Check out sigalert.com (spelling?) on the times you'd be commuting, to see what traffic is like at the times you'd be commuting. I would rule out Thousand Oaks, unless the Redondo person can telecommute or only go in a couple days a week, or is okay sitting in a car for ungodly stretches. I would plan on well over an hour to get home, daily, as the "normal," not the "there was an accident on the freeway."
I'm a Redondo Beach native, used to drive almost to Oxnard from that area quite often, and also lived in Santa Monica. I HIGHLY recommend Santa Monica. It'll be an easier commute to Redondo Beach from there, pretty straightforward to Oxnard, has an amazing community and I remember the more progressive-minded Jewish community being quite active in Santa Monica.
That sounds like a rough commute in opposite directions, and Santa Monica seems to make the most sense. Don't go to the Valley! Don't go to Thousand Oaks! It will make life hell for whoever is commuting to Redondo.
Santa Monica would be great, if it is within your budget. It's one of the priciest places in the area, because of how clean, beautiful, central, and trendy it is (plus proximity to the beach). My husband and I live in nearby Venice, SM's grungier, laid-back neighbor to the South, and I still can't believe the cost of living. Before moving here we lived in Sherman Oaks, which would be a miserable drive to Redondo (warning: it's all a miserable drive in LA), but you can get more bang for your buck home-wise. It's definitely not as cool as Santa Monica (trend wise and weather wise!) but is close to both 101 and 405, has its share of good restaurants & shopping, plus you are close to Studio City which has even more. Good luck in whatever decision you make!
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