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living near USC

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mele, May 17, 2002.

  1. mele

    mele Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2002
    I'm getting really excited about attending USC this fall, but I haven't figured out where to live. I've heard a lot about South Pas and Alhambra. How about Silverlake and Monterey Hills? Any thoughts? I'm not from the area so I'm a bit clueless :)
     
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  3. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member 7+ Year Member

    549
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    Aug 6, 2001
    Most students live in Monterey Hills or South Pasadena. Both are relatively safe areas, and close to shops/restaurants. About 15-20 min. to school. Rent may be high these days.

    Alhambra is another option. Some of its areas aren't so safe. Also, if you aren't Chinese, it might be a bit inconvenient to live there since most of the shops/restaurants cater to Chinese-Americans. About 20-30 min. to school.

    Silverlake? From what I've seen and heard, this place is kinda dumpy and unsafe. But I'm sure you could find a decent apt. there. Los Feliz, another hip town, is right next to it, and it has a mix of liveable and unliveable areas. About 20-30 min. to school depending on traffic.

    Downtown LA, believe or not, is the closest option to school. A bit more expensive than S. Pasadena or Alhambra, but the apartments are nicer. Apt. Highrises like Promenade Towers, Medici, Renaissance, etc. all have lots of students. About 5 min. to school w/o traffic. About 15 min. to school with traffic on the 110/101/5 South/10 E interchange. Only inconvenience is that the closest shops/restaurants are about 10 min. away.

    If you're willing to drive more than 30 min., then PM me and I'll tell you about places in Santa Monica and West LA.
     
  4. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 2, 2002
    S. California
    You might want to try a little more east too if you don't mind longer commutes. It's pretty cheap and the commute on the 10 or 60 isn't bad at all (compared to those clogged freeways closer to L.A.)
     
  5. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 6, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>You might want to try a little more east too if you don't mind longer commutes. It's pretty cheap and the commute on the 10 or 60 isn't bad at all (compared to those clogged freeways closer to L.A.)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">There are some nice spots east of USC, but beware...I don't know about matt's experiences but I've seen hellish traffic on both the 60 and 10 freeways. It depends on what time you drive, but around rush hour it can take 1 hour to travel 5 miles on the 10 East. No exaggerating.
     
  6. mele

    mele Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2002
    Thanks for the helpful responses. I'll be in LA in a few weeks to check it all out.
     
  7. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008 7+ Year Member

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    May 11, 2002
    L.A.
    One work around for all of the traffic congestion and frustration - get a motorcycle.
    I'm serious. I commute 27.8 miles to UCLA every day and now, on the motorcycle, it's so much nicer and a lot shorter.
     
  8. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 9, 2001
    City
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by pocwana:
    <strong>One work around for all of the traffic congestion and frustration - get a motorcycle.
    I'm serious. I commute 27.8 miles to UCLA every day and now, on the motorcycle, it's so much nicer and a lot shorter.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">But how much do you pay for insurance now :)
     
  9. vyc

    vyc Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 20, 2002
    Chicago
    it's been 4 years since i left L.A. (only physically, never in heart!) but i've since heard that Silverlake and Los Feliz are becoming more "trendy" as more students are moving in, etc. so i think that would be a nice option. it's not THAT ghetto.
    certainly not any more ghetto than USC itself.
     
  10. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    I personally have visited Monerray park, and I loved it. It is isolated a bit from the rest of LA (10 minute drive) but it is 10 minutes NO FREEWAYS to get to USC. I personally think it is the best area to live for USC, and when I went to the second look weekend, the students said that was the best place to live. Most likely I will be living there next year.
     
  11. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Jalbrekt:
    <strong>I personally have visited Monerray park, and I loved it. It is isolated a bit from the rest of LA (10 minute drive) but it is 10 minutes NO FREEWAYS to get to USC. I personally think it is the best area to live for USC, and when I went to the second look weekend, the students said that was the best place to live. Most likely I will be living there next year.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Jalbrekt,

    I suspect that you might be a little confused. I certainly was, until I looked at a map. Monterey Park is NOT the same as Monterey Hills. Monterey Park is south of Alhambra, while Monterey Hills is around the Pasadena area, which is north of Alhambra. To add to the confusion, the two areas aren't all that far apart, and both are close enough to go to Keck.
     
  12. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    I'm not confused, I just can't type. Your right, I meant to say Monterray Hills. I always accidently say park because I'm more used to hearing about that place. Hills, I mean.
     
  13. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008 7+ Year Member

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    May 11, 2002
    L.A.
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>But how much do you pay for insurance now :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">new rider, smaller bike, and an accident on my record (it's off now :) ) insurance was ~400 for the entire year.
     
  14. otter

    otter Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 31, 2001
    How about Culver City? Culver City's really central to everything (UCLA, airport, beach, USC) and, even during rush hours, you can just take Jefferson all the way to USC. That's only a 15-20 minute drive or so, isn't it?
     
  15. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member 7+ Year Member

    649
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    Jan 29, 2002
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by otter:
    <strong>How about Culver City? Culver City's really central to everything (UCLA, airport, beach, USC) and, even during rush hours, you can just take Jefferson all the way to USC. That's only a 15-20 minute drive or so, isn't it?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Culver City to USC in 15-20 minutes? No way.
     
  16. otter

    otter Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 31, 2001
    I'm pretty sure it's 20 minutes MAX going on Jefferson. When I took summer school at USC, I used to commute that way. From the South Bay, I'd take take La Cienega north to Jefferson, then from there it was not very far (like 5-6 miles) going east on Jefferson to USC.

    If Culver City is too expensive, you could look into Palms, which is right north of Culver City. Palms was one of the cheapest areas on the Westside, at least when I was there a few years back. I'm not sure about now. I will say it's not the safest place, although probably no worse than Alhambra. I'd rather be living on the west side of USC than the east or north. That way, I'd be closer to the beach and everything else. (although incidentally I got rejected by USC, so I'm just posting this as fyi from someone who used to live in LA)
     
  17. otter

    otter Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 31, 2001
    i just looked up some rents for studios in Culver City on rent.net, just out of curiosity. They range from $825-900. Wow, it sure has gone up in the last few years. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />
     
  18. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008 7+ Year Member

    1,128
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    May 11, 2002
    L.A.
    a lot of kids from ucla (undergrad, at least) live in palms. it's much more reasonable than immediately next to the school, esp. with a roommate.

    i met a 3rd year from usc last month. she said that most of the med students live in pasadena, or in the vicinity.
     
  19. LizardKing

    LizardKing Veteran Member 7+ Year Member

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    Aug 6, 2001
    Culver City is 20 min. to USC undergrad on a good day, but it's not 20 min. to the med school campus. Culver City is too far out to live if you're commuting everyday to med school. Going locally from there to east la takes forever, so you're forced to take the 10 E, which gets jammed.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by otter:
    <strong>I'm pretty sure it's 20 minutes MAX going on Jefferson. When I took summer school at USC, I used to commute that way. From the South Bay, I'd take take La Cienega north to Jefferson, then from there it was not very far (like 5-6 miles) going east on Jefferson to USC.

    If Culver City is too expensive, you could look into Palms, which is right north of Culver City. Palms was one of the cheapest areas on the Westside, at least when I was there a few years back. I'm not sure about now. I will say it's not the safest place, although probably no worse than Alhambra. I'd rather be living on the west side of USC than the east or north. That way, I'd be closer to the beach and everything else. (although incidentally I got rejected by USC, so I'm just posting this as fyi from someone who used to live in LA)</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  20. otter

    otter Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 31, 2001
    Oops, I didn't know the medical school was not on the main campus. I guess Culver City would be a little too far, then. My bad. :oops: Yes, I-10 gets backed up like crazy.
     
  21. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    I live in Palms. It's about 15 minutes to USC and about 35 to get to the medical campus. I don't know about the dowtown option, but I think pasadena or Mernerray HILLS is prolly the best place to live. Or east on the Ten if you don't care about living close to Los Angeles.
     
  22. pocwana

    pocwana MD/MBA candidate c/o 2008 7+ Year Member

    1,128
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    May 11, 2002
    L.A.
    For those out of CA people coming in to medical school, first of all, congratulations.
    Second of all, you will hate driving. Third, you will detest parking. If you live anywhere except right on campus, this will be a part of your daily life.

    If you want to get a sneak peak at what traffic will be like when you're going to be on the road, you might want to check out:

    <a href="http://www.ocnow.com/autos/traffic/latraffic.html" target="_blank">http://www.ocnow.com/autos/traffic/latraffic.html</a>

    I have saved screenshots where literally 1/3 of the freeways were red (indicating less than 20mph).

    I check it each morning before I go to school. (Though, again, I'm going to say it doesn't affect me much because of the whole motorcycle thing. I know this option isn't for everyone, but you might consider it.)
     
  23. mele

    mele Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2002
    Jalbrekt and anyone else who's been to Monterey Hills --

    What is it like there? It seems like a great location, but I heard that it is just apartment city up there (nothing else but apartments).
     
  24. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mele:
    <strong>Jalbrekt and anyone else who's been to Monterey Hills --

    What is it like there? It seems like a great location, but I heard that it is just apartment city up there (nothing else but apartments).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">What's wrong with it being pretty much apartments? I really like that fact. It really feels safe up there compared to the rest of the area around USC. I wouldn't worry about my apartment getting broken into and stuff stolen up there whereas if I lived near SC, I would.

    If you need anything, you would just have to drive. If you want entertainment, Pasadena is 5 minutes away, downtown is 10 and Hollywood is 15.
     
  25. mele

    mele Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2002
    The safety factor is definitely important. I was wondering how visually pleasing it was ... I kind of like the idea of living in a neighborhood with houses around rather than in a sea of apartments. Just a personal preference, I guess. But of course I've never been to Monterey Hills so I don't know what it's like. I've been to South Pas and I really liked it there. Anyway, can you comment on the asthetics of Monterey Hills? Are there trees, grassy areas and/or cool views? Would South Pas and Monterey Hills be convenient for someone who is going to Loyola Law School in terms of driving and distance? Thanks for all of your help.
     
  26. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    I don't remember where Loyola Law school is. But Monerray hills is about 3 minutes closer to all of LA than South Pas. For both, you would have to take the 110 into LA, and Mon is a bit closer. So it's pretty irrelevant as far as that is concerned.

    There are some houses in Monerray hills, but the majority of it is apartments. There are people of all ages out on the street walking around and there was people playing catch outside. The apartments are very nice and there are trees and open grassy areas, which I really like. Living in Culver City and Westwood, I havn't seen those things in ages. The views can be decent, depending on which apartment you choose to live in. I can't really compare it to South pas, because I've never been there.
     
  27. Cletus

    Cletus Junior Member

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    May 9, 2002
    If your looking east, I lived in pasadena which is further east than South pas and Alhambra and had to commute to SC while doing research there for a couple of summers. You can drive locally via Huntington drive and it takes only about 20 minutes you just have to watch out for cops in South Pas if you like to drive fast. Huntington drive is nice and wide with 4 lanes so it usually does not get clogged up. As for taking the freeway I would not recommend it. I'm not a veteran of the freeway systems there so others may have better insight, but I tried going to SC a coupla of times that way and the traffic was nightmarish.
     
  28. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 2, 2002
    S. California
    Ah... all this talk of freeways and driving makes me nostalgic for home. I can't wait to go back!
     
  29. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping. 10+ Year Member

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Cletus:
    <strong>If your looking east, I lived in pasadena which is further east than South pas and Alhambra and had to commute to SC while doing research there for a couple of summers. You can drive locally via Huntington drive and it takes only about 20 minutes you just have to watch out for cops in South Pas if you like to drive fast. Huntington drive is nice and wide with 4 lanes so it usually does not get clogged up. As for taking the freeway I would not recommend it. I'm not a veteran of the freeway systems there so others may have better insight, but I tried going to SC a coupla of times that way and the traffic was nightmarish.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">For comparison, monerray hills is just south of south pas, one-two blocks away from Huntington drive.
     
  30. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student 7+ Year Member

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    May 12, 2002
    35 miles from Pomona
    I grew up in L.A. and there are a lot of places within 20 minutes or so of USC.

    First, you definitely DO NOT want to live near the campus! Since you're going to be there for at least 3 years, I would suggest living somewhere that's decent and not too expensive. Santa Monica is too expensive. West Los Angeles isn't bad. Mar Vista is probably more than 20 minutes away, but it's about 5 minutes to the beach and it's not expensive. Palms is right next to Mar Vista. Silverlake is a cool place to live (eclectic, artsy) and it's not too far. Koreatown is interesting.
     
  31. lilninja

    lilninja Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 8, 2001
    Okay, I haven't written anything on this site for quite some time now, but I just felt I should contribute to this post, since there seems to be a lot of misinformation.
    USC Health Science Campus is not really near the Main Campus. There is a shuttle between the two. I currently work at USC-HSC and I live in Pasadena, right beside Cal Tech. It takes me 20 minutes -no freeway- to get there, and then another 5-10 to park and get to the door of my lab. My fiance has just started his fourth year of med school at USC, so I have had a chance to find out where most med students live. The majority live in either: El Sereno -the closest, least expensive, but not the nicest; Monterey Hills -a lot of students live here - the apartments are very new and nice, and it is also very close to the school; the only problem is that there is quite a bit of car theft/break-ins, especially if you park on the street; most apartments have gated parking; the prices vary but are on the higher end and you almost definitely have to share a place with one or two other people; South Pasadena -a very nice, posh, family-oriented neighborhood where many of the faculty live; it is expensive and the apartments are quite old; it is about a 15 min drive into USC-HSC; Pasadena -which is just north of South Pas, and has a wide variety of prices from cheap to outrageous - think Paseo Colorado luxury apartments: $2000/mo. Our rent is $1000 for a two bed, two bath, and we're quite happy with it since we can walk to South Lake and shops on Colorado Blvd, Alhambra is somewhat east and northeast of campus, and also has its share of nice and not-so-nice areas. The northern part is very nice, family neighborhoods, borders South Pasadena. The southern part is along the 10 Fwy, where there is a predominantly Asian community -lots of great food - Monterey Park is a little bit south of Alhambra, and is also predominantly Asian, and there are some nice condo-style apartments for reasonable prices here. Both are about 10-15 minutes away. None of the places I have listed require you to drive the freeways.

    From my observations, the majority of students live in Monterey Hills or South Pasadena -the closest, followed by Pasadena and Alhambra. I've lived in South Pasadena, and it is very nice and convenient, but old and expensive. I really like where I live now.
    There is indeed a dorm on campus -Seaver, but it is not really ideal since you can't go anywhere without a car anyways. of course, there is something to be said for rolling out of bed and walking 50 paces to class.
    And for those of you who are interested in the west side of Los Angeles, be aware that the traffic will be terrible. The only students I know who live in west L.A. are the ones who went to UCLA and like the atmosphere there and are willing to commute. Los Feliz is fairly close and is a hip and happening place, but can put a strain on your wallet. Glendale and Eagle Rock are alternatives that are not so expensive and have some nice places as well. They are a bit farther, and may require some freeway driving.

    In all honesty, the majority of people I know live pretty nearby - 8am classes can be a drag - mostly where I mentioned above.

    Good luck for those of you who are looking.
    -ln
     
  32. lilninja

    lilninja Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    140
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    Oct 8, 2001
    One last thing - for those of you who want to be able to walk around and not have to get in your car to get everywhere, Monterey Hills may not be for you. It sits on a pretty steep hill -hence, Monterey HILLS- and is pretty much like an island. Picture Los Angeles with a hill full of nice apartments on top and that's what it is. Even if you did walk down the hill, there wouldn't be nice places to hang out or get groceries or anything. The best choice for those of you who want a nice neighborhood to walk around in is South Pasadena - some parts, on Amberwood, are not easily accessible to places and are quite similar to the isolation of Monterey Hills, but any of the street adjacent to Fair Oaks, near Huntington, will provide a very nice, community setting. Lots of parks and tree-lined streets and nice homes. Pricey. Pasadena, near South Lake, is very walkable and safe. It is very quiet, and doesn't have much going on in the later evening, like Old Town does. For those of you who are looking for a more "happening" place, try closer to Old Town -Colorado and Fair Oaks- , but places may be hard to find at good prices. You can walk to restaurants in Alhambra and Monterey Park as well, but it's not as "nice" and tree-lined as South Pas or Pasadena.
     

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