By Levi Clancy for לוי on
West LA is a mosaic of extraordinarily differentiated districts.
The spraypaint and dreadlocks of Venice Beach; the movie industry, almost San Fernando Feel of Culver City; the horrid, residential, freeway corridor known as Palms; the wealthy, vibrant commerce of Santa Monica; the out-of-place, Miami-esque high-rise apartment towers along the docks at Marina del Rey. These districts are tied together by a criss-cross of major thoroughfares like the 405 Frwy, 10 Frwy, Venice Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd and Wilshire Blvd, which all become absolutely impassible during rush hour.
There is a duality into which most of West LA's districts can be categorized.
There are endless blocks of cheap bungalows and apartment buildings devoid of appeal, with occasional parks to empower locals and improve their well-being, exemplified by Palms. On the other hand, you'll find well-kept, wealthy neighborhoods with their perfect planting strips with evenly-spaced, towering palm trees, exemplified by Montana.
In other words, West LA's overpriced real estate is in two groups: those places that the middle-class can afford to rent, or maybe after a lifetime of planning even afford to buy; and those places only the richest can afford.
Despite all this variation, what encompasses and truly defines all this area the most is the morning fog off the coast, the salty rust that makes things corroded and sticky -- the feeling that the beach is always right there.
However, except right along the beach itself, many locals find themselves rarely willing dip in the polluted, frigid, horrible waters. Yet people still come to West LA because when they wake up, it just feels right.
Between the wealthy elites and the Pico-Olympic lower-middle-class, there is Westwood. Westwood is UCLA's very own village that is an insular unit in and of itself.
Epitomizes what is bad about West LA.