We overheard Tracy King of Teles Properties on KPCC the other day: “One hipster woman told me Eagle Rock is where Silver Lake goes when it gets pregnant.” Besides giving us a good laugh at its truthiness, it got us thinking about choosing an LA hood based on where you’re at in life. You know, baby-wise. Like if you want to step out of your house with your baby in her Bugaboo and immediately run into another parent with their Orbit G2, and start swapping stories of spit-up, sleep deprivation and snacks, both of you on your way to Baby Bikram Yoga (just kidding, that sounds like an unhealthy temperature for baby yoga, probably best to keep that a solo venture), or if you currently seek to avoid babies at all costs and would rather get lost in a sea of plaid and patchouli. Or maybe something in between (there’s got to be an in between, right?).
It’s certainly not a foolproof approach, but taking a look at a few LA Neighborhoods from a parenting perspective might give you an idea of where you’d feel most comfortable, be it with kids in tow, or just Fido on his leash (or hey, maybe you’re one of those people who walk their cat on a leash… we don’t judge…).
Single & Ready to Mingle: Silver Lake, Koreatown, Hollywood, Echo Park, Santa Monica (near 3rd Street Promenade), Downtown
While you won’t be able to avoid seeing babies entirely (believe me, I’ve tried), you will see a lot less of them in the areas above than you might elsewhere. Be it for reasons of geography, landscape, or demographics, these areas seem to have fewer parents and children per capita. What they lack in family friendliness, they make up for in drinking establishments, people-watching, and quirkiness.
Family-friendly: Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Brentwood, Calabasas, Eagle Rock, Glendale, Santa Monica (in and around Montana Ave), Mar Vista, Altadena, Granada Hills
What these places have in common is that you will probably not feel out of place with a stroller, or toddling down the street with a little one. You will find kid-centric places to go like Color Me Mines and kid karate, along with cafes where you will feel at ease asking for a booster seat or making room for a stroller. You won’t likely be edged out of the way by a hipster, you’ll feel comfortable on the street (and you’ll have an easier time parking in larger designated parking lots to unload your precious cargo) and you will find green spaces and parks. Also, the pace is likely a little slower here than in other areas of Los Angeles. These areas retain somewhat of a small-town feel, where you may see friendly faces and recognize neighbors.
Somewhere In Between: Los Feliz, Venice, Atwater Village, Culver City, Studio City, Larchmont, Pasadena
You’ve got more than your fair share of quiet tree-lined streets here, but mixed in with some culture, eateries and shopping. You can find some chains and some mom n’ pops, and it’s all good in these child-friendly (yet not kid-centric) places. There’s a quieter vibe than in places like Hollywood, more of a neighborhood feel, so if you think Fido will soon have a drooling human counterpart, you may find these places a good common ground if you’re not quite ready for a peaceful suburban life yet (or ever!).