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A New York Times article says the city is hemmorhaging talented creatives, who are upping stakes primarily from Brooklyn and heading to Los Angeles for cheaper (real estate) climes. Setting aside the fact that the story's not powered by hard numbers, and that people have been handily moving to and from both coasts since the dawn of time (or aviation) and for all sorts of reasons, not just because NYC has lost its cultural edge, let's consider the premise and help a former New Yorker out by offering transplants some suggestions on where to live. (Let the East Coast vs. West Coast beef continue apace.)
Our preliminary research thus far has yielded a few takeaways. For starters, you won't necessarily find much larger spaces with more bedrooms out there for the same price, but you'll get more perks, like back yards or gardens, on-site parking or washers and dryers. And that patented L.A. sunlight.
Also, although plenty of neighborhoods are within walking distance to restaurants and stores, you'll still need to contend with L.A.'s legendary traffic once you leave your little nook. And don't make the mistake of underestimating the city's traffic problem; a 15-mile distance can easily take an hour to traverse, depending on location and time of travel. Per NerdWallet, it's the third worst city in the country for drivers; Boston and Washington DC have it beat, but NYC is all the way down to 10th on the list (if you even drive here, that is).
According to Douglas Elliman's March 2015 Brooklyn rental report, the median price in the borough is now $2,893 a month. For that, you can get in neighborhoods name-checked in the article:
• A 1350-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath in Silver Lake (the Times specifically lauds one local eatery's "barrel-aged rye cocktails"). The space itself doesn't automatically evoke that California livin' flair, but all that sunlight pouring through the windows can't be mistaken. Plus, the kitchen's renovated, and it comes with off-street parking. Monthly rent: $2,598.
• Not going to lie: This two-bedroom, one-bath in Highland Park, the "upper unit" of a duplex, is a beauty. The period details (hardwood floors, moldings) are sweet, the garden's a lure, and it comes with a separate laundry room. And again with the sun. Monthly rent: $2,900.
• This one-bedroom, one-bath guesthouse in Los Feliz is spendier than the Brooklyn median rent, but it's Los Feliz, L.A.'s answer to Williamsburg (with a dash of Tribeca or the Village thrown in, given the celebrity sightings) and the cottage comes furnished in midcentury-mod finds. We confess this one's tempting; those French doors that lead to the deck off the bedroom totally capitalize on L.A.'s indoor-outdoor living vibe. (Hat tip to the brokerage firm, The Rental Girl, which appears to have a number of adorable listings.) Monthly rent: $3,000.
• A one-bedroom, one-bath in Echo Park, which the Times says is a "magnet for young creatives." This brick-walled apartment in a "vintage" building comes with an in-unit laundry, and is pet-friendly. Monthly rent: $2,450.