Living in East Hollywood: A Hidden Gem that’s Convenient, More Affordable than You Might Think
East Hollywood is often overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbors, but this tiny nabe is both charming and affordable. Plus there’s Thai Food!
East Hollywood is located just east of Hollywood (obviously), bound by Hollywood Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. on the north and south, respectively, and Western Ave. and Hoover St. on the west and east. The 101 (aka Hollywood) freeway slices it almost in half, diagonally.
East Hollywood was known as Prospect Park in 1887, which included parts of Los Feliz. The area was filled with farms growing fruits and wheat. Near the turn of the century, it was re-named East Hollywood in a PR move to make it more appealing to newcomers. First Russian immigrants, then Armenian, Japanese, Mexican, and Thai took to the area. The result is a fairly diverse intersection of many cultures.
Old School and Old World. There still are a lot of vintage Art Deco-style buildings, houses, and apartments in the area. It is a haven for artists who have been priced out of Hollywood and nearby Silver Lake. You can hear a lot of different languages spoken within a few city blocks. (Then there’s the looming presence of Scientology, who own many of the area’s most beautiful buildings.)
Shopping and Dining
There are a variety of dining experiences, albeit less glamorous than in Los Feliz. You could enjoy tasty Thai from many of the mall restaurants (we recommend Sanamluang – not too fancy but delicious!) or try lahmejune (aka Armenian pizza) at Sasoun. Then there’s Sqirl – a true fiesta for your taste buds. Breakfast and lunch at Sqirl are available daily from 6.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunset Blvd. has chains like Walgreens and Home Depot along with the largest 99 Cent Store we’ve ever seen.
There are public schools in East Hollywood, but they do not rank amongst the city’s best, with a few exceptions like Franklin Elementary and Citizens of the World Charter. There are fewer private schools, many of them Catholic.
Outdoor and Green Space
East Hollywood contains arguably one of the loveliest outdoor spaces in Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park. Commissioned by the wealthy and eccentric heiress Alice Barnsdall, the hilltop space has a gorgeous view of downtown and has an arts center, gallery and theater, as well as the Hollyhock House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Cost of Living
The cost of living is low for the area, and Los Angeles in general. This is good because the median household income in East Hollywood is $31,297, pretty low compared to the L.A. average of $48,466.
Whereas average rents in Los Angeles sit somewhere around $2,016/mo., East Hollywood apartments rent for $1,889 on average. But there are plenty of good options well below that price point. Rents for one-bedroom apartments at Carlton Court / Metro Hollywood start at $536, for example, while two-bedroom units at Beverly Heliotrope Towers, another beautiful rental community at 421 N. Heliotrope Dr., rent for $1,675/mo.
Thinking of taking a cab to Downtown LA? It will cost you about $25 to get to the Arts District and approx. $50 to get to Santa Monica State Beach. Then again, you can always count on the Red Line (predominantly underground) to take you safely to where the action is. A one way fare is $1.75 and includes free transfers to other Metro Rail lines for up to two hours on a one-way trip.
East Hollywood’s housing stock is made up primarily of older or renovated apartment communities, with approx. 91.3% of the area’s residents being renters. Some of the buildings are beautifully restored and maintained, others less so.
Apartments for Rent in East Hollywood
Looking for a nice place to rent in EH? The good news is that you will have better luck in finding an apartment that is large and affordable here than in other popular areas of the city. Here are just a few of the cool spots to choose from.
Featuring a great location and a classic look, 1550 Harvard offers rental homes with updated kitchens and hardwood floors. There’s also a parking spot and balcony for every unit as well as a central pool.
This historic building is located at the intersections of Hollywood and Los Feliz and has some huge apartments, including 1,100 sq. foot one-bedrooms, with classic 1920’s charm. Rents start at $1,695/mo.
This brand new East Hollywood apartment building offers three- and four bedroom-apartment homes in a premier location, between Melrose and Santa Monica Blvds. Designer fixtures, in suite washer and dryer hookups, walk-in closets, and luxury appliances are amongst its many perks.
What you can buy in East Hollywood
Properties for sale in EH are mostly older houses or condos, many of which are funky and not at all cheap. Like 1416 North New Hampshire Avenue, with two gigantic houses on the lot. A “motivated” seller is asking $2.2 million.
But some of the houses for sale in East Hollywood are simply adorable, like this colorful 3-bed, 2 bath Craftsman-style home at 1118 N Heliotrope Dr which includes a beautifully landscaped backyard. Asking price? Quite reasonable for the area, we’d say: $699 K.
East Hollywood is still rough around the edges, with a lot of graffiti, trash, noise, and property crime. In the beginning of 2016, there was a high crime alert for the area. Suffice to say, don’t leave valuables in your car and park it off street if you can.
If you have a car, freeway access to the 101 is easy, although it often turns into a parking lot. Thanks to its proximity to several Metro Red Line stops – including Vermont/Santa Monica and Vermont/Sunset – East Hollywood is quite accessible to Downtown, Hollywood, and the Valley for those that don’t.
Streets by VICE takes a look at Sunset Boulevard with Thai Town and Little Armenia in the spotlight (min 6.20).
East Hollywood continues to be a magnet for new arrivals, especially artists and others that don’t earn a huge paycheck. It’s got a gritty charm that for better and for worse has yet to be erased.
Check out more Los Angeles neighborhood guides:
Beverly Grove, Los Angeles: Convenient and Upscale Living that’s also a Shopper’s Paradise
Living in Encino, a Quiet, Upscale Urban Retreat Overflowing with L.A. Charm
Downtown Los Angeles: Cutting Edge Living in LA’s Historic Core
Living in Van Nuys, Los Angeles: Where You can Enjoy the Glitzy LA Life on a Budget
Wilshire – Montana, Santa Monica: Beach Living with a Touch of Class
Westlake, Los Angeles: A Low Cost Alternative to Downtown Living
Living in Palms, Los Angeles: A Historic Neighborhood, Populated by Millennials
Hollywood – a Vibrant LA Neighborhood with Celebrity Status
Koreatown – The Little City That Never Sleeps
Westwood – Live Large in the Center of It All
Sherman Oaks – Timeless Elegance in the Heart of the Valley
Sawtelle – A Walkable, Culture-Filled Enclave Bustling with L.A. Charm
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