This post is sponsored by Apartment Guide. Are you looking for a new place to call home? Apartment Guide has tips and articles about exploring a new city and making a space your own on the Apartment Guide blog and Moving Today.
This year marks my 10th anniversary in Los Angeles. When I moved here from New York in August 2002, I have to admit that I was a little freaked out about finding an apartment. After all, in Manhattan, things are different. Crazy different.
There are brokers, for one thing. And forget about parking. Heck, forget about a car. (That actually may be a plus.) And you have to wait. And hope.
But here in L.A., things are more laid back, as you might expect. There are "For Rent" signs on practically every residential corner, whether you're looking in Echo Park or Hancock Park. And while you might have to compete with other interested parties, it's always nice to know there is another apartment available close by.
It's so funny to think about that time now, pre-CC, pre-marriage. Ian and I were in grad school, and I wanted to find a place that was close to where he was (he had moved out here first), but I also wanted it to work for me and my style -- not just be something I happened to stumble upon. I wanted to feel at home in my new city.
So what did I do? I found the only apartment building in Los Feliz that looks as if it could be in New York.
While I was able to find my Vermont Avenue apartment fairly easily, there are great resources out there such as Apartment Guide, which, if you're looking to move, not only features photos, floor plans and tips on finding a great community, the site also offers how-tos for making the most of your space, neighborhood and city.
That's especially helpful if you're coming to a city blind, without really having scoured potential great neighborhoods.
While we've moved a few times since that first set of apartments in Los Feliz -- which can be a pain -- it's also given us a chance to explore more of Los Angeles, seeing different neighborhoods and how they work. We've since left the Hollywood hipsters for the Westside, but it's always nice to go back and visit places like Skylight Books or Fred 62.
Some tips that help with transitioning from one city to another are:
* Walk around and explore. You never know what you might find on foot that you'd miss behind the wheel.
* Eat, drink or read locally. Pick out a non-chain eatery or bookstore, and people-watch. It lets you get a better feel for the place.
* Talk to your neighbors. You never know how helpful they can be.
To check out more Apartment Guide info, you can "Like" their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter @AptGuide, and "circle" them on Google+ for real-time tips and updates on exploring your city and neighborhood.
*** GIVEAWAY ***
I'm giving away one $50 American Express gift card to an L.A. Story reader.
To enter, follow @AptGuide on Twitter AND leave a comment below saying how you would use $50 to explore your city.
Good luck, and I will announce the winner in a separate post on Tuesday, May 29!
(Disclosure: Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.)