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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Ok it was a bad title, but I couldn't think of a better one.

Anyways, as many of you know I'm planning a move to Southern California (tentitivly San Diego, but I'm open to suggestion).

So I have a couple of questions about the safety of that whole area.. Obviously California, particularly the LA area, has a bit of a reputation, and I'd rather not move into a place where I have to sleep with one eye open and a shotgun cocked.

So, any areas people can recommend as being safe? Any areas that people can recommend I stay away from?

You can be as general or specific as you want in terms of area (down to specific streets if its relevant), the more information the better.

I have not settled into a specific place to try to move to yet (a bit part will be who is hiring and what they pay) so feel free to mention areas outside of San Diego, however I am going to try my best to limit it to Southern California near the coast.. Lets say San Luis Obispo on down.

Thanks,

-MB

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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You'll be able to tell just by looking at a neighborhood how safe it is. That being said, I live in a "rough" part of my town and I sleep soundly and often forget to lock my front door.

From what I know of San Diego, the entire county is a pretty safe place. Some of the less nice areas are Imperial Beach, National City, and some parts of Oceanside.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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But some really nice safe coastal cities:

Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande - Southern SLO county cities. All nice, all low crime.

Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Redondo Beach, pretty much all the LA/Orange County "Beach" cities except Long Beach. Some parts of Long Beach are very nice, but some parts are very scary.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Dog Friendly
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I'd suggest you stay away from Inglewood or Compton. While I haven't actually spent much time in those neighborhoods, they do tend to end up on the national news a lot.

Actually, for a cross-country move like this, you might consider finding an apartment with a month-to-month lease. Leave most of your stuff in storage, and only unpack the bare minimum you need to live. Then, spend half a year or so looking around for a neighborhood that suits you, and checking out the transit options with regards to work. Once you've started work, you'll begin making local contacts, any of whom may know someone, etc.

Actually, I imagine you've already made your plans for the move, I'm just blowing smoke here. But if you end up anywhere near North Hollywood or Pasadena, I'd be pleased to show you a few of my favorite restaurants and music venues.

Good luck!

Dog Friendly

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"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

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RBCal
Deck the Malls


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Virtually anyplace near the coast (within a few miles) is a good neighborhood and thus very pricy. Long Beach is about the only city which has crappy neighborhoods near the coast. Also, some neighborhoods of Oceanside are not very nice but they are safe.

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"The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage—no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were." - Lynn Cheney, Sisters.

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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I've lived several places in Los Angeles (Silverlake, Koreatown, West LA) with no problem. If you use a little care when picking a place to live (make sure it has security, no easy street access to your windows, etc.) you should be fine.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Depends on where in so Cal you're talking about. There is much of the state that is south of LA.

However, I lived in Simi Valley for nearly 3 years before moving out here a couple years ago. That is absolutely lovely, as is the surrounding area, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and that area. Those little towns all blur together so I could never tell when you left one town and entered another.

There used to be a website, can't find it now and it's bumming me out, where you could type in a city and it would tell you the crime index. Hubby found it before we moved out here, and apparently the crime index for East Stroudsburg is something like 13, which is ridiculously low. When he comes home, I'll ask him if he remembers where that is, and I'll post the link here.

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Awesome, yea the month-to-month thing is pretty much my plan, that way I can see more of the area and pick a final place once I get a job I wanna stick with.

I'm looking close to the coast, and I've accepted it'll cost more) so its nice to hear I have a fair amount of options at least in terms of safety.

And Dog not sure where I'll end up but I'll make sure to drop by at least to visit when I get over there.


In fact, and I'm gonna make this its own thread in a little while when I have more of my actual trip planned out (probobly not for a few months) but since I'm driving cross country any snopesters who are on the way (or within a few miles of my route) who want me to stop off are welcome to say so, it will make my drive more interesting and may even be fun (for example Glisp and me are already planning to hit a few bars). Driving cross country will be exceedingly boring if I don't make some stops, sure that will make the overall trip longer but it will take my mind off it, 'sides, who knows when I'll visit some of those states next.

-MB

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Well, lets just say I don't lock my front door at all. I haven't for years. And its a regular house facing the street, not a hidden apartment. But it does vary by neighborhood. There are good and "bad" neighborhoods in Santa Barbara. But bad is a relative term. You can walk wherever you like at night without worrying about your safety. There is no breakdown of law and order, the police have enough time on their hands to respond to even minor stuff (though they seem pretty restrained when it comes to actually ticketing people for petty stuff compared to more cash strapped areas where they rely on that income).

The worst you'll run into are homeless people. But the homeless people are very timid, particularly at night since they're just trying to sleep without the police bothering them. They aren't at all like some of the ones I've met in major cities who feel free to coerce people for change. The homeless problem is magnified in nice beach communities because they come from all over. They can live there all year round, unlike in colder climates, and there are lots of well heeled tourists to live off of. If you're not paying rent you might as well pick someplace nice to be homeless. Spotting a good neighborhood basically amounts to one that wouldn't be convenient for homeless people to walk through and which has well maintained houses rather than cheap low(er) income housing.

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Wicked Tinkerbell
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I am exceedingly fond of San Diego's South Bay. Lived there on & off: Chula Vista & Imperial Beach, mostly. I wouldn't necessarily recommend the area to someone else (my fondness may be caused by memories). IB does have some issues. Some areas of Chula Vista are still nice (last I heard.)

I also lived in Bay Park (north of downtown, near Sea World). The neighborhood was nice. Unfortunately, you had to drive around the canyon, or drive to Ocean Beach, to find a grocery store.

Dude, I am envious! I really miss Christmas in San Diego. The lights on the ships...Candy Cane Lane, Whitney-Mankato Circle...the weather. (But my lungs don't miss the enduring the Santa Ana winds.)

Walk on the beach for me. [Cool]

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"I'm not Irish, I'm Celtic. The difference? Celts cut off your head and put it on their door lintel." --Aimee Evilpixie
"People are bastard-covered bastards with bastard filling."--Scrubs

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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San Diego is made up of lots of micro-communities; some are nice, and some are...um... Well, some really stink.

By and large, it is a pretty safe town. The greatest likelihood is that you'll get a house or apartment along the "El Cajon Blvd" corridor, which extends from Hillcrest all the way east to the City of La Mesa. This is a very broad, deep swath of medium-cost housing.

Of course, if you've got a lot of $$$, there are some really nice areas. If you're dirt poor, there are still some decent low-cost low-crime areas. Of course, alas, crime and prices are negatively correlated...

PM me if you want; I'll gladly go into as much detail as you want.

Silas

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Well I wouldn't say I'm dirt poor, but then I'm not rolling in it either..

My primary concern with area is that its safe, I'm not saying I wanna go jogging at 3AM with dollar bills falling outta my pockets, but I don't wanna live in fear of being mugged every time I step out the door either.

As soon as I start looking into areas in more detail I'm sure I'll PM you Silas with specific questions about places, until then enjoy the radio silence [Smile] I'll make it up to you though, when I get out there I"ll buy you a drink or something.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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noftessa
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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San Diego is so big (not to mention from SLO to the border) that is really hard to narrow down some spots. Silas will be a big help if you narrow your move down to the San Diego area, and I would love to answer some PMs too for a different perspective (we live about 15-20 miles apart - probably?? I actually have no idea where Silas lives, now that I think about it).

Anyway, I really think that your budget will be the deciding factor. The homes/apartments vary so much in monthly mortgage/rent that where you want to live will end up being "as close to the coast as you can afford."

All in all, there are not that many places down here where I would be afraid to walk by myself, even when it is dark, and I am a 31 year old woman.

Good luck and happy planning!

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Dude, do we want to discuss why I was just hit in the head with a thumb?

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I guess this is a hijack, but does California really have a bad rep for being a dangerous place?

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I guess this is a hijack, but does California really have a bad rep for being a dangerous place?

Overall, California is pretty safe. But, as with all else, it depends on local context. There are a few places within walking distance that I wouldn't go without a full military escort! But that's probably true for any large city, anywhere in the world.

Silas

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Eh, I'd probably ask the same question for anywhere I was gonna move that I wasn't familier with.. Heck even Charlottesville has bad areas where you wouldn't want to live if you could avoid it.

That said there are parts of California that have some bad reputations, probably largely undeserved, fueled by movies and such.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Ahh, that makes sense. If the only knowledge a person has about California is from tv and the movies that can warp the image. I was just wondering if California has the reputation for being dangerous the way Nebraska has the reputation for being boring.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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vanilla
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Inglewood and Compton (having visited both places) are just like any other city and have good areas and bad ones. Unlike what movies and TV shows would lead you to believe - oh, and Chino? Not such a bad place to live (as long as you aren't in the prison! [Wink] ). All of these towns have upscale areas that anyone would be comfortable living in.

But you aren't looking at living anywhere near there, so...

Personally, my best way of determining if a place is a "safe" place to live is to look at the neighborhood you want to live in. Count the number of buildings with bars on them, do they outnumber the un-barred places? Look at the residences and vehicles on the streets or in front of the residences - are they kept up and in good shape? If you can, visit the neighbor at twilight and look for people walking their pets or jogging. If you feel safe when you visit, chances are you will be safe when you live there and won't have to worry about your well-being.

Of course, these are things you would do no matter where you plan on living, whether in California or any other state.

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I swear, it was funnier in my head.
Yeah, I used to be pink. vanilla_pink.

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noftessa
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by vanilla:
If you can, visit the neighbor at twilight and look for people walking their pets or jogging. If you feel safe when you visit, chances are you will be safe when you live there and won't have to worry about your well-being.

This is great advice. Before we bought our house, hubby and I visited our neighborhood at 8:00 pm. The number of people walking their dogs, or just walking, and saying hello to us was amazing!! We couldn't go half a block without running into people. That sealed the deal for us and we put an offer on the house that night.

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Dude, do we want to discuss why I was just hit in the head with a thumb?

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Holy NSFBSK. Just when I said it was pretty safe around here, there was a stabbing at my brother's beachside hotel a couple nights ago. Some random guy climbed up a wall up into a guests poolside balcony in the middle of the night, where the guest had left the door open, and stabbed the guest several times, robbed him and fled out the window. The guest staggered down to the front desk leaking blood (he's going to survive) and they called the police, but the guy was gone so they could only give a description.

The night auditor was so freaked out that he couldn't finish his shift and won't work there alone anymore. My brother is the front desk manager so the auditor called him in the middle of the night and my brother has to cover his night auditor shift until they figure out what they're going to do. Should be an interesting Christmas morning with him working until 7am before celebrating.

Still, that wasn't in what I would have labelled as the safer neighborhoods. Its in a very commercial area with pedestrian traffic and homeless people (which chances are is what the stabber was). Oddly, uphill neighborhoods are much safer, because it seems nobody up to no good ever aimlessly wanders up a hill.

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snopes
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quote:
There used to be a website, can't find it now and it's bumming me out, where you could type in a city and it would tell you the crime index.
It may not be the site you're thinking of, but you can find that kind of information on
www.city-data.com.

- snopes

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
. . . Oddly, uphill neighborhoods are much safer, because it seems nobody up to no good ever aimlessly wanders up a hill.

I first read that, and nodded, and said to myself, "That's profound!" But now I'm wondering...

Mightn't it be a statistical correlation based on wealth and the price one pays for a view, which is (obviously) related to elevation? We know that "richer" neighborhoods are safer (better response time for police, more private security, etc.) And we know that neighborhoods with nice views are generally richer ones...

But...criminals are lazy, especially "mindless" criminals (i.e., mentally ill persons likely to commit violent acts for no sensible motive.) Walking uphill to some rich neighborhoods would be a serious physical chore. (San Diego's Mission Hills, Mt. Soledad, Mt. Helix, etc. all come readily to mind.)

I'm jibing back and forth like an unstayed foresail! This is a subject worth some serious thought!

Silas

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Errata
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Silas, downtown areas are expensive too, but more dangerous due to all the pedestrians (e.g. the beach hotel I mentioned is prime real estate, but that didn't stop some psycho outside from deciding to hop in an open window). My hilly neighborhood is within walking distance of downtown, but the main reason I feel safe here is that nobody seems to walk up the hill unless they have a specific nearby destination in mind. Similarly, there isn't much through traffic for cars, because they aren't in a neat grid pattern, they have to jumble up to conform to the terrain, so people only drive by if they're headed somewhere nearby, even though topologically its not a cul-de-sac.
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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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Errata: Cool! I find this a fascinating subject, as I am an adherent of the Weak "Geography is Destiny" principle. e.g., Japan and England were "destined" to become great Naval powers, and the Near East was "destined" to be a battleground of cultures.

Obviously, such a notion can be taken too far, which is why I emphasize my admiration for only the weak version of the principle. Japan and England could, after all, have ended up like Taiwan, the Philippines, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and other islands or archipelagoes which are *not* major naval powers.

Thus, the idea that altitude is negatively correlated with crime is intriguing to me, and (I confess readily) I *want* it to be a valid principle of social geography.

(Which, of course, means that I must be suspicious of it, to compensate for my emotional bias in its favor!)

(It isn't easy trying to approximate objectivity in an activist/partisan mind-set!)

Silas

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