Stranded In The Southland

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Year in Koreatown...

It's been a year since we took a small place in Koreatown to try to ease my commuting woes -- I was driving 50 miles each way from our place in the burbs to my job at the beach. I originally wanted us to just move downtown, to split the commute, but M. was reluctant to give up our college-subsidized housing (and her five-block commute), so we compromised and got a crash pad.

It's been a great experience. Living in LA (even part-time) was exciting. The apartment was old and beat up, but full of wonderful touches, like built-in shelves, hardwood floors, and original tile. It even had a carport, so my poor Miata slept out of the rain (on the nights we were in town).

The best part was the food. LA is a real food town, with an amazing diversity of offerings, from haute cuisine to taco trucks, from Ethiopian to Brazilian to Uzebeki food. There are amazing Japanese cuisines that San Francisco couldn't begin to contemplate, from tiny izakayas to world-class shabu-shabu to loud and fun ramen joints.

We've eaten well -- so well, in fact, that we never ate at the same place twice in a year of living in LA. Well, we repeated a couple places when my parents came to visit, and when our buddy Rod came out to hang with us, but when it was the two of us, we had a solemn pact to try new things.

Sadly, we eventually decided to give up the experiment -- I began telecommuting on Fridays, and with M.'s schedule, things just didn't work out. We only stayed in the apartment two nights a week for most of the year. And the place was almost 45 minutes from my work (we picked a spot with easy access to LA's subway, the Metro, so M. could get in quickly). Even with our (relatively) cheap rent, we could easily stay in a hotel eight nights a month for far less. C'est la vie. It was wonderful while it lasted!