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Northridge sprawls across the western portion of the San Fernando Valley with wide streets, shopping malls and a large university. Even with Cal State Northridge containing a student population over 38,000, the community still has a strong presence, mostly made up of middle-class families.
Most people know Northridge as the epicenter of the 1994 earthquake that caused destruction across Los Angeles. The area took over a decade to recover from the damage.
The neighborhood contains many primary thoroughfares spaced a half mile apart. The first paved road into Northridge, Reseda Boulevard, serves as the heart of the community.
Northridge lies 25 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and two miles south of Highway 118, giving residents east-west access across the San Fernando Valley.
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As of October 2018, the average apartment rent in Northridge, CA is $1,332 for a studio, $1,605 for one bedroom, $2,067 for two bedrooms, and $2,455 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Northridge has increased by 3.9% in the past year.
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Living in Northridge
Not seen as a destination to outsiders, Northridge caters to both locals and the college crowd. Brent's Delicatessen consistently rates as one of the best delis in Los Angeles. Serving Northridge since 1969, this family-owned business focuses on excellent customer service and perfecting the pastrami sandwich. A student's favorite, King's Burgers - Got Sushi combines two oddly paired foods at reasonable prices. Basic rolls, such as a spicy tuna, can be had for around $5, and a pastrami burger with fries combo costs $9. Be sure to stop by Humble Bee on Saticoy Street for morning coffee, breakfast, lunch or something sweet. This family-owned cafe serves a locally inspired, organic menu featuring organic fresh-pressed juices, speciality coffee and espresso drinks and handmade soups, sandwiches and salads. Start your day with their biscuits and gravy, served with turkey sausage and bacon-studded country gravy. The Social Lounge, located a block west of Cal State Northridge, attracts many students. One of the hookah lounges in the area, it also entertains with a few pool tables and video games. Happy hour on bowls runs daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and there are all-you-can-smoke specials on Mondays and Tuesdays. Alcohol is expensive, but outside food is allowed.
The San Fernando Valley remained dormant under Spanish land holdings until regions were parcelled in the mid-19th century. Farming flourished after the Los Angeles aqueduct reached the valley in 1913.
World War II brought another wave of development, with transplants across the United States entering the region working for the war effort. Northridge reached a population of 5,500 in 1951, starting a decade that saw its mot significant growth. Cal State Northridge opened in 1958 to a starting enrollment of 2,525 students, attracting many younger residents.
The 1994 earthquake severely damaged the area, including a large portion of the university, apartments and the Northridge Fashion Center.
On campus, the Valley Performing Arts Center attracts many large acts, as the largest such facility in the western San Fernando Valley. The university's annual Pow Wow features dancing, arts and crafts from many Indian tribes.
Among the least dense neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Northridge forces its residents to depend on driving as a primary role for transport. Most businesses and residents provide sufficient free parking, but expect permitted or metered parking around the university.
Metro runs routes on all major streets with rides costing $1.75, including two hours of transfers. Cal State Northridge's transit hub holds additional connections to Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Transit. Metro also runs a rapid line down Reseda Boulevard, which links to the Orange Line. The Metrolink station on Parthenia Street gives commuter access across the region.
A moderate amount of taxis are stationed in Northridge at the Metrolink Station, Northridge Fashion Center and university. Uber, Lyft and other ride-share companies service the area as well.
With its low density, Northridge doesn't favor walking, with Reseda Boulevard acting as the most pedestrian-friendly zone. Some major streets contain portions of bike lanes, but the lanes fall short of forming a complete network. Cyclists compete with high-speed traffic throughout the neighborhood.
The cost of living in Northridge is 2.8 percent higher than Los Angeles.
You'll get value over most goods and services, but rentals skew higher, with limited student housing and a high rate of home ownership. Rent in Northridge averages to $1,325 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Compared to the national average, gas prices in Los Angeles cost about 15 percent higher. Expect to pay a few pennies less throughout Northridge, while Costco provides the cheapest gas. Going out for a beer typically costs $5 to $8.
Getting to downtown Los Angeles costs $1.75 via Metro buses, taking two hours or a 40 minute ride by Metrolink at a cost of $8.25.
The Northridge Fashion Center serves as the center of shopping activity, containing over 170 stores and high-end chains. It also hosts the area's farmers market on Wednesday nights from 5 pm to 9 pm during the months of daylight savings. The Costco on Tampa Avenue receives heavy activity with people purchasing bulk goods. The beloved Mr. Stuff sells a collection of random items at highly discounted prices. Receiving many closeout goods, its stock always surprises. Shoppers have purchased a potpourri of items, such as shredded money, walking canes, outdoor sinks and Hillary Clinton nutcrackers. Orphaned CDs remains one of the few record book stores in the San Fernando Valley. Located along with many other small businesses on Reseda Boulevard, you can browse for hours with a selection of over 75,000 CDs. You won't have to travel more than a mile for groceries, as Northridge contains many major supermarkets including Ralphs and Vons.
Northridge contains a number of parks that serve its large population. The Northridge Recreation Center serves as the largest public facility maintaining barbecue pits, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, children's play area, picnic tables, a seasonal pool, soccer field and tennis courts. Many wanting vigorous training head to Cal State Northridge to run the track or use their large gymnasium.
Dog owners travel to Balboa Park for the nearest off-leash park, while many take their pets to walk the trails of Chatsworth Park.
Cyclists train in the hills just north at Porter Ranch or ride further south to take advantage of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Valley Greek Festival attracts many across Los Angeles as one of the largest heritage events in the city. Occurring every Memorial Day weekend, visitors can expect Greek food and pastries, music, folk dancing and cooking demonstrations.
La Coruna Senior Apartments15301 Lanark St, Van Nuys, CA 91406No Availability 2 wks
Garcia Marquez Apartments8735 Orion Ave, San Fernando, CA 91343No Availability 2 wks
Apartments for Rent Under $600 in Northridge, CA
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