I've lived in Costa Mesa since October, and my lease is up at the end of June. I've been considering moving to Santa Ana to try and get a break from the high rents in CM. The thing is, whenever I mention this to people they look at me like I'm crazy!
I've heard the term "concrete jungle" thrown around. People act like it's either dangerous or boring to live in Santa Ana. I guess I'm just asking for y'alls honest opinion.
Do you like it? Why do you think people in Costa Mesa seem to find living there a terrible idea? I feel like there is some kind of elitism related to distance from the beach. If that's really all it is then fine, but I just wanted to reach out to the sub and see if there is any real merit to this.
I guess I should have mentioned at the top of this that I have experience living in cities with high crime rates, Buffalo, NY, for instance, has almost 3x the violent crime as Santa Ana. It all depends on the location. There are some good areas in Santa Ana I think it's because Santa Ana is perceived to be dirty and grimy, not some sterile boring quiet suburb.
Okay, let me give you the counter to what many in here and in most of OC are saying. I moved to orange county 2.
Santa Ana is by far my favorite part of the OC. Everywhere else is "boring". Santa Ana has a thriving music and arts scene which I am a part of.
There are a ton of incredible young musicians coming out of the arts high school, there's an active street art scene, and there are plenty of galleries, concerts, etc. Lots of bars and restaurants downtown.
There's a TON going on, and the city feels vibrant. Most of the rest of OC feels. There are admittedly less desirable areas of Santa Ana, and yes - there are homeless people.
To the guy that commented on bike theft. If your shit gets stolen, it's because you didn't secure it well enough.
Yes, it's shitty that people steal bikes. But as long as you take precautions and make your bike harder to steal than the next guy's, you're fine bike theft is common in NYC, Austin, and other areas - not just Santa Ana. The people are way cooler and nicer and more community focused than elsewhere I've lived in the OC. Honestly, Santa Ana gave me hope for this area of California. People who live in Costa Mesa think it's a terrible idea because they are afraid of people who are different than them.
People who are hispanic. People who are homeless. People who are in a lower socio-economic class. And, to be fair to them, Santa Ana used to be a lot worse.
That's what I've heard. But it's a city on the rise, and it's a city that actually has its own culture - which most of the other cities in the area can't say consumerism doesn't count as culture, sorry, and "beach culture" is not unique to a place or its people, just the environment.
Again, I've lived and hung out in areas of Brooklyn that are far sketchier than anything you'll find in Santa Ana - and the worst that's happened to me was getting a bike seat and bike lights stolen. My only advice for housing would be to live above 1st Street.
Take the haters' opinions with a grain of salt.
Come check the area out for yourself. Swing by The Coollab Project to meet a bunch of the artists and musicians that live in the area, and talk to people who actually live here. It's a welcoming bunch. I'm warming up to Costa Mesa but I know what you mean by "crowded yet empty. When I moved here I thought I had landed myself in a cultural wasteland.
I've found a few spots I really enjoy in CM though. Probably will find about the same of spots in Santa Ana if I do move there.
I really love this post for comments like this. Thank you for sharing. What do you mean above first street? Like, literally? Second, third, etc? Santa Ana is cool. We live in Fullerton, which is some 10 miles away, but head down there for the food quite often. Just like Costa Mesa and a lot of Southern California.
Ditto notes about depends on the neighborhood. I was going to strongly defend Santa Ana because people annoy me when they entirely write off a city, but there are issues.
I did get to drive by a prostitute several months ago a little further north on Harbor, but I think that was Garden Grove. There's some graffiti leaking into this neighborhood, and the street to our neighborhood has some derelict cars, along with occasional mattresses left out for trash that look, well, trashy.
We've had one package swiped, but not since we installed cameras - which tell us every time a cat walks by. Our neighbor had their car broken into a few days ago, so now we installed lights, too. That really sucks, because our neighbors are amazing. People smile and wave at each other and let you their fireworks celebration.
There's a lot of construction further down on Harbor with new apartments that look really nice. I love having hole-in-the-walls and downtown Santa Ana nearby. I haven't heard anything about bicycle theft, but that fits news of homeless encampments having a lot of stolen bikes, so you'd want to be careful with that.
As someone who has lived in Santa Ana for 21 years. There's are parts where I would never walk alone past sundown and there are places that would make you never wanna leave.
I love my current neighborhood because it still has that post-war charm, and is a kind of blue collar working neighborhood. West Floral Park is more snooty, almost as much as Floral Park, but there are beautiful houses and pretty nice people there too. Santa Ana is a nice place to live in the right areas.
There are definitely neighborhoods that have higher crime and are generally dingy, but to me Costa Mesa is the same way. I've often thought that Costa Mesa is just Santa Ana's prettier younger sister, but with the same personality disorders.
I really like living in Santa Ana, because the local government doesn't really get all up in your business very much, and when it does it's usually justified.
For the most part you can do what you want so long as you're not bothering anyone else. I can't speak much for downtown because I don't go there often, but when I do I really like the food and bars. That said, I often hear massive fireworks and sometimes gunshots around my neighborhood.
I'm also between the river and Santiago Creek, so there are sometimes vagrants wandering my block. One guy tried to sell me liquor and drugs in my own driveway. So if you move here, be aware that you need to keep your wits about you. Santa Ana's fine. It's just not like the typical OC city and is a lot more LA.
Dirtier, louder, etc.
I rented a house in historic Santa Ana few years ago. The rent was similar to the cheaper town houses in Yorba Linda or Placentia. The place was nice, and the neighborhood was surprisingly quiet for how close it was to Chapman. I second the people who say to check the crime map.
Santa Ana is a lot like Anaheim: there are some nice parts and some sketchy parts. I live in Irvine. Wouldn't live in Santa Ana with family but if I were you single, late twenties I would. Living near downtown would be cheap and fun if you like going out and shit.
Much better "scene" than Downtown Fullerton or anywhere in OC really. Yeah it's kinda run down but that gives it some character.
I don't hear too many stories of white bohemian types getting shot regularly in Santa Ana. Found the internet! Living in Santa Ana? Not a Craigslist style post. Posted by 3 years ago. ZIP: 92703 92701 92705 92704 92707 92706 92702 92712 92735 92799