Choosing a new abode is no easy task and for some reason or another, it's never a casual thing, at least not for renters. You are looking for a new place to live - because you NEED a new place, so while you want to be selective, sometimes you just need a place to call home.
I have a pretty predictable apartment-hunting method. I find a neighborhood, get obsessed with it and quite frankly, refuse to live anywhere else. Years ago it was Encino, in New York it was Williamsburg, France was an ignorant exception and now back in California I became quite taken by Atwater Village.
Atwater is a very hip little community running down the 5 highway which separates Los Feliz, Silverlake and Glendale. It is walking distance to Griffith Park, a nice gym, a hoppin' boulevard and all the shopping and restaurants you can shake a stick at - if you're into shaking sticks.
It was Atwater or bust and I am happy to say we found a free-standing place that works for our unique lifestyle (think: big garage, yard for Venus and room to spread out and work on projects in the house). While we are certainly still in the "settling" phase, we are thrilled each day at the quaint uniqueness of our colorful and diverse hood.
Lesson - know what you want and GO GET IT!