3.9 out of 10


33.8905409683318 -118.307761405085
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids


2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Too Much Crime For Me"

Gardena is a fairly average city in terms of this inland area of Los Angeles. On its northern end Gardenia is largely industrial, being home to a number of construction and construction related factories and companies. This northern area is characterized by flat, wide streets with large, usually one story facilities where works assemble the accessories used in construction.

The deceivingly placid looking 1950’s style Ranch homes of Gardena’s northwest corner hide what is actually gang territory. Rowley Park, in the center of the community, is known as a magnet for the Crips Shotgun street gang. Despite this, the homes in this area are nicely kept with well watered lawns and sculpted topiary. It has the feel of the Valley in the 1970’s or some of the better areas in Reseda—its very strange really.

Crime in Gardena is above the national average, but no longer significantly so. (As it was about a decade ago.) For the last decade, Gardena has averaged about 4 murders per year, with the 8 murders in 2006 being the highest. Given the approximately 60,000 residents that is about one in 15,000, a bit on the high side but no where near the one in 3,000 of LA’s most dangerous neighborhoods (some of which border it).

At the center of Gardena, it is mostly densely packed apartment complexes with a rather uninviting look to them. This is the kind of area where the front lawns have been converted into driveways and fenced in so that the cars are kept nice and close to the front door so that the distance crossed is short and any foul play to the car can be heard by the residents inside.

The southern part of Gardena is mostly more 50’s Ranch homes of uneven quality.

One of the best qualities about Gardena is that it is one of the most diverse areas in all of LA with one in three residents being Latino, one quarter African American and one quarter Asian. Gardena was once a Japanese neighborhood until World War II changed things. Around then is when the tract housing started to come in and soon after—in the 50’s, the Ranch homes.

As far as entertainment? For a while they tried to make Gardena the big gambling area in LA—where people could come to play poker and that kind of thing, but it didn’t really work out. A few places on the east side of Gardena still carry on this rather seedy tradition, the most notable of which is the Hustler Casino. I have never really been there—not really my kind of joint—but given that it was created by Larry Flint I can only imagine. Along the same lines there’s a casino—Normandie, a pool hall—Gardenia, and a tattoo parlor, wonderfully named Yer Cheatin’ Heart.

Not exactly a family neighborhood (especially given Gardena High’s dismal rating).
  • Affordable
  • Good For Guy's Nightlife
  • Some Nice Ranch Homes
  • Shotgun Crips
  • Crime
  • Terrrible Schools

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