Drew Tucker — The Ultimate City Living Experience

As I sit on the rooftop deck of my apartment staring at downtown, I cannot help but smile. I never imagined that I would receive an offer and accept the opportunity to live and work in such an exciting, fast-paced city — Los Angeles. I come from a city that is large in footprint but rather small in population. It offers little to no means of public transportation from the surrounding communities to downtown. However, I am not writing this to bash on one city; I am writing this to talk about the amazing experience I had while living and working in Los Angeles, California for Henderson Engineers.

I arrived in California on Friday, May 12th. After six days, 11 states, and 2,803 miles it was finally time to call Los Angeles my home for the summer. With some creative googling and a series of emails, I was able to secure a spot in a shared apartment in University Park. The apartment building is The Lorenzo or “The Zo” and is set up as dorm style apartments: two people per bedroom and 2–3 bedrooms per apartment. The building has tons of amenities and is conveniently located just over two miles away from the Henderson office in downtown Los Angeles. My original plan was to ride my bike to the office every day to limit the amount in which I would use my car. When I arrived, I realized the extent of the LA public transportation system. There is an Expo Line Metro Rail stop right outside my apartment building and it is only two stops from the Metro Center in downtown. From there it is only a couple blocks of walking to the Henderson office. As someone who dislikes traffic very much, it was important to me not to use my car for commuting to work. Between riding my bike and taking the metro rail, I feel that I have truly been able to capture the experience of living in a big city. I have thoroughly enjoyed my stress-free morning commutes and have taken full advantage of my time on the train by reading.

While living in southern California has been a great experience, working in California has also been a great experience. I’ve been exposed to the implementation of Title-24 code requirements and a variety of projects in market sectors that I had not worked in before. While the strict guidelines put in place by California and LA County can cause headaches during design, I like that it forces owners and developers to consider innovative systems to be implemented into their buildings.

Downtown Los Angeles has many things to offer from delicious food options to great happy hour locations. I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting these places with co-workers throughout the summer months. Sadly my summer adventure in Los Angeles will be coming to an end in a few short weeks…but who knows, maybe one day I will be back to call this place home for more than three months.