Locals of 90028: Brandon Barrick
May 14, 2015
It’s not unusual to meet someone in New York who doesn’t own a car, but how often can you say the same of someone in Los Angeles? I had the pleasure to have a cup of coffee with someone who has been here in Hollywood for eight years and not spent a dime on his own vehicle. News flash: it can be done.
Brandon Barrick moved to Hollywood after earning a degree in telecommunications from the University of Florida. His options at the time were New York, Chicago or LA, and the weather was the lure to head west. He bunked with a friend at Argyle and Franklin and the first job he found was in Santa Monica. For three years, he rode his bike to Santa Monica. (Me: you rode your bike?) In my view, that sounds like the second leg in the Ironman Triathlon.
“It’s ten miles,” he said. “Takes about 45 minutes and is actually faster than driving a car.” After three years in that gig, he worked freelance for a bit, and then got a job at MWW, a public relations firm in downtown LA. He took the subway to 7th and Figueroa. By this time, he was living with a roommate near Beachwood and Fountain, which is where he is now. “When MWW said they were relocating their operations to Hollywood, I was thrilled,” he said. Now he could walk to work. They are currently located in the Sunset Media Center.
(Shameless plug for my interview subject: Brandon is also involved in improvisational comedy and is part of a weekly show at the IOWest, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., called Heyday which performs every Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m.)
He celebrates all the transportation options here in Hollywood and acknowledges that “Hollywood is centrally located to everything.” He takes Uber, Lyft and is a Zip Car subscriber. He’ll use the Metro and a bus when absolutely necessary. He walks to and from work. This led to many questions. How much do you spend on your transportation in a typical month? “About $200.” He knows the Zip Car system well enough to be a salesman. “There are four cars parked in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. There are more in front of the Zip Car headquarters on Cahuenga,” he says. “You pay $9 a month to subscribe and there is an app that allows you to reserve a car.” He’ll snag a Zip Car when he needs to transport something – say a lot of groceries or something from Ikea.
He shared with me that Consumer Reports documents the cost of owning a car works out to $5,000 to $8,000 per year, “so I would say that I am still coming out on top.”
Brandon typifies the face of Hollywood’s future – folks that will live and work here because owning a car and driving for hours is quite simply old-school twentieth century.
Seven reasons why owning a car in Hollywood is overrated (wisdom by Brandon Barrick)
- It’s a relief to not to have to worry about finding a parking place
- You can go out at night and not worry about a DUI
- You will save money on inevitable parking tickets
- You don’t have to pay all the hidden charges like registration and insurance
- Cars devalue over time
- There are many alternatives (ride share, car share, walking, biking, public transportation, hitching a ride with a friend) to owning a car
- It is less expensive to take advantage of the alternatives
Kerry Morrison is executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance. She serves as a Mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and blogs at www.onlyinhollywood.org.