SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Santa Monica seems almost like paradise. The sparkling blue ocean, shimmering sandy beaches, clear skies and a famous pier with a merry-go-round paint a picture of contentment.
But there's also loads of traffic and a high cost of living, two things that recently prompted the real estate blog Movoto to rate Santa Monica No. 2 on its Top 10 list of America's Most Stressed-Out Suburbs.
To do something about that, the city applied for a Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge grant, proposing a "Wellbeing Project" that would determine just how much people in this picture-postcard town really like living here. The city received $1 million grant.
This week, officials will begin asking residents if they are happy with their community.