While most visitors to Los Angeles are there to spot a celebrity or at least soak up the whole Hollywood scene. There is more to this great American city though than just Hall of Fames and luxury shopping in Beverly Hills. It’s indie and vintage scene is exploding.
If you’re looking for vintage shops, dark coffee shops, indie rock concert venues and the cream of LA’s second-hand vintage shops, then Silver Lake is your destination. It’s the “other” Los Angeles that usually goes unnoticed except by the locals that hang out here. It’s the city’s creative hub and if you’re tired of the bling and over-done glitz of Beverly Hills, this is the place.
The main drag for hipsters to see and be seen is the famous Sunset Boulevard, between Hollywood and Downtown. Clad yourself in tight skinny jeans, a retro rock t-shirt and oversized sunglasses and you’ll fit right in. This neighbourhoods trendiness has caught on though, making it a pricey place to live. When hunger strikes this is a good place to find yourself. Grab some fresh and organic Californian veggies or taste the best barbecue you’ve ever had at Big Mista BBQ.
- For live music: Echo (1822 Sunset Blvd)
- For dancing: Spaceland (1717 Silver Lake Blvd)
- For gourmet coffee: Intelligentsia at Sunset Junction (3922 W Sunset Blvd) and LaMill (1636 Silver Lake Blvd)
- For fresh veggies: Logan Street Farmer’s Market
Most known for its shrine to folk-punk singer, Elliott Smith. There is a tribute wall where the cover of the Figure 8 album was shot. Fans have scrawled their favourite lyrics with permanent marker on the wall in tribute to the singer and The Smiths. Echo Park is located in the valley, not far from Dodger Stadium and the overly modern Bunker Hill. This area is still cheap and you can find a lot of chic boutique hotels here as well.
- For vintage: Time Travel Mart (1714 W Sunset Blvd)
- For vinyl: Rockaway Records (2395 Glendale Blvd)
- For beer: Hyperion Tavern (1941 Hyperion Ave)
- For modern art: Machine Project (1200 North Alvarado Street)
The least know neighbourhood among the three, Los Feliz was once a sleepy little place but somehow found its spunk in the 1990s and hasn’t looked back since. This area is the definition of cool. Just next to it is one of the city’s biggest parks, Griffith Park. Wake up early and hit the Observatory or climb the Mount Hollywood Trail for the best panoramic views of the city possible.
- For architecture: Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright (4800 Hollywood Boulevard)
- For tacos: Ricky’s Fish Tacos (1400 North Virgil)
- For sleep: Los Feliz Lodge (four locations)
Los Angeles is one of the greatest American cities because it can’t be nicely wrapped up in a bow. It’s many neighbourhoods, each with their own flavour, pace and style keep this city fresh. LA stereotypes are proven wrong around every corner. Discover another side of Los Angeles this summer. Fly from London Heathrow with United Airlines for £472 (rtn, tax included) this June and stay long enough to celebrate Independence Day, the biggest holiday of the year, on July 1st.
Have you ever been to Los Angeles before? What were your impressions of the city?