los angeles

Leaving Los Angeles

CITY GUIDE: Eastside L.A.

So, after four years in the belly of the beast, we have left Echo Park and Eastside LA.  It was so much better than I expected, and just as horrible as I feared.  I won’t miss planning my day around traffic patterns or parking hassles, but there are some awesome things that I will miss- the variety of cultures and foods, hidden watering holes and grand urban vistas.  If you’ve only ever seen Los Angeles from the freeway, know that it isn’t all flat and each neighborhood has its own character and history.  LA is an amazing, vibrant place and the only post-modern metropolis in the world.  So, while things are still fresh in my memory, I've written down a few of our favorite things.  When you visit, be sure to check out these places, but remember, as Blue Bland said, “There ain’t no love in the heart of the city.”

Views:

Victor Heights- We lived on Marview Ave, home to the best views of downtown LA in the city.
Radio Hill- Cool place to walk and see sunset over downtown and Chinatown.
Bridge Over the 110- Many, many car commercials show this view of the urban core.

Fun:

Dodger Stadium- Still pretty after all these years.  Park on Marview and walk over.
Echo Park Lake- Nice place for a walk and check out the lily pads. Chinatown scene shot here.
Angeleno Heights- Old Victorian homes overlooking downtown.
Stair Walks- All over Silver Lake and Echo Park are hidden stairs to old hilltop neighborhoods.
Chinatown- Cool courtyards and alleyways, quite sleepy off the main streets.
Baxter St.- The steepest street I’ve ever been on.  Driving it is surreal.
Old Red Car Line- Hike this abandoned tram-line.
Silver Lake Meadow- Fly a kite, picnic, whatever you want.  Neutra house across the street.
LA River Bike Path- See herons and eagles as you zip through Elysian Valley.
Grand Park- Chill out below LA’s iconic City Hall building.
The Broad Museum- New architectural highlight in downtown.
Columbia Eastern- Prettiest building in all of Los Angeles.  Art-deco icon.
Bradbury Building- Blade Runner was shot in the interior, go in.

Drink:

Little Joy- My favorite bar in Echo Park.
Sunset Beer Co.- Pick up beer here before hitting BYOB Guisado’s for tacos.
Ace Hotel Rooftop Bar- Go for lunch and it’s surprisingly chill.
Arts District Brewing- Newish craft brewer with games for the family.

Eat:

Guisado’s- Delicious tacos, get some habanero salsa on the side.  BYOB
Pok Pok LA- Sister restaurant to Portland’s Pok Pok.  Khao soi every time.
Grand Central Market- Food stalls and other delights.
Zinc Café- Nice patio and after-hour cocktail bar.
Dune- Best falafel in LA.
Al & Bea’s- Boyle Hts. legend, serving awesome bean burritos- red or green, your choice.
La Azteca- Classic East LA spot with gooey chile relleno burritos.
Lassen’s- Organic grocer.  Great to pick up some salads before a picnic at Echo Park Lake.
Whole Foods- Right downtown and stocked with good drinks and prepared foods.