Whenever people rate the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles so much focus is put on A) proximity to highways, and B) public schools, but to judge Silver Lake in those terms, this contest would just be too easy. Instead, this coveted prize of Best Neighborhood in Los Angeles (which pretty much means it’s the best neighborhood in the world) is based on quality of life. And while it is true that Silver Lake is not an inexpensive neighborhood, it is also not exclusive. In fact, it’s mid-to-upper-range economic sensibility alongside its bobo/hipster style is what makes it so great. Silver Lake is very accomplished, but it would prefer that you wouldn’t bring it up at a dinner party. Instead, it prefers to sit there under the radar, doing its thing, yet, weirdly—it’s still so close to downtown and very convenient. In fact, maybe we shouldn’t post this article, so it doesn’t become uncool.
So, why is Silver Lake the best neighborhood in Los Angeles?
While it’s true that not everyone at Intelligentsia is doing something important, and many are actually just pretending while they Facebook, it doesn’t matter. They’re there. They look cool and interesting. They’re doing their part in creating this atmosphere that says, “Go make something.” So you do. Or you don’t. (Because maybe you’re one of the ones that’s not doing anything right now—that stupid nine to five job . . .) But you will. You will.
Bobo, but not too bobo, you know what I mean?
The artsy scene here, where being too well-put together is frowned upon, where the cooler answer to “what you do” is, “I’m a journalist . . .” instead of, “I’m an actor . . .” is all very well-known. But it’s also not too in your face. Because there’s places like this: L&E Oyster Bar. No self-respecting dirty hipster could in good conscience truly claim to love a mignonette.
You go to restaurants, bars, and shops because they have character, not just to be seen.
Mohawk General Store, Red Lion Tavern, Lacausa Clothing, Silver Lake Wine, Dream Collective, Foxhole Vintage, Space Station, Vacation Vinyl, Shinola, OK!
Note: did you see the words Crate & Barrel, Pier 1 Imports, or Home Depot on that list?
No one is too cool to love a beautiful view.
Look at this: mountains, water, rolling hills. Would this ever get old?
Oh yeah, architecture.
Silver Lake has the greatest collection of adventurous residential architecture in Los Angeles. With the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, R.M Schindler, Neutra, Gregory Ain, and John Lautner, a home here sits among architecture royalty. When a contemporary architect designs in Silver Lake they know they’re competing against the best, so they bring their best.
By: David Plick