Thursday, February 23, 2012

London Newspaper Visits Northeast Los Angeles


Colorado Blvd., shut down for the annual Eagle Rock Music Festival

Here's a place where travel writers usually don't venture: Franklin Avenue's own backyard, Northeast Los Angeles. The London Evening Standard visits Eagle Rock and Highland Park as well as Pasadena, and visits some of our favorite haunts: Swork, Cafe de Leche, The York and Galco's Soda Pop Stop, among others.

Of course, the paper plays in tired L.A. stereotypes and cliches on their way there... but at least there's an acknowledgement that L.A. isn't just a playground for the tanned and famous:

Just half an hour's drive north-east of the city, in the areas of Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Pasadena you'll find another LA where vintage clothes boutiques, cycle shops and tattoo parlours sit amid Moorish Gothic follies and Arts and Crafts bungalows. You'll even find that rare Los Angeles sighting - the non-collagen-implanted, surgically unaltered human being.

Eagle Rock has a history of attracting artists and writers and counts Aldous Huxley, John Steinbeck and Terry Gilliam as ex-residents. Not to mention a certain Barack Obama who studied at the local Occidental College. Along with Highland Park, this is now where artists, bohos and students, priced out of neighbouring areas such as Silverlake, have moved to, attracted by the parks, affordable housing and proximity to downtown LA.

The 1930s shopfronts, left over from when prosperous East Coasters first made the area a fashionable winter sunshine destination, are filled with a mix of workaday businesses like Hispanic bakeries and quirky, independent shops such as Eloelia's Boutique and Urchin - both selling vintage clothes - The Bicycle Doctor and The Glass Studio, which makes hand-blown jewellery.

OK, we can smack the writer for that "non-collagen-implanted, surgically unaltered human being" crack. But points for visiting this part of the city.

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