Los Angeles is dominated by hipster neighborhoods that have a lot more influence than they do acres.
But there's a lot more to Los Angeles than Silver Lake, Echo Park, Venice, Koreatown and Atwater Village. We offer for your enjoyment some cool neighborhoods, most historic and with stunning architecture, you might not have heard of:
6. View Park. This unincorporated L.A. County community nestled between Leimert Park and Ladera Heights is part of what is widely believed to be the nation's most populous, and widest, swath of African American wealth. Often pared with neighboring Windsor Hills, the area has some of L.A.'s most inspiring views.
5. Windsor Square. A recent New York Times story about Mayor Eric Garcetti put the mayoral mansion in Hancock Park. Which leads us to believe the Gray Lady has never heard of the adjacent neighborhood, Windsor Square, where said Getty House actually exists.
The community is older, abounding with stately Craftsman and Beaux-Arts houses, and it's pretty much directly west of bustling Koreatown, largely between Beverly Boulevard and Sixth Street, stretching almost from Rossmore Avenue to Wilton Place. (Map).
4. Harvard Heights. This area is defined by the city as being between Western and Normandie avenues, Venice Boulevard and 11th Street. Its deep stock of Craftsman homes, now often divided into apartments, are to die for. And it's just southeast of Koreatown and next to the Oaxacan food corridor of Pico Boulevard. The adjacent Greek zone known (including Papa Cristo's) is known as the Byzantine-Latino Quarter. This is a foodie's dream.
3. Crestview. This neighborhood along La Cienega Boulevard south of 18th Street and north of the 10 freeway is where traditional black Los Angeles meets the Westside. It's just southeast of Beverlywood and south of Pico-Robertson and Beverly Hills. Although postwar apartment buildings abound, there are still some cool ranch-style homes in the area. Unfortunately the single-family homes are not cheap. This is the Westside, after all.
2. Top O' Topanga. You might fault us for recommending a trailer park among these architecturally significant neighborhoods, but this is Top O' Topanga we're talking about.
The views near the Top of Topanga lookout are supreme, and said mobile homes are made permanent with additions that make them appear to be regular houses. You'd be lucky to get a shot at living in this gated community above Topanga state beach and Malibu.
And our top neighborhood you probably never heard of is …
1. Country Club Park. You're in one of the densest, most urban parts of the city of Los Angeles, just southwest of Koreatown, yet you find yourself transported to a past of wealth and romance. The third incarnation of the Los Angeles County Club was situated in this neighborhood (at Pico Boulevard and Western Avenue) before it moved next to Beverly Hills, where it still stands. And since Country Club Park was developed between 1910s and 1930s, you'll see some pretty amazing, gated properties, impressive even by today's standards.
Lou Rawls and Lena Horne are among the celebs who have called the community home. Noted architects worked in the styles of Craftsmen, Georgian, Colonial, Tudor and more. It's a house-spotter's dream.
The boundaries are, roughly, Crenshaw Boulevard to Western Avenue, Olympic Boulevard to Pico Boulevard. Take caution: Unfortunately the gang-claimed area along Pico is still sketchy, and city gates to the south block access to this community.
It's worth snaking your way in by heading south from Olympic Boulevard, preferably along Arlington Avenue, for a Sunday cruise. Even if you can't afford it, it's a fine day dream.