Just east of the neighborhood of Hollywood lies one of our favorite spots to hang out, or even to live! It’s Los Feliz, the neighborhood that is shared by edgy hipsters, movie stars and just regular people who enjoy a mix of cultures and styles.
The name itself is kind of eccentric. In Spanish, it doesn’t really make sense (“The Happies?”). That’s because it was actually named for one of the first land grants in California, given to Corporal José Vicente Feliz. The pronunciation is also debatable. Most Angelenos pronounce it like “Los Fee-lez”, though a more accurate pronunciation should really be “Los Fey-leez”. But however you pronounce it, in Los Angeles, it means “cool”.
Living in Los Feliz can be an expensive proposition, depending on the area you choose. Real estate choices range from the very toney homes in the Los Feliz foothills, where posh mansions abound, to the more urban areas where one might find an apartment under $1,000 per month. This broad price range is one factor that makes Los Feliz so diverse: it brings people of different economic levels close together.
Architecture in the neighborhood is stunning. In addition to the great variety of home styles, there are both new and historic landmarks, and TWO masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright, the legendary architect! One is the Hollyhock House (seen above), built for Aline Barnsdall, herself a Hollywood eccentric.
The home sits in the middle of Barnsdall Park, a hilltop site that includes an art center and galleries. Another Frank Lloyd Wright home called the “Ennis House” sits in the hills above Los Feliz. It is not currently open to the public but may be viewed from the outside.
Los Feliz – LA’s Hip Hangout
But what makes Los Feliz a social magnet is the collection of shops, restaurants and theaters to be found on its two main streets, Vermont Avenue and Hillhurst Avenue. On Vermont, you can take in a movie at the Los Feliz theater (one of the few neighborhood theaters left in LA, though it has been split into three screens) where first-run movie matinees still cost only $6 (in a town where $16 is the going rate).
Then shop at one of the city’s last great independent bookstores, Skylight Books, where unique and special interest books abound. And finally, dine at a number of popular venues, such as Figaro Bistro, Fred 62 Diner, House of Pies, Il Capriccio, or the Dresden Room, all within a few blocks of each other! On Hillhurst are more unique, locally-owned restaurants and shops. Nearby is another classic movie theater, The Vista, which has been refurbished and maintains its giant single screen and extravagant legroom. Plus, there are numerous bars, ranging from sports taverns to Tiki rooms to new age dive bars.
Los Feliz in the Movies
Being one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods means that Los Feliz has also been featured in movies for decades. If you are a film buff, you will enjoy knowing that Barbara Stanwyck’s home in “Double Indemnity” is in the Los Feliz hills, and William Holden’s apartment in “Sunset Boulevard” is close by on the eastern edge of Hollywood.
The movie Swingers with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau used multiple Los Feliz locations such as the retro Dresden Room Restaurant and the 101 Coffee Shop. The Ennis House (see above) has been used in many movies, including Blade Runner. More recently, La La Land’s dance sequence with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone was shot in the hills of Griffith Park just above Los Feliz.
For a combination of classic Hollywood, hipster chic, cultural diversity and natural beauty, you can’t do better than Los Feliz. Ask your Relocity Personal Host if Los Feliz is a smart choice for you and your family when planning your move to LA!