For Los Feliz 101, I will concentrate on the spots on Vermont Avenue. Not to say that Hillhurst is not deserving. It is just that Hillhurst, to me, is more of the eating and drinking street and I said that I wouldn’t be talking about food for the reasons outlined here. There are some great dive bars on Hillhurst like the Drawing Room, Ye Old Rustic Inn, Good Luck, etc., which I hope will be around forever. The Vista Theater is a really great and cheap place to see a movie and has been in quite a few movies itself. On opening night the manager dresses in costume and welcomes you to the theater.
Los Feliz 101:
For this post, and I guess the Los Feliz theme for me, I will concentrate on places I will call everything spaces. They may at first seem like a store, but that store also is a bar, and a theater, and perhaps also a gallery. I was happy that I had the chance to visit the everything spaces of Los Feliz on refresher mission a couple weeks ago.
Skylight bookstore is the first bookstore I fell in love with in Los Angeles. It reminded me so much of the bookstores I loved in Minnesota. (Hungry Mind/Ruminator Books which closed just before I moved here) The ones that invite you to explore, but are well marked enough for you to know how to find things on your own. I fell in love with Skylight more when it added its annex full of art & design books next door. Their graphic novel selection is also on the incredible side.
It is hard sometimes to get past the entrance in the first 20 minutes. There are always cute letterpress cards to buy for some occasion, supplies to help me feel like I might possibly be a more organized person, and then there are staff picks to help me grow my never ending “want to read” list on goodreads, and oh yes, what just came out in paperback. (Better for packing in my purse for a bus ride)
Skylight also has a great section of Los Angeles fiction, auto/biography, travel guides. It is a great way to learn more about L.A. My next post will talk about my project last year when I read all books about Los Angeles. Perhaps there are some ideas there for you to purchase at Skylight.
If you are new to Los Angeles and looking to join a book club, Skylight can hook you up! In addition to the in-store events, there is also a theater company in the complex if you are looking for a way to see new playwrights and some familiar faces.
I love the idea of Etsy, but I love even more when I can see handmade in person. Sure there is UniqueLA, Renegade Craft Fair, and a growing list of events where you can see the work of the talented people of L.A. once a month to twice a year, but at Co-Op 28 you can see it all the time. Over 130 people’s work is represented in the store. It is a great place to get one of a kind and California focused gifts. Although the vintage clothing selection has become smaller, a surprise will come in a couple paragraphs, I did find a few vintage high-waisted swimsuits I wanted to take home.
If you are sad to see the end you can also live out your Mad Men/Mid-Century fantasies at the adjoining home store by picking up a vintage faceted glass bar set and perhaps some of the Los Feliz collection of furniture. Can I just move in already?
The back room of Co-Op which was once home to its vintage clothing collection will become a Bukowski themed bar opening in May. More details to come.
There is actually very little soap in Wako Soap Plant. What Wako Soap is can’t really be explained in a couple words. It is a gift shop, art book store, vintage clothing, head shop, something for the kids, something for the adults, has items with birds on them, place to buy Lucha VaVoom and concert tickets, and now has a gallery*. It is easy to get lost in here, there is just so much of all of the things to see.
* current exhibit features a lot of the artwork from the current exhibition at the L.A. Municipal Gallery for sale. (LAMG show closes on April 19)
[Getting here: In Los Feliz it is sometimes hard to find a place to park, luckily it is pretty accessible when it comes to public transportation. It is on the red line and also served by an amazing amount of bus lines. 2/302, 180, 206, 217, 780, 754 and the Hollywood Dash. If you are close to the Santa Monica Blvd 4/704, it is a bit of a walk, but not too bad]