Top-notch LA Real Estate Locations

Best locations in the top-notch LA Real Estate

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is recognized globally as the center of the film, television, and entertainment industry.

It’s officially known as the City of Los Angeles, often referred to simply by its initials or called the City of Angels, and it’s famous for its resort style weather.

According to a report released in 2016 by the California Department of Finance the city’s population now exceeds more than 4 million people – 4,031,000 to be exact.

Logically, you’d think with LA’s population booming the housing market would increase too, right? Surprisingly, not so. The report determined the housing market has remained relatively flat. And this is why the real estate market in Los Angeles is so competitive.

In May 2016, demographer Walter Schwarm told LAist, “The continued gap there helps to explain the rising housing prices and the rising rental rates in California … housing stock continues to lag significantly behind population in terms of growth. If supply is not keeping up with the demand, then the prices are the ones to take up the slack.”

However, this doesn’t mean construction of residential property has stopped. The report finds continued growth of multi-family residences over single-family homes. (I’m curious to know what criteria homes built under the small lot subdivision ordinance fall under.)

To explore more of Los Angeles and the housing market click one of the topics below.


October 5th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Hollywood Hills


The Hollywood Hills is one of the few places in this world where all that glitter is gold.


In 1920 real estate mogul and developer Sydney Woodruff felt the time had come for greater expansion and decentralization of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. He proclaimed, “With Los Angeles destined to be a city of millions Hollywoodland is so situated that home sites purchased today will be worth fortunes.”

He was right.

Today the hills are alive with some of the most remarkable and globally renowned architecture.


This is what modernist dreams are made of.

The most iconic structure in Los Angeles was the vision of Clarence “Buck” Stahl.

In 1954 Stahl and his wife, Carlotta, purchased a vacant lot in the hills. At first, their search for an architect proved disheartening as architect after architect turned the project down stating the site was un-buildable. Then they met architect Pierre Koenig.

Young and ambitious, Koenig agreed to take on the project and worked it into the Arts and Architecture experiment known as the Case Study House program.

The home, also known as Case Study House #22, uses steel framing to support the endless floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that capture the jaw dropping panoramic views of Los Angeles’ metropolis.

It’s no wonder this home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


I spent far too long in this house daydreaming.

As I gazed out the walls of the floor to ceiling windows I wondered what it would be like to see the sparkle of the city lights on a daily basis.

Cause while architect Ed Niles first perfectly captures the essence of the mid century modern aesthetic in his first home it’s the view of the city that steals the show.


Hollywood Hills Ethnicity

For the city of Los Angeles the Hollywood Hills isn’t considered to be diverse. The majority of the population here is 74.1% white. Latinos make up 9.4% followed by Asians who make up 6.7%. Other and Black/African American make up 5.3% and 4.6% respectively.


From sightseeing, bar hopping, nightclubbing, and people watching you’re never left thinking of what to do. Here are some local faves.


This is the best marketing campaign, ever.

While the sign is a landmark that represents the iconic glitz and glam of show business it was originally erected to promote the sale of new homes and real estate opportunities in the neighborhood.

Erected in 1923 the sign originally read Hollywoodland and measured 30 feet wide and approximately 43 feet tall. And at night it would light up like a beacon beckoning new comers to the area.


As one of the world’s largest natural amphitheaters it’s hard to believe the original stage was a wooden platform covered by canvas and the audience sat in moveable benches scattered across the hillside.

The “First official Hollywood Bowl season ‘Symphonies Under the Stars’ began … on July 11th with Alfred Hertz conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.”

In 1926 local architects, including Frank Gehry and Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son) stepped in to improve the acoustics and make much needed structural changes.

Today, the stage of the 20,000 seat ampitheater has been graced by legendary performances from artists ranging from Frank Sinatra, Sade, Police, Santigold, and Coldplay, to Jay Z, Kanye, and Grace Jones.


This mile and a half stretch of Sunset Blvd is lined by behemoth sized billboards. And below, life swirls around champagne brunches, power lunches, movie deals, tourists, paparazzi, people watching, roof top skinny dipping, heartache, and heartbreak.


You can cancel your gym membership.

This 160 acre park offers hiking trails to match your fitness level, free daily yoga classes along with pull up bars and benches throughout the park.

And your reward for succeeding in making it to the top of the hill is simultaneously taking a moment to catch your breath while gazing at the most unbelievable views of Los Angeles.


Franklin Village is a small pedestrian filled stretch of Franklin Ave at the base of the Hollywood Hills. It’s where my friend and I often stroll to La Poubelle, a French bistro, with side walk seating and share the best plate of crispy brussel leaves and a bottle of Malbec. This stretch is also home to a market, a dry cleaners, a theater, and a coffee shop making daily chores easy for local residents.


The Hollywood Hills comprises of two sections: East and West. The zip codes include 90068, 90046 and parts of 90069, 90028 and 91604. Hollywood Hills East is located near Los Feliz while Hollywood Hills West borders Beverly Hills. To the north is Burbank and Hollywood sits to the South.

October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Silver Lake, Los Angeles

Forbes magazine didn’t name Silver Lake CA “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhood” for nothing.

“The eclectic enclave boasts some of the nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmer’s markets, a booming arts scene and one of the largest creative class communities in the country. Silver Lake is also home to some of the most avant-garde Modernist architecture in North America.”

And it’s that artsy-creative-bohemian vibe that will forever make this neighborhood a destination spot.


Los Angeles’ big construction boom of the early 1920’s attracted many established and up and coming architects. Silver Lake attracted many, now legendary, names like Raphael Soriano, Gregory Ain, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Rudolph Schindler, and Craig Ellwood. As a result, “There are more architecturally esteemed homes per square mile in Silver Lake than in any other part of the City.”


Yew, Inadomi, Sokol, Treweck, Flavin, Ohara, Akai, Kambara, and the VDL Research House are the names of a collection of homes architect Richard Neutra built on Silver Lake Blvd and Neutra Place. Known as The Colony they are a stunning example of modernist architecture.

Each home is individually sited to capture views of the lake, and the surrounding outdoors.


This is architect John Lautner at his finest.

Built for industrialist and engineer, Kenneth Reiner, Silvertop (aka the Reiner-Burchill Residence) saw the light of the real estate market in 2014. Measuring 4,721 square feet the three-bedroom, four-bathroom listed for $7.5 million. According to the LA Conservancy this was

“Lautner’s first major use of monolithic concrete as a sculptural as well as architectural component. It was completed in 1963, after nearly seven years of construction.

The Organic Modern house features a huge, arching concrete roof over a wall of glass opening the interior to the views all around, enhanced by a cantilevered swimming pool that seems to flow directly into Silver Lake Reservoir far below.”
The home also has a one bedroom, one bathroom guesthouse (that also offers a kitchen and a darkroom) and a workshop. In a fierce multiple offer battle the home sold to Luke Wood, president of Beats by Dre for $8.55 million.


Architect Raphael Soriano Spencer Austrian House Silver Lake CA
This was architect Raphael Soriano’s very first commission.

He broke ground in the Silver Lake hills on the Austrian Spencer House in 1937. When the home hit the market in 2006 it had seen better days. With a cracked foundation and other deferred maintenance the home lingered for 103 days.

When the home returned to the market in 2013 it looked like a gem. Updated with teak sinks, a reclaimed wood wall, Boffi fixtures, a modern utilitarian kitchen, and Soriano’s signature of steel framed ribbon windows made this home look like the classic it was intended to be.


Silver Lake is considered highly diverse for the city of Los Angeles. Silver Lake is 41.8% Latino followed by 34% white. The Asians population is 18% making it high for Los Angeles county. Blacks/African American make up 3.2% of the neighborhood. There’s 3.1% that fall into “other” category.



Sunset Junction Sign
I heart this hub of the neighborhood. The street junction of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard was once where the Pasadena and Pacific Railway carried passengers from Downtown to Santa Monica. It was also where the nation watched as people at The Black Cat Tavern rioted in solidarity against police harassment in gay bars. And even later, it’s where the now defunct annual Sunset Junction Street Fair filled the streets with food trucks, local bands, and kiddie carnival rides.

Today, it’s where a Mediterranean style building on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Sanborn Ave stands as a neighborhood beacon calling you to spend a day.


Bringing a little bit of Paris to the ‘hood since the 90’s. Serving classic French bistro cuisine in an intimate setting. Indoor, outdoor, and wine bar side seating available. My favorite dish is the filet mignot accompanied by a glass of Pinot Noir. You. Will. Die.


The Parisian vibe continues just across the outdoor patio of Cafe Stella. Crafted cocktails include a list of your usual suspects like a classic martini, Manhattan, an old-fashioned, a mojito, as well as a Moscow Mule. And then seasonal mixes with names like Son of a Priest and Gold Jacket are thrown in for your salivating glands.


This is where my caffeine addiction started. This is Intelligentsia’s first West Coast flagship store for these Chicago based drug dealers – I mean, coffee importers and roasters.


1717 Silver Lake Blvd was formerly the home of Spaceland, the pulse of Eastside’s Indie music scene. Before they were famous bands like Beck, Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith and Weezer performed here. The Satellite continues the tradition by making stars of rising bands.


There are two sections to the reservoir. The lower section is named after Herman Silver, a Water Board Commissioner of the early 1900s. The upper section takes its name from the book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. It is one of the few open reservoirs remaining.

Recreational activities are abundant around the reservoir. The Silver Lake Recreational Center located on the South side of the reservoir offers a variety of sports programs for kids and teens. A 2.2 mile pathway surrounds the reservoir where joggers get their daily dose of fitness in by blazing around the pathway throughout the day. Outdoor fitness Boot Camps are very popular too. Many gather in the morning and evening hours to complete a grueling fitness regime sworn to get them in shape in a matter of weeks.

A dog park is adjacent to the Silver Lake Recreational Center and is a great place for throwing the ball around with man’s best friend.

On the north side, The Neighborhood Nursery School offers families with kids ages 3 -5 years old a great place to play and learn.

The Silver Lake Meadow is a park located on the North East end of the reservoir. The park is “passive space” meaning no dogs or organized sporting events. This green open space is a great place to throw a Frisbee around, fly a kite, do yoga, tai chi or simply relax.


You can go here to check out books, study, rummage through archives or just gawk at the library’s architecture. The 13,600-square-foot building is part of the city’s Sustainable Design Implementation Program (SDIP). It’s the city’s newest eco friendly green library.


The zip codes of Silver Lake include 90026, 90039 and parts of 90029. It is near Downtown Los Angeles. The neighborhood is West of Echo Park, East of Los Feliz, South of Atwater Village and north of the 101 Freeway.



October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Echo Park, Los Angeles

Echo Park, Los Angeles

With a picturesque hilly terrain and bohemian spirit Echo Park continuously ranks among the top ten neighborhoods in Los Angeles.


The million dollar views of Downtown makes this neighborhood a prime spot for development. Towards the end of the 19th century construction of CA bungalows and Spanish style homes were plentiful. Legendary modernist architects noticed the opportunity for development here too and designed some of the best mid century modern homes to be erected on the Eastside.


The Jules Salkin residence, designed by legendary architect John Lautner, was an instant hit when it went up for sale in 2014.

In addition to the high ceilings, clerestory windows, concrete floors, large sliding glass doors repeating throughout the house, and the near perfect redwood Lautner loved so much, the home is sited on a lot that provides retreat like setting.


Designed by my all time favorite modernist architect, Raphael Soriano, the Ross House stands as a prime example of modern architecture.

Gareth and Christine Kantner, the owners of Café Stella in Silver Lake, scooped up this mid century modern gem in 2007. Clad in stucco, the home maintains Soriano’s original details sporting his signature horizontal display of metal casement windows.

The Kantners applied for Historic-Cultural Monument recognition in 2009.


The Wronkse brothers of Heyday built Rock Row in Eagle Rock and returned to Echo Park for their next project, Dick + Jane.

Dick + Jane are two single family homes built on Echo Park Avenue just South of Sunset Blvd. Known for creating modern housing in small spaces, the brothers strategically placed the homes to maximize privacy and provide outdoor spaces. Each home has a private courtyard and a large deck.

Other creature comforts in this split level design include custom kitchen cabinetry with Caesar Stone counter tops, Grohe faucets, cove lighting, skylights, strand woven bamboo floors throughout, built in speakers, duel low flow toilets, Corian counter tops and custom tiled bathrooms.

It’s no surprise when they hit the market they sold within nanoseconds.


The neighborhood is considered moderately diverse for the city of Los Angeles. The ethnicity of the neighborhood is almost evenly split between Latinos at 47.6% and Asians at 43.4%. A mixed group make up 3.7% followed by 3.1% white and 2.1% Black.


Here are a few local favorites of where you can eat, drink, and play.


Elysian Park was established in 1886. It’s located to the East of Echo Park and is Los Angeles’ oldest and second to largest public park. It encompasses historic sites that include the Los Angeles Police Academy, Dodger Stadium, and Barlow Hospital.

It is filled with miles of hiking trails running along Elysian Heights – a popular residential pocket in the hills of Echo Park.


In the late 1880s a carriage maker turned real estate developer by the name of Thomas Kelly teamed up with a group of investors to purchase and later sell the Montana Tract. The Sunset Boulevard business district flourished as homes and apartments were packed in and around the lake.

Legend has it that the lake got its name after workers building the original reservoir said their voices echoed off the canyon walls.


Angelino Heights is best known for its Victorian-era style homes. In addition to claiming the bragging rights as the first neighborhood in Los Angeles to earn a HPOZ designation, the neighborhood gets further props by being listed on a national registry for historic homes:

“… the 1300 block of Carroll Avenue is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and contains the highest concentration of 19th century Victorian homes in Los Angeles.”
It’s also a killer neighborhood for trick-or-treaters.


They are likely the most popular music and nightclub venues in the neighborhood. Crowds pack the space to listen to music ranging from the dark corners of the underground and alternative to the head nodding beats of Diplo.

Even the legendary Rolling Stones has graced the stage with front man Mick Jagger strutting his stuff.


The main zip code of Echo Park is 90026. If you ask the Echo Park Historical Society they’ll say Echo Park has no “official” boundaries. So unofficially speaking the neighborhood is sandwiched between Silver Lake to the West and Downtown LA to the South East. Cypress Park is to the North. The neighborhood’s southern portion was separated from the northern section in the 1950s by the 101 freeway. Echo Park consists of these neighborhoods: Echo Park, Angelino Heights, Belmont Heights, Colton Hill, Edendale, Temple-Beaudry, Sunset Heights, Elysian Heights, Historic Filipino Town and Victor Heights. It reaches into these zip codes: 90012, 90026, 90031, 90039.

October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles

It’s hard to believe Downtown Los Angeles was once more desolate than desired. Old buildings being granted new uses sparked a new interest in the area and a boom in residents and businesses followed. Today it’s home to LA’s major sports facilities, monumental architecture, museums, and some of the best restaurants this city has to offer.


The Adaptive Reuse Ordinance played a major role in breathing new life into the neighborhood. It allowed many of the often abandoned buildings and warehouses of the area to be converted into livable spaces.

Within no time, loft living became en vogue.

There are nine districts in Downtown. They include the Arts District, Bunker Hill, City West, Fashion District, Financial District, Historic Core, Lincoln Heights, Little Tokyo, and South Park.


Located in the Arts District the Toy Factory Lofts was originally built in 1923 for the Star Truck & Warehouse Company. This building now houses 119 live-work lofts. It also offers the convenience of the retail spaces on the ground floor that include a restaurant, a gourmet grocery, and wine shop.


Located in the historic core the Eastern Columbia building is an art deco masterpiece listed as a Historic and Cultural Monument.

Keeping the turquoise terra-cotta and gold-leaf details of the exterior a 2006 renovation converted this space into 147 residential units. Each floor plan ranges from less than a 1,000 square feet with an open floor plan to luxury style penthouses measuring over 3,300 square feet.


The Flower Street Lofts are located in the heart of South Park.

Formerly used as a UPS distribution hub the 2003 conversion turned this space into 91 lofts offering high ceilings, mezzanines, walls of glass, and concrete floors.


Downtown LA ethnicity

Downtown is considered highly diverse for the city and county of Los Angeles. 36.7% of the neighborhood is populated by Latinos followed by 22.3% Black/African American. Asians make up 21.3% of the area. Whites make up 16.2%. 3.5% of the population in the area falls under “other.”


With neighborhoods like El Pueblo, Little Toyko, Chinatown, and Bunker Hill, Downtown is a cultural hub providing an endless list of things to do. Here are a few of the local faves.


This curvy stainless steel architectural landmark was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Home to the LA Philharmonica it is said to be one of the most “acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world providing both visual and aural intimacy for an unparalleled musical experience.”


The Broad is a contemporary art museum established by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. In a 120,000 square foot building designed by world-renowned architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler.

According to the website “The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.”

I’m dying to experience Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. It is said to be a captivating visual moment of “a mirror-lined chamber housing a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display.”


From Bansky to their permanent collection, MOCA displays contemporary art in all media forms. Founded by only artist the museum focuses on art created after 1940 and houses an impressive collection of 7,000 objects. Today MOCA takes up three facilities across LA: MOCA Grand Avenue, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and MOCA Pacific Design Center.


This admission free venue was labeled by as the most popular museum destination in Southern California. While the museum offers interesting exhibits, an on site science center school, an Amgen Center for Science Learning, along with a teacher professional development program one of the coolest features is the IMAX theatre. The seven story IMAX screen brings to life “worlds as small as an atom and as vast as the universe.”


A sandwich for dinner? It sounded a little odd to me too but I promise you’ll be missing out if you don’t dive into a Baco. According to their website, “Bäco Mercat is the home of the “bäco,” the signature flatbread sandwich that was developed by chef Josef Centeno. The original bäco was the crispy pork belly and beef carnitas with caraway pepper. Since then, the bäco bread has taken center stage and works as a vessel for all things delicious: pork, beef, poultry, seafood and vegetables.” It’s downright delicious.


Bestia serves the best in rustic Italian fare. Housed in an industrial space dishes range from house-made charcuterie, handmade pastas, and pizza made in an Acunto oven.


The zip codes of Downtown LA include 90012, 90013, 90014, 90015, 90016, 90017, 90021, and 90071. It lies to the West of the Los Angeles River. On the north it boarders the Hollywood Freeway and Echo Park. To the south is the Santa Monica Freeway and South Central Los Angeles. To the West is Korea Town. Some experts say that it goes past these boundaries to include Exposition Park, University Park, the Central City West neighborhood and the entire University of Southern California campus.


October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Silver Lake Reservoir

Silver Lake Reservoir

The Silver Lake Reservoir is located in my second favorite pocket of this neighborhood.

The reservoir is made up of two sections. The lower section is named after Herman Silver, a Water Board Commissioner of the early 1900s. The upper section takes its name from the book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. The reservoir is one of the few open reservoirs remaining and a focal point for residents.

When I’m in fitness mode my favorite thing to do is start my walk-jog-run routine at the entrance of the Silver Lake Recreational Center. The center is located on the South side of the reservoir and offers a variety of sports programs for kids and teens. It’s also a place where you’ll see members of outdoor fitness Boot Camps break a sweat.

A dog park is adjacent to the Silver Lake Recreational Center and is a populated with locals and their four legged friends.

If you travel North along the 2.2 mile concrete pathway you can’t miss the collection of mid-century modern homes by architect Richard Neutra.

On the north side is the Neighborhood Nursery School. It offers families with kids ages 3 -5 years old a great place to play and learn.

The Silver Lake Meadow is a park also located on the North East end of the reservoir. The park is “passive space” meaning no dogs or organized sporting events. This green open space is a great place to throw a Frisbee around, fly a kite, do yoga, tai chi or simply relax.

I usually take Tesla to West Silver Lake drive. Those hills are known as the Moreno Highlands and arguably contains the neighborhood’s “prime” real estate. The area was originally planned by oil heiress Daisy Canfield and her heart throb husband Antonio Moreno as a tile-roofed Mediterranean hilltop village.

If you’re not into hoofing it in the wee hours of the morning then dine at L&E Oyster, grab coffee at LAMILL, shop for furniture at Lawson-Fenning, and update your wardrobe at Lake.

To find a home near the reservoir visit my updated list of homes for sale in Silver Lake.



October 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Los Feliz, Los Angeles


Los Feliz is an established hub of affluence, creativity, and bohemian sensibility.


While Spanish and Mediterranean style homes dominate the housing stock the neighborhood is filled with architecturally significant structures listed as historic cultural monuments.


Historic cultural monument no.762 is an awe-inspiring, magical, Mayan style masterpiece. It was built in 1926 and designed by Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son.)

Wright uses the same textile block system his father used in the Millard House in Pasadena. In 2001 high end house flipper Xorin Balbes purchased the property. Despite the hiss of criticism he received from architectural purist, Balbes’ restorative remodel successfully created a modern day sanctuary.


Historic cultural monument no.12 was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall.

Known today as Barnsdall Park the Mayan-esque looking home rests at the center of Oliver Hill. Barnsdall loved Hollyhock flowers and instructed Wright to make them part of the home. Representations of the flower are seen on the roofline, wall, columns, planters and furniture.


Historic monument no.149 is a testament to Frank Lloyd Wright’s innovative approach to architecture.

It’s one of four Mayan-esque textile block structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles. Wright was not a fan of the “gutter rat” material but his creativity and curiosity on how to utilize the cheap concrete blocks got the best of him.

The Ennis House is the fourth and largest of Wright’s textile block designs.


Historic cultural monument no.23 is architect Richard Neutra’s nod to industrial production and a turning point in his career.

The home was designed for health conscious physician and naturopath, Philip Lovell. It is considered to be the first steel home in the United States. This modernist residence, also known as the Lovell Health House, seamlessly blends minimal industrial details with Lovell’s desire to live in a home that breeds healthy living.

The home served as a turning point in Neutra’s career.


Los Feliz is considered to be highly diverse for the city of Los Angeles. Just over half of the population is white. The next largest group is Latinos making up 18.7% of the population. Asians are next at 13.5%. An unidentified group makes up 6.6% while Blacks/African Americans make up 3.7% of the population.


Los Feliz offers a never-ending list of places to eat, drink, and sleep. Here are a few local faves.


Los Feliz is named after its land grantee, José Vicente Feliz, whose 8,000 acre land grant included Griffith Park. At the entrance of the park stands a statue of Griffith J.Griffith, a Welshman who in the early 1880’s gained ownership of what was known then as Rancho Los Feliz. He later donated a wad of cash and over half of the area to the city of Los Angeles.

The park is the largest urban park in North America. It’s filled with endless hiking and equestrian trails. Among the must see attractions are the observatory, the Greek Theatre, the Los Angeles Zoo, Travel Town, and multiple golf courses.


Griffith J. Griffith believed “an individual gained an enlightened perspective when looking at the skies” and dreamed of bringing astronomy to the masses.

The Observatory is a Los Angeles gem. It sits high on Mount Hollywood offering breathtaking views of the city below. To get a closer view of the LA basin and the surrounding mountains you can peek through one of the coin-operated telescopes mounted around the perimeter of the building.

On clear days and nights telescopes are available inside the building for visitors to gaze in wonder at the stars. Make sure to check out one of the shows at the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.


There’s no wine list. And they don’t know your name but describe how you like your wine to taste and they’ll pour you a perfect match.

Co-owned by former long term resident bartender of Café Stella in Silver Lake, Dustin Lancaster, and former employee of Silver Lake Wine turned one of the top Sommeliers in the country, Mathew Kaner bonded and make the perfect hosts of this neighborhood bar.

And if you are looking to host a private party, or an event, check out their private room, Sidebar.


Parlaying his hospitality skills into the hotel industry, Dustin Lancaster opens Hotel Covell.

This boutique hotel rests above Bar Covell and offers 5 rooms for short and long term stays. The interiors are designed around the imagined life of a fictional 20th-century writer who hails from Oklahoma. ( … does anyone else see the coincidence here? That’s where Lancaster is from.)

Each room is a visual representation of a moment in Covell’s life. According to the website, “With each chapter comes a visual story of George Covell’s life, from a young boy in Oklahoma to an accomplished Author in New York City.”

With the mid century modern decor and those beautiful Herringbone hardwood floors Chapter 5 is likely to be my personal favorite.


On a mission to create an artist community oil heiress Aline Barnsdall purchased 35-acres of land, hired legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and made plans to erect several buildings on the site. While only a few of those buildings saw the light of day, one of them is the famous Hollyhock House.

In the late 1920’s Barnsdall donated the land to the city of Los Angeles for use as a public park. In keeping up with Barnsdall’s wishes, “The Barnsdall Art Park has as its mission the presentation, promotion, enrichment, and development of the arts and artists of the Los Angeles region in all its cultural diversity.” And summers nights filled with wine tasting events hosted by Silver Lake Wine. (Which was not part of the heiress’ plan but I think she’d approve of these summer events.)


They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Located at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset this historic landmark originally opened as a vaudeville playhouse. Now the large, single screen, movie theater provides enough leg room for a giant and the popcorn is (usually) always fresh.


The zip code of Los Feliz is 90027. To the West is the Hollywood Hills. To the East is Atwater Village. Along the North is Griffith Park and to the South is Silver Lake.

October 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|


This once sleepy neighborhood seems to have “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” syndrome. Each year the area gets more vibrant and lively. In 2012 the LA Times reported that Pasadena has more restaurants per capita than New York City. Add local boutiques, name brand stores, and historical architecture and you’ve got yourself a happening locale.


Pasadena is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and its collection of architecture designated as California Historical Landmarks and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Two of the most recognizable craftsman style homes are the Ultimate Bungalows designed by the architect firm Greene & Greene.

And then you have the mid century modern masterpieces.


Millard House, also known as La Miniatura, is the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

At the time, Wright was gunning to expand his reputation beyond a Prairie house architect. He chose to experiment with concrete blocks – a material he considered to be “the cheapest and ugliest thing in the building world.”

Believing buildings should complement their surroundings he remarked that the house “belonged to the ground on which it stood.”


The Thomson Residence is a 1957 post and beam structure located in the Poppy Peak Historic District in the San Rafael Hills of Pasadena.

This two-story glass and wood home is sited on a 7,882 lot that captures the surrounding city and mountain views.

Built by Buff, Straub, and Hensman the home received the Preservation Award from the City of Pasadena for its museum-quality restoration during 2011-2012.


The Clark House is a modernist masterpiece.

The home was built in 1957 by famed architect Richard Neutra. It rests on a site that affords unobstructed views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Arroyo, and the Rose Bowl.

The design-build firm Marmol Radziner was recently tasked with restoring the home. They did an excellent job of restoring the original structure, breathing life back into the landscape planting and pool terrace, and revamping the interior.


Pasadena is considered diverse for LA County. Whites make up 39.1% followed by Latinos at 33.3%. At 13.9% the percentage of Blacks/African American is considered high for LA County. Asians follow with 10%. 3.8% of the population falls under other.


From the historic places, national landmarks, and local eateries, here are a few of the local faves.


Built in 1922 the Rose Bowl ranks as the 17th largest stadium in the world.

While it’s best known for hosting the annual American football Rose Bowl Game it’s also the home stadium for my alma mater’s football team the UCLA Bruins. The venue has also hosted several soccer events including the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match, as well as numerous CONCACAF and United States Soccer Federation matches.

But the most important event of them all happens the second Sunday of every month. The Rose Bowl Flea Market is one of the best places to score mid century modern furniture, décor, and rare finds.


The story goes that industrialist Norton Simon was looking for a space to house his massive collection of “European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years.”

Around the same time the museum formerly known as the Pasadena Art Institute and the Pasadena Art Museum was facing financial hardship. They approached Simon for help.

In exchange for using 75% of the gallery’s space to house his personal collection Simon agreed to take over the gallery’s financial obligations. And, of course, he wanted his name on the building.

Among the most celebrated works he collected are Branchini Madonna, 1427, by Giovanni di Paolo; Madonna and Child with Book, c. 1502-03, by Raphael; Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose, 1633, by Francisco de Zurbarán; Portrait of a Boy, c. 1655-60, by Rembrandt van Rijn; Mulberry Tree, 1889, by Vincent van Gogh; Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-81, by Edgar Degas; and Woman with a Book, 1932, by Pablo Picasso. Highlights from the Asian collection include the bronze sculptures Buddha Shakyamuni, c. 550, India: Bihar, Gupta period, and Shiva as King of Dance, c. 1000, India: Tamil Nadu; and the gilt bronze Indra, 13th century, Nepal.”


This 16-block area is home to more than a thousand historic bungalow style homes.

And through the years the neighborhood has earned the bragging rights to many impressive titles. In 1989 the area became Pasadena’s first historic Landmark District. In 2008 the district was listed by the United States Department of the Interior in the National Register of Historic Places. Which then led to Bungalow Heaven being listed in the California Register of Historical Resources. And in 2009 the American Planning Association named Bungalow Heaven Landmark District as one of the 10 great places in America.

Pretty impressive, right?


Using olive oils, chili peppers, and caviar Sushi Roku rocks tradition and delights your palette. Located in Old Town Pasadena this joint serves an array of salads, hot and cold specialty appetizers, and a wide selection of hot entrees all in a modern, zen style setting.


iPic Theaters provides the most luxury movie going experience in Los Angeles.

Yes, your movie tickets costs more but it’s absolutely worth it. With your dairy-aire comfortably planted in a plush, over sized leather recliner, seat side waiter service at your beck and call with wine, beer on tap, and dinner all come to you.

Complimentary popcorn, blankets, and pillows are included.


Pasadena is located in the Verdugos region of Los Angeles County. Just 15 minutes from Downtown LA the neighborhood is surrounded by Altadena, Angeles Crest, Arcadia, Eagle Rock, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Highland Park, La Cañada Flintridge, San Marino, San Pasqual, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, and the Tujunga Canyons. Pasadena’s zip codes include 91101, 91103, 91104, 91105, 91106, 91107, 91030, and 91031.

October 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Griffith Observatory


The Griffith Observatory was the vision and dream of one man.

After viewing stars through a research telescope, Griffith J. Griffith exclaimed, “If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world!”

The art deco structure is sited on a south-facing slope in Griffith Park located north of the Los Feliz neighborhood. From the architecture of the building, the breathtaking views that reach from Downtown Los Angeles, to Hollywood, and the Pacific Ocean, and its renowned leadership role in public astronomy, it is one of Los Angeles’ most popular attractions.

Since opening in 1935 the Observatory has operated as a free facility for the general public.

To read more about architects and the architecture of Los Angeles browse the topics below.




October 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Griffith Park

Griffith Park

Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. It is the second-largest city park in California, after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego, and the tenth largest municipally owned park in the United States. It hosts the Griffith Observatory.

October 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|
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