Like all cities in the US, the wave of gentrification is changing the landscape of Los Angeles. Once dangerous and run-down parts of town are being transformed into epicenters of the young, hip and ironic. As these young people (often artists, musicians and random hipsters) search for affordable accommodation they are forced to migrate to areas just outside of the current “cool” areas. These are typically poorer areas with cheap rents that allow them easy access to the fun parts of town that they are already priced out of. Over time, coffee shops, bars and restaurants start to pop up to cater to these individuals, there by making it a new “cool” area. At the same time, the folks that reside in the old cool area start to age, settle down, and have kids…thereby becoming significantly less cool. Sounds pretty scientific doesn’t it?!
Anyway, here are LAs current hip, cool and up-and-coming areas of town as it stands now. These will be sure to change as time inevitable marches forward.
Silverlake and Echo Park:
If you’ve done any research on LA, then you’ve no doubt heard about Silverlake and Echo Park. The area is synonymous with the young and hip, and has been for quite a while now. Its like Williamsburg in NYC or the Mission in SF, and just like those places, its probably now out of your price range….and actually, not as cool as it once was. You know who it goes…its so popular, its not cool anymore? But in all honesty, its still a great place to go out for food and drinks.
As the progression of hipsters inevitably had to move eastward, Atwater Village was a no-brainer. Its conveniently located between the well established “cool areas” of Silverlake/Echo Park and the more suburban City of Glendale. Its a small area and is technically part of Los Angeles, but you’ll probably find yourself acquiring most of your amenities in nearby downtown Glendale. Bummer right?
It wasn’t long ago that nobody went to downtown LA. Now, everyone is priced out. The Arts District in particular (located in DTLA) is a popular area full of gritty lofts, breweries and artists within close proximity to what the rest of downtown has to offer. Unfortunately the Arts District is a high demand area and things don’t come cheap, but parts of downtown farther south and further east into Boyle Heights are still relatively affordable.
Now were getting into NE Los Angeles, where things are really starting to happen. Eaglerock has been on the radar for a while now, but its still considered a hip area to be for those who are slightly more well off. This area is also home to a large student population as it surrounds the famous Occidental College. Yup, the one that Barak Obama attended for a hot minute!
Okay, here we go! Highland Park, otherwise known as the “hippest area in LA”. If you’ve been reading up on places to live in Los Angeles, then you’ve heard about it. If Echo Park was the spot a few years back, then Highland Park is the spot right now. Its a gritty, mostly hispanic area packed full of bars, restaurants, tattoo shops…and tons of hipsters.
If Highland Park is “the spot” right now, then Cypress Park is going to be “the spot” next. In the flat lands sandwiched between Mt Washington and Elysian Park is an area you may not have heard about. Little Cypress Park is slated to be the next up-and-coming area in LA. Its cheaper than any other area on this list and is only a few minutes to Highland Park, Silverlake/Echo Park and Downtown. Its also located on the LA River bike path, which makes it one of the more bike-friendly parts of Los Angeles. For all these reasons, LA Weekly called it the “Hottest Neighborhood in LA“.
Other reasons why Cypress Park is set to be the “next hot neighborhood” include close access to both the 5 Freeway and the 110 Freeway, it’s still home to the original King Taco, it has easy access to three major parks (Elysian, Griffith, Ernest E Debs), it has cool bars, coffee shops and great Mexican food….AND most importantly its still (fairly) inexpensive…for now.
Better known (and probably more accurately) as Elysian Valley, this tiny enclave was nicknamed FrogTown because it was, at one time, where the frogs from the LA river would emerge to seek higher and drier ground. Although as with most wild life in the area, we’ve managed to do a way with that. These days, FrogTown has become quite popular for its Art Festival, breweries and access to the LA River bike path. In a sense its an island to itself surrounded by the 5 Freeway and the LA River, there are only a few ways in and out.
So there you have it! The breakdown of the “cool”, “hip” and “trendy” neighborhoods of Los Angeles. If you’re a young, hip 20-something looking to move to LA, my advice is to get in while you can, because as rents keep increasing you’ll be priced out of these areas in no time…and forced to live in the Valley…and nobody wants that.