Someone said to me a few years ago, while detailing the many qualities that make living in Hancock Park the best all around living experience in Los Angeles, that the city of Los Angeles is moving East. It was a new concept to me at the time. But more and more I am realizing the validity of it. You see the evidence of it constantly. Just open the LA Times any day and look where all the exciting new things in Los Angeles are happening. Where the parties are, where the hippest restaurants are, where the best art is. It’s here! Or close enough to take advantage of for those who are fortunate enough to live in Hancock Park.
For example look at LACMA’s incredible expansion under Michael Govan who by the way lives in Hancock Park. Two incredible new buildings with the Broad Contemporary Art Museum in 2008 and The Resnick Pavilion in 2010, a new restaurant called Ray’s and the Stark Bar both new in 2011. The new BP Grand Entrance anchored by Chris Burden’s amazing Urban Light creating just one of the incredible new outdoor focal points being created at LACMA. Now also this year LACMA created an important new film program in partnership with Film Independent and sponsored by the New York Times which offered an exciting lineup of fall film screenings that made LACMA the hot film ticket in town. Plus expanded outdoor concerts. LACMA is a world-class museum only blocks from our neighborhood.
Also look at the resurgence of Hollywood with the Hollywood/Highland Center & Kodak Theater, the permanent home of the Academy Awards but also the host of the American Idol Finals, the AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards and currently the home of Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS. In addition there is the fabulous W Hotel, the energized Roosevelt Hotel, the amazing Arclight Theater and the many new hot clubs and hip restaurants.
And finally the continuing renewal of Downtown with the Music Center composed of The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, and since 2003 the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, all with their world-class offerings. And as what many see as ‘game changing for downtown’ was the decision by Eli Broad to build his new Broad Museum downtown next door to the Disney. And then there is the new energy at MOCA and The Geffen under the leadership of Jeffrey Deitch. Also the continuing beauty of the Central Library with its lovely adjoining art deco Mark Taper Auditorium for its Aloud Series. And talk about cool places to eat and drink. Just wonderful options growing in number every week. And people who live in Hancock Park can actually take advantage of these offerings without having to plan days in advance. You can get downtown from Hancock Park in 20-30 minutes. And you can do it completely on surface streets if you so desire.
And let’s not forget Larchmont Boulevard. For many of us it was the small town atmosphere of Larchmont that first drew us to Hancock Park. With it many charming shops, its multiple coffee options, and its engaging restaurants with more outdoor eating options than any other 2 block area in Los Angeles… it is a real treasure. Also the Sunday Farmers Market has been a great addition. Larchmont is a charming and peaceful spot in the middle of this large metropolitan city of Los Angeles we call home.
The emergence of LA Brea Boulevard as a major art, shopping, dining and creative area. The La Brea District is a new adaptive re-use development project between 1st and 2nd on La Brea. It features eleven buildings currently being transformed to host a complementary mix of retail, dining and creative offices. Also the new Ace Museum at 400 S. La Brea. Incorporated in June 2009, Ace Museum is a separate and independent non-profit organization born out of the legacy of Ace Gallery which has two major Los Angeles galleries, one in Miracle Mile with a newly expanded gallery in Wilshire Tower at 5514 Wilshire Blvd and another in Beverly Hills at 9430 Wilshire Blvd. Also several new restaurants have opened or are opening soon on La Brea.
And Finally The Grove and Farmers Market. The Grove website states “For shopping, dining and simply loving life… The Grove is your ultimate destination. Come live the magic”. And it’s true. And even though the old Farmers Market is changing, it is still a wonderfully convenient source for many foodstuffs to say nothing of the array of entertainment and eating options it offers.
And how about that easy drive to LAX? 25-35 minutes door to door 24 hours a day…..day or night. No need to worry about whether the 10 or the 405 are bumper to bumper. The drive down La Brea to Stocker Drive is always basically the same.. give or take 5 or 10 minutes. That was one of the nicest surprises I had when I moved to Hancock Park.
As I said before…Living in Hancock Park offers the best all around living experience in Los Angeles today.