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Silver Lake

Sometimes called the “Williamsburg of the West” and “the hippest neighborhood in the city,” Silver Lake is so much more than that. It is famous for its relaxed Bohemian East side vibe, its collection of artists, musicians, and actors, a smattering of great restaurants, and its great schools.

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This neighborhood is built around a city reservoir, which gives the district its name. You’ll often see people jogging or walking their dogs around the reservoir, it also offers a dog park, basketball courts, and a tranquil meadow.

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Some of my favorite architectural aspects of Silver Lake are its unique blend of California craftsman, Victorians, Spanish-style haciendas, mid century modern homes, and new builds. There’s also the iconic Marshall High School, which you may recognize from films like Grease and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

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Intelligentsia is known for its creative scene, quality coffee, and modern interior design. The patio is filled with people relaxing in the venue. But, don’t worry – if its ever too crowded there’s plenty more coffee shops to relax, work, or get your daily (or hourly) cup of joe. Some of my recent favorites are Dinosaur Coffee just up the road, and Mornings & Nights at the Polka Dot Plaza, which also hosts the neighborhood’s farmers markets and outdoor Summer movie nights.

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Cafe Stella is an excellent and favorite meeting place for Silver Lakers, whether for an enjoyable dinner or a drink. There is a lot of night life in the area, including The Black Cat, The Thirsty Crow, Silver Lake Lounge, and many more.

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You will see plenty of dogs in this ‘hood.

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And bikes.

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Demographics

In 2008, the city estimated that the population was 32,890. The median age for residents was 35, about average for Los Angeles, but the percentages of residents aged 19 to 49 were among the county’s highest.

The neighborhood was highly diverse ethnically. The breakdown was Latinos, 41.8%; whites, 34%; Asians, 18%; blacks, 3.2%, and others, 3.1%. Mexico (26.6%) and the Philippines (15.7%) were the most common places of birth for the 41% of the residents who were born abroad, about the same rate as the city at large.

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $54,339, about the same as the rest of Los Angeles.

The percentages of never-married men (52.6%) and never-married women (38.6%) were among the county’s highest.

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Schools

  • Ivanhoe Elementary School, public K–5, 2828 Herkimer Street
  • Allesandro Elementary School,  K–5, 2210 Riverside Drive
  • ASA Silver Lake School, private K–10, 2772 Rowena Avenue
  • Kids’ World School, private K–12, 2132 Hyperion Avenue
  • Micheltorena Street Elementary School, public K–6, 1511 Micheltorena Street
  • St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School, parochial K–8, 1550 Maltman Ave
  • St. Teresa of Avila Elementary School, parochial K–8, 2215 Fargo Street
  • John Marshall High School, public 9-12, 3939 Tracy Street

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Film History

During the 1930s, Walt Disney built his first large studio in Silver Lake, CA at the corner of Griffith Park Blvd and Hyperion, now the site of Gelson’s Market. A few blocks away on Glendale Blvd. was the studio of Tom Mix. The location is now occupied by the Mixville shopping center. It is rumored that Mix buried his steed “Tony, the Wonder Horse” on the property. The famous flight of stairs in Laurel and Hardy’s film The Music Box is located between Descanso Drive and Vendome Street. The iconic and historic Mack Sennett Studios is now a successful event venue for the neighborhood.

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Architecture

Richard Neutra (1892-1970),Gregory Ain (1908 – 1988), John Lautner (1911-1994), R.M. Schindler (1887-1953), and Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (1890 – 1978; aka Lloyd Wright) are among the most notable architects to build several homes in Silver Lake.

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