The Boutique Rebellion Lives Here

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W. Hollywood - Melrose Avenue

Melrose Av. is the outlandish rebellious teen to Rodeo Drive’s exceedingly mature, conventional and opulent adult. It’s a funky, New Wave, walking/shopping/dining/ spectacle for people-watching, both beguiling and bizarre.

 

The street is in a perpetual, ephemeral state of quasi-demented one-upmanship of hipness and business turnover that range from trendy boutiques to tatoo shops dressed up in flamboyant day-glo hues and neon signs, not to mention both creative and creepy business names like “Humphrey Yogurt,” “A Star is Worn,” “Retail Slut,” “Wacko,” and “Warbabies”.

 

Melrose can also entertain with quirky cafes, comedy clubs, night spots, record stores, nostalgia shops, books, jewelry, and antiques.

 

Some say that Melrose Av. is losing a bit of its “edge”. Still, it continues to produce a hearty fringe element in the area of design, fashion, and business concepts. Directions here

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Something New Brewing Downtown

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Downtown - Angel City Brewery1a

In 2013, Downtown L.A. welcomed its first and only brewery. After massive restoration of a 100-year-old Art Deco brick building that includes the original floor tile work in the lobby, Angel City added a wavy moustache-shaped bar to serve its crafted suds to thirsty after work and nightlife-seeking patrons. Staging of special events, from art openings to music CD release parties and Taco Tuesdays, occur with regularity; food trucks convene in front and carry-in food is permitted. And, an on-site retail store offers basic essentials.

A perpetually rotating selection of old school, small batch, crafted beers is poured from the tap, with several exclusively available at the brewery. Tours are arranged by appointment to walk you through the brewing process and the historical context of the building.

Angel City’s unabashedly funky warehouse presence brings a cool, casual, and lively dimension to the burgeoning Renaissance of Downtown L.A. For more new L.A. discoveries go here  

Line Up for the Party on the Pier

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S.M. tour - Pier1

If you’re in the Santa Monica vicinity during July or August, the Pier hosts its 29th Annual Twilight Dance Series every Thursday night, featuring famous and up-and-coming acts from all corners of the globe, in concert. Admission is free. Click here for this summer’s lineup. 

Besides the summer concert series, the Santa Monica Pier is a recreation and entertainment center featuring restaurants, shops, an aquarium, and the Pacific Park amusement rides as its daily main point of interest.

First site of note to your left is the Looff Hippodrome, an exotic California/Byzantine/Moorish style fantasy structure that shelters the carousel. It was built in 1916 and has been listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The current carousel is a hand-carved 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel that underwent two renovations, restoring this timeless merry-go-round for current and future generations. A Ferris wheel, video game arcade and roller coaster ride make this place a favorite for kids and teens. Underneath the Pier, Heal the Bay Aquarium is also fun for families at just a $3 entrance fee.

Crowds are usually large and festive, so don’t come here if you’re in a meditative state. For more about places to explore and things to discover in Santa Monica, go here