3.4 out of 10

Wilshire Center

Ranked 52nd best neighborhood in Los Angeles
34.0786210757727 -118.295800381725
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Public Transport
  • Cost of Living
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Clean & Green
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  • Parks & Recreation
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Good Bars and Korean Restaurants"

I should have mentioned Echo Park as part of “Hipster Heaven,” the set of neighborhoods in this section of LA that has a high percentage of the skinny-jeaned, vintage shirt wearing crowd. It definitely has its share of hyper-cool nightspots, like El Prado, a wine-bar that is more like a neighborhood watering hole (mostly locals) and The Short Stop, which is more dive bar than sports bar, drawing a lot of leather jackets and scruffy looking types. (There are also the dive bars, The Gold Room and Little Cocktails, just to name a couple.) If you are into dancing, The Echo or Bootie LA are the places to go.

Its easy to take Echo Park for granted because it has been an artists’ enclave for so long that we just come to expect it. But for a while it stopped being known for its dive bars and for being home to Eagles singer Don Henley, poet Charles Bukowski and movie makers, and came to be known for gangs and shootings. That was Echo Park in the late 80’s and 90’s—a place you heard about on the local news nightly. Its calmed down now and is returning to its true Bohemian self, with a great ethnic mix and lots of old and young hipster artist types mixing it up. It’s a great messy environment perfect for the postmodern punks of today.

As far as living there, the hilly area of Echo Park is very cute. It has leafy sloped streets and tiny Ranch and Mission-Bungalow hybrid style homes with well kept gardens. Everything in this area is micro-sized, little homes, little lots, little cars—its kind of like a munchkin village—which is part of what is so appealing about it. The homes all seem to be well-kept with attractive lime greens and pastels—as if the city planner had Georgia O’Keefe’s palate. The farther you move up into the hills, the narrower the streets and the more attractive and diverse the architectural styles of the homes become. You still get ranch houses and the tiled roofs of Spanish styles, but now as you stare past the bushy hedges, you can see the pointy tips of Tudors and even occasional Victorians sticking up from behind these privacy barriers.

Even if you go down near the flats, you will still find lots of these cute little houses—many of the them pre-WWII bungalows. The area has been the site of a number of period movies for this reason. (Actually, before the film industry moved to Hollywood it was based here. Lots of silent pictures were filmed in the area—Laurel and Hardy, even Gilligan’s Island.)

Echo Park Lake is the heart of the neighborhood. Its beautiful waterspouts and palm tree filled island, make for one of the most picturesque frames for the LA skyline. It also has a great play area occasionally frequented by celebrities in a family way.

There are definitely some downsides to this neighborhood, however. One is the crime. It is not so much that it is high—if you look at most ratings, the neighborhood is actually about average for LA, but the dense living situation means that you are just much more aware of it than in other areas. There are nightly car alarms and if you are light sleeper, you will be woken by the sounds of the helicopters buzzing by overhead. In terms of violent crime, it slightly on the upper end of average with about four murders per year, about one for every 10,000 residents—most having to do with the gang problems that you get in the area.

This is also far from ideal family living. Not only do you worry about the gang and drug elements in the area, but the schools are also sub par. Belmont and the main middle school that serve the area are ranked at the very bottom of most objective measures, earning the lowest possible 1/10 API rating, and having missed more than a dozen government bench marks year after year. Even the elementary schools rank low in the area. Put simply, you don’t want to try to raise kids here—move to nearby Glassell Park with all the other former twentysomething hipsters when they get in a family way.

All in all, this is one of the really great neighborhoods in LA—not perfect for everybody, but ideal if you are a twenty something free-spirit.
Pros
  • Good Restaurants
  • Good Bars
  • Gay Friend in Northeast
  • Proximity to everything
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Crime
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
2yrs+

"Basically, Koreatown"

I know that Wilshire Center is its own entity; but, I really cant discern between the two. It was, apparently, a really beautiful area (like most in the surrounding areas) before the freeways went up. Large, sprawling homes on tons of acres of farmland, etc etc. But, now, it's not so great. It's the not even as nice version of K-town. There's a lot of public transport around the area. And, there are a few beautiful old buildings. The Ambassador and the Talmadge are old - world, New York style apartment high rises. A number of film starts used to live in them but now they're pretty run-down (although still a bit pricey considering the area).
The traffic is always extremely congested in this area. And, it's pretty dirty. There's nowhere to eat and nowhere to go. It looks like a wasteland outside of a few buildings. The place is basically a means to an end -- both literally and figuratively.
Pros
  • Proximity to everything
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Dirty
  • Crime
Recommended for
  • Students

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Best Streets in Wilshire Center

1

Beverly Blvd

3.5/5
"Cool street to live off"
34.0762887212083 -118.300306900521
"Kind of lame"
34.0779443930618 -118.30041641316

Unranked Streets in Wilshire Center

"Waiting to move"
34.0792088952185 -118.303411068147
"Kind of dumpy but great parking spots"
34.0794775545812 -118.287988451269

Oakwood Ave

2.5/5
"Oakwood is a pleasant street."
34.0776678482877 -118.297171095582

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