Now everyone loves Silver Lake

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Hat tip to Adrian over at Curbed for noticing that CNN Money ranked Silver Lake as one of the country’s best big city neighborhoods.

I think the CNN Money piece misses some of the most important things about the neighborhood:

  • The combination of relatively dense, multifamily zoning south of Sunset and relatively sparsely populated single family zones in the hills to the north;
  • The convenience of being situated between Hollywood and Downtown, with relatively easy access to the Valley;
  • The fact that there are relatively few, awful, suburban style strip malls along Sunset (though there are a few);
  • The legacy retail buildings, many of which lack parking, which creates a pleasant, walkable feel, at least in Sunset Junction;

And, finally, I think it’s worth pointing out that the history of the neighborhood, which saw a bunch of pioneering gay / artists types move into what had been a working class immigrant area beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, created a nice mix of interesting food, culture, people, architecture, etc. Over time, as property prices and rents increase, this mix is shifting and, arguably, getting less interesting. But that’s how gentrification works, for better and worse.

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