I’ll be the first to admit that I once had a Woody Allen-esque LA-phobia. I’m not sure if I developed it by simply watching one-too-many films or by spending so many years in a city where I wasn’t dependent on cars, stars, and bathing suits. Nonetheless, my phobia didn’t subside until I moved to California and actually started to spend quality time in Los Angeles. Although an unhealthy attachment to a car is unavoidable, so are charming neighborhoods, incredible eateries, and inspired boutiques. Now, with many LA jaunts under my belt, no neighborhood offers a better way to spend a sun-kissed afternoon than combing the streets of Silverlake, LA’s off-the-beaten path bohemian enclave.
Reform School: This is one of my all-time favorite shopping experiences. Reform School is full of home-spun household adornments, books, art, clothing, and personal accessories. Their website, set-up like a school office filing cabinet, is loads o’ fun, too. Details: www.reformschoolrules.com
Dean: Shop Dean for a fun assortment of purses, Unisex bags, recycled leather goods, and hand-made watches. Need I say more? Details: www.deanaccessories.com
Yolk: The design-obsessed owner of Yolk collects Scandinavian-style children’s furniture and wares and combines it with adult “free range design” amusements. The collection includes everything from the globe’s hand-made textiles to home-based designer skirts. Details: www.shopyolk.com/
Lamill Coffee: For a delicious cup o’ really high-quality joe or for a refreshing iced spearmint tea, plan to please all your senses in this over-the-top beauty. Details: www.lamillcoffee.com
If you’re still in the mood for more creative gifting, check out the very fun and quirky A+R (www.aplusrstore.com), play a while in Monkey House Toys (www.monkeyhousetoys.com), or try Silverlake’s much-anticipated seasonally rustic dining edition, Reservoir (www.silverlakereservoir.com)