Monday, November 11, 2013

Westwood Village

Ceramic Lamps and Hangings @ Arts ReStore L.A.
In the past 10 years (or even longer) individual shops have been leaving Westwood Village.  It's not the quaint shopping destination it was in my youth.  During the 1950's through the 1970's, there were many movie theaters, interesting restaurants, book stores, record shops and more in the Village.  It was Mecca for teens.  I remember hanging out at Woody's Smorgas-burger, Hamburger Hamlet, the Village Delicatessen, Stan's Doughnuts or The Chatham with my friends and then going to the movies at the Bruin Theater.  Best of all was just walking around the village with an ice-cream cone, people-watching.   The rents are high in the Village.  The parking is difficult.  The low-point came in 1988 when a UCLA student was the victim of a gang shootout.  Many chain stores have moved in, which is OK, serving the UCLA student population.  Many of the movie theaters have closed though and so many stores are vacant.
The Hammer Museum is trying to re-energize Westwood Village, November 1st through November 24th, "with the creative force of local Angeleno artisans and craftspeople."  Yesterday Mom and I walked into the Village from her apartment, had a lovely brunch at Elysee Bakery and then took a walk to see these new pop-up stores.  Feh.  It was like walking into 4 or 5 museum gift shops on one block.  I was not impressed.  There was not a buzz going at any of these shops.  There was some interesting yarny art, but don't waste your gas. 
Yarny Art

Mom and "concept" sweater at pop-up shop

I try to be positive on my blog and only talk about interesting and fun places to go to.  "Arts Restore L.A." was given such a big write-up in the L.A. Times, that I thought it might actually be worthwhile.  Oh well, at least we had a nice morning walking around the Village.  A quick stop at the Village Trader Joe's put a positive spin on this field trip.
Ack! Macrame is Back!

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At 12:19 PM PST, Blogger Merna said...

How disappointing, Ellen. The early announcements of this project made it sound like there would be indie artisan pop up shops all over Westwood. Thanks for your report.

At least Stan's is still there!

At 12:23 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

I know, Merna. It was rather disappointing. Maybe the opening night was more lively and entertaining. Yes, Stan's is still there, along with a host of other great restaurants! Westwood Village will come back....some day.


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