Tucked just east of the Interstate 5 and the 2 Freeway, the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Glassell Park, Mt. Washington, and Montecito Heights compose the region of Northeast Los Angeles (NELA). If you’re looking to escape the scores of tourists in Hollywood, explore some of the 10 best things to see and do in NELA.
Head on down York Boulevard for one and a half blocks where you’ll find Permanent Records with a wonderful selection of new and used LPs from all genres. They have something for everyone, but what really makes Permanent special is that unlike most record stores in Los Angeles, they’re actually a record label as well. They fully stock their artists’ catalogs in store too. Permanent has an exciting artist lineup sure to please the adventurous listener. They even occasionally sell their artists’ LP’s in bundles giving you a major discount over buying each LP separately. Plus they often host live shows in the shop.
Permanent Records, 5116 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 739 6141
Couldn’t find that ultra-rare indie record you’ve been looking for, for months? Don’t worry, Wombleton Records might just have what you’re looking for. Wombleton stocks hard-to-find imported pressings ranging from ’60s British psychedelic rock to reggae to soul.
Wombleton Records, 5123 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 213 422 0069
The ‘Wombleton’ of bookstores, this literary treasure features a catalog of carefully curated books, vintage and rare magazines, and handcrafted items. It’s unlike almost any bookstore you’ve been in before. Pop-Hop specializes in specially curated used books. Featuring vintage editions of classics like Jane Eyre, Pop-Hop also publishes author-created ‘zines, or fairly quick reads ranging a variety of topics and narratives. Always with some humor in the cover to draw the right crowd, ‘zines like ‘Cheer the Eff Up #5’ featuring the self-deprecating line ‘Three Dollars or Best Offer’ are quick to draw in readers. Pop-Hop ‘zines are a sensational variety of truly artistic freeform literary and visual art. Their vintage and used book selection is also a thing of beauty. With hardcover editions of classic novels as well as rare novels, Pop-Hop has something for everyone.
Pop-Hop Books & Print, 5002 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 259 2490
Galco’s Old World Grocery has a soda creation station unlike any other in NELA. The Pop Stop features a massive variety of rare and iconic flavors with which to craft your dream cup of pop. There are flavors including vanilla, Swiss chocolate, elderberry, lavender, roasted chestnut, cantaloupe, butterscotch, and even pumpkin spice year-round.
Entering the neighborhood of Mt. Washington and setting your GPS for Moon Canyon Park will take you on a breathtaking ride. The area is quite serene, and crossing the street toward the white cliff barrier on foot yields a close-up of the spectacular vistas. While there isn’t much car traffic in the area, always be aware of your surroundings when enjoying this breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
Hidden away at the end of a quiet, out-of-the-way residential street is the Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights. The museum holds a collection of historically important Victorian homes (most of which were built in other locations of Los Angeles) and a church, each with unique and interesting backstories. There is a variety of events throughout the year including a silent movie night in which a film is projected onto the big red train car in the middle of the property. Admission is very reasonable and the serenity of the place is a rare and welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer Street, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 225 2700
The original Highland Park Police Station opened in April 1926. After 57 years, the Los Angeles Police Department relocated its NELA HQ, and Station No. 11 closed its doors in 1983. After only a year, the building was declared a cultural and historic monument by the city and now operates as the Los Angeles Police Museum on York Boulevard. The museum displays the history of LA’s Finest with exhibits including photographs, articles, important badges, squad cars, weapons, and even vehicles full of bullet holes. This is definitely not your average museum.