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Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

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Calgary, Canada
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Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Hi There,

We're going to LA in March to see a concert at The Church on York in Highland Park. It's located at 4904 York Blvd. We're a couple in our thirties, we're familiar with big cities, and we've got common sense, but we've never visited LA before.

We're wondering if the neighborhood is safe for tourists? We'd be going just for the show. The Internet isn't much help on this - the reviews of this NE LA area are mixed - some say "gentrified" and "hipster," others say "gang-infested" with roaming pit bulls and "ghetto birds" overhead.

We'd love to see the show, but if it's crazy unsafe, then we'll sit this one out. If you're familiar with the area and you could tell me what's actually up, I would super appreciate it.

(Also, if there's any nearby within-taxi-fare distance hotels you could suggest, that would also be great).

Thank you very much! :)

Pasadena, California
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1. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Our vet is located just a few blocks away, so with older pets...we have spent a lot of time in that general neighborhood--mostly in the daytime! We have eaten at a few restaurants on the street during the evening, mostly farther to the east.

That area-- the very west of Highland Park--is where Highland Park blends with Eagle Rock, a more trendy, hip area. Occidental College (Obama's almost-alma mater) is right up the hill. I wouldn't have any hesitation about going to a concert there, or walking a few blocks to a bar or restaurant afterwards. It is a very traditional blue-collar Hispanic neighborhood, definitely changing (I wouldn't really call it gentrifying) into a bit of a hipster haven. While this area may be a little rough around the edges, I wouldn't consider it a "high crime' area.

A couple of possibilities for hotels within an easy cab ride:

Pasadena Inn, on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena. 5.4 miles. Easy walk from Old Pasadena and a couple of blocks from a light rail station (Gold Line, Del Mar station). Old Pasadena is very lively and Pasadena in general is a great area, one of the most pedestrian friendly places in So Cal (but then I'm prejudiced).

www.oldpasadenainn.com

Courtyard by Marriott, Old Pasadena. Just a few blocks farther. More expensive. Right in Old Pasadena, also near a light rail station.

If you don't plan to have a car for your visit to LA, these two would make sense, being right on a light rail line.

Even closer is the Comfort Inn in Eagle Rock, at 2300 Colorado Blvd. Just 2 miles. No light rail nearby, but I assume plenty of buses on Colorado Blvd and perhaps Eagle Rock Blvd. This section of Colorado Blvd isn't beautiful, but the last decade has seen a lot of new restaurants and coffee places within a few blocks.

comfortinn.com/hotel-los_angeles-california-…

Another thought would be to stay in Downtown LA, near a Light Rail station. This would be good if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing all over LA, without a car. It's a little further. One choice would be the Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo, which is right near the Little Tokyo Gold Line Station and also near Union Station for connections to other parts of LA. Little Tokyo is a neat neighborhood of downtown, with lots of residents, restaurants, and a few museums. Miyako is 7.3 miles.

www.miyakoinn.com

What's the concert, by the way? Must be something special to bring you all the way from CAnada!

Edited: 31 January 2014, 19:16
Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Yes, it's very safe for tourists. There is a lot happening on York, great bars, restaurants, etc. I'm in the area a lot. Don't worry about it, just use common street smarts as you would in any city. I also lived in the Highland Park area for 10 years.

Edited: 31 January 2014, 19:31
Nashville, Tennessee
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3. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

(off topic, Pasca, do you go to HP Animal Hospital? That's my vet too)

Pasadena, California
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4. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

(Yes...we love them there. Been going there for 30+ years. There were times when we wished we could find doctors for ourselves who were as kind and concerned as the vets and office staff at HP Animal Hospital.)

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Totally agree with you! :-)

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Depending on when the concert ends, you could also get a cab to the Gold Line station in either Highland Park (1.5 mile)-- neighborhood a little more sketchy than where the concert is, IMHO, but I don't really know for sure as I don't go there at night. Or to South Pasadena Gold Line station, 3.5 miles (upscale area). From there, light rail to wherever, but be aware of when the light rail shuts down for the night. Later, I think, on weekend nights.

You know you'll have to call a cab. They don't just drive around in LA looking for fares.

Edited: 31 January 2014, 20:29
Corona del Mar, CA
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7. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

I consider the area pretty safe. I have no problem hanging out there very close by at two of my favorite places to eat, The York and El Huarache Azteca.

http://www.theyorkonyork.com/

http://www.elhuaracheaztecala.com/

And nearby, the single coolest attraction in Los Angeles, much cooler than Universal Studios or the Hollywood sign, Galco's Old World Grocery. A living history museum of soda pop, only you get to buy the sodas and drink them, not just look at them.

http://www.galcos.com/

Pasadena, California
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8. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Driven by that place hundreds of times. Is it really worth going to if you aren't really, um, into soda pop? It is owned (I think) by the family of my kids' English teacher (amazing, fantastic teacher--Mrs. Cathy Nese). (Hope she isn't reading that totally ungramatical sentence.)

california
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9. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

I would suggest using a taxi back to the hotel after the concert.

There is a Comfort Inn in Eagle Rock just up the street from the hotel.

Corona del Mar, CA
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10. Re: Neighborhoods in LA - Is Highland Park Safe for tourists?

Not only does Galco's have good soda pops, but old time candy you haven't seen in ages, great beer selection and they do a nice deli sandwich.