project Los Feliez

The Monday Project spends a day in LOS FELIZ - L.A. neighborhood (2.61 square miles in size) snuggled between East Hollywood, Silverlake and Griffith Park.

The Monday Project spends a day in LOS FELIZ - L.A. neighborhood (2.61 square miles in size) snuggled between East Hollywood, Silverlake and Griffith Park.

Put a little bit of East in your West, baby. Los Feliz has a bit of an East Coast vibe going for it. The streets are tree-lined and pedestrian-friendly, not always an easy thing to find in car-hungry L.A. The hood's main hub, Los Feliz Village, is cluttered with restaurants, bars, a holy-moly amount of vintage stores and boutiques, an Art Deco movie theater from the 30’s and an independent book store. The area's a nice balance of chic and bohemian.

Here’s a list of some of The Monday Project's Los Feliz Favorites


under the more bohemian banner of shopping, we got…

Wacko / Soap Plant: The 2nd Happiest Place on Earth

“A pop culture toy shop with a punk rock attitude.” It’s a kook of a store. Big. Fiilled with postcards, novelties, a huge selection of offbeat books, original art. It’s bloody kitsch galore up in here. It’s like a Toys-R-Us for adults. You’ll need nothing and want everything.

Also, it’s got a cool history. Opened in 1971 and family run always. Check out the link to learn more:

4633 Hollywood Blvd.

Ozzie Dots

Next door to Wacko is Ozzie Dots, which was named for a bulldog in a polka-dotted bandana. Next time you want to play dress up, check out OD before you go to Etsy or a pop-up Halloween megastore. It has vintage clothes, costumes, accessory pieces, wigs, hats, eyelashes, mustaches, beards, lamps - the important stuff.

4637 Hollywood Blvd.



Y-Que Trading Post

This place is a goldmine of quirky t-shirts, curios and has the friendliest damn shopkeep. Billy Wyatt, the maestro behind Y-Que, wanted to get out of the T-shirt business when he opened his shop. But when you’re good at something, it has a habit of sticking around. Remember the “Free Winona” tee, when Winona Ryder got arrested for shoplifting? That was Billy. If a T-shirt shop could be a bar like Cheers, Billy would be Sam Malone.

1770 N. Vermont Ave.


under the more chic banner of shopping, we got…

Co-Op 28  

A gifts shop / boutique with artisanal jewelry, art, candles, posters, postcards. Lots of what you’ll find is from local LA artists and craftsmen. There is also a vintage section and a section for home decor. This is like Wackso’s slightly older, richer and more refine Auntie.

1728 N. Vermont Ave.


Una Mae’s

Mostly a clothing store, it has a mix of vintage and new designer clothing (lots from independent designers), shoes, accessories, knickknacks. Come here to satisfy your ever-expanding Herschel needs.

1768 N. Vermont Ave.



This may be the swankiest, boutique-est skate shop ever. Not only is it a skate shop, but it’s a fully functioning tattoo shop (by appointment only), and it hosts monthly art openings and photography shows. According to them, they’re the “artistic and forwarding thinking side of skateboarding and street culture. Dope.

Fun fact: It’s the location of Walt Disney’s very first animation studio. So, like, cool things are meant to happen here.

4651 Kingswell Ave.





Get on in here. Belly up to the bar for an umbrella festooned mai-thai. Enjoy the soothing trickles from the waterfall behind the bar. Count how many different state license plates you can find on the wall. This place, as it’s name hints, is a tiki bar. It’s a little hole in the wall thing decorated tiki to its brims. It’s a regular’s hang. If you’re lucky enough to call yourself a regular, you’ll get your name on a little placard for the wall. Unlike some regular’s haunts, though, this one is inviting to all. Hell, the night we went, someone had made civeche and kabobs to share with the bar. Tiki-Ti’s also has a rich history. Check it out here:

4427 W. Sunset


Good Luck Bar

Another Bar for your tropical swallows. There are red lanters that hang from the ceilings and they set of nice little lounge-like mood. If you come on a night that bartender Li is working, strike up a convo. He’s great. (Don't forget to tip). 

1514 Hillhurst Ave.


The Dresden

Know that movie Swingers? Well, that’s pretty much Dresden’s claim to fame. Even without that, though, the place is awesome. White leather booths. Come in shorts or wear your mink. It’s been open since 1954, and it’s home to the  longest running live act at the same venue in Hollywood history. Marty and Elayne Roberts are a husband and wife performing duo who have been married for 35 years and performing five nights a week at the Dresden for 34.

1716 N. Vermont Ave.



Barnsdall Park

Park enthusiasts. Beauty enthusiasts. Ladies, gentleman. This may very well be the best park in all L.A, and L.A. has some pretty great parks. It’s at the top of a hill. It has views that rival the views from the Observatory… only better maybe, because you get to see the Observatory. The Hollyhock House is at Barnsdall. There is a Farmer’s market (on the smaller side) every Monday. There’s also movie nights a Barsdall in the fall.

4800 Hollywood Blvd.


The Clubhouse

Arguably the best Indie Improv spot in the city.  

Skylight Books

So many amazing events and an awesome collection of books. Support local bookshops!

1607 N. Vermont Ave.

neighborhood, history

project El Pueblo

EL PUEBLO, the birthplace of Los Angeles. 

View down Olvera St

In 1781, 44 settlers established a farming community in a southwest bit of what was then known as Alta California. They christened their newly formed community El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, The Town of the Queen of Angels. In 1953, that 44-acre area was designated the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument.  

Beginning in the 1990's, Los Angeles commenced a series of projects designed to preserve, restore and revitalize the area the started Los Angeles. Today, El Pueblo is a vibrant and lively two-blocks, speckled with FREE museums, live music, restaurants, an eclectic marketplace and historic churches. Find a bench on Olvera Street, enjoy the shade of the trees, and soak in the quiet giddiness of the surrounds. 

Among the treasures of El Pueblo are: 

  • Avila Adobe - the oldest surviving residence in Los Angeles, built in 1818. It's a museum today, so go inside and wander around the rooms of the original house. FREE to the public.  
  • The Old Plaza Firehouse - the oldest fire station in Los Angeles, built in 1884.  FREE to the public. 
  • America Tropical Interpretive Center - provides information about David Alfaro Siqueiro’s controversial mural ‘America Tropical.’ FREE to the public. 
  • Olvera Street (the oldest street in Los Angeles) - a block-long Mexican marketplace with restaurants and stalls painted in a wash of primary colors. In 1930, the street was closed to vehicular traffic and hasn't changed much since. 
  • La Plaza de Cultura y Artes - museum for Mexican-American culture. On the top floor there is a life-sized, interactive replica of El Pueblo from the 1930's. It's complete with a spice shop, record store, vegetable mart and more. FREE to public. 
  • Chinese American Museum - The museum is housed in the Garner building (1890), the oldest and last surviving structure of the original Chinatown. Learn about the history of the Chinese in El Pueblo and more. FREE to public. 

  • Jorge the Donkey - Not technically a museum, but an institution of sorts. Put on a Sombrero, and put your ass on this ass. $10. Check out the story of Jorge here.

Take Note:

  • El Pueblo is right across the street from Union Station, more reason to take the train!
  • Nightlife with few exceptions is virtually non-existent in El Pueblo. The stalls and most restaurants close around sunset.
  • There is nearly always entertaining live music going on in La Plaza. From 3-6 on weekdays and all day on weekends. Don’t forget to support the local artists and tip!
  • Recommended food: Juanita’s cafe! It’s one of the little stalls along Olvera St. Eat here.


project Echo Park

ECHO PARK, one of 26 neighborhoods in Central L.A., snuggled between Silver Lake, Westlake and Downtown.

Echo Park is on its way to being gentrified, but hasn’t gotten there quite yet. The population is still primarily lower-income Latino and Asian, but growing pockets of artisticly-inclined middle-classers are seeking out spaces for coffee shops, bars, record stores, art galleries… The area is maybe inching its way to a more Silver Lake feel, but, for the moment, it’s more like Silver Lake’s unkempt, grungier sister, who is cool without really meaning to be.




Masa: A destination restaurant for deep dish pizza. The small is enough for two!

Masa: A destination restaurant for deep dish pizza. The small is enough for two!


El Prado: Hip place that has wine, craft beer and snacks. Every Tuesday, bring a record with you and they’ll almost always play it in exchange for a free beer. (Sign-ups are a week in advance).

Taix: Older crowd here. A little dark. Cocktails are just okay, but the service is friendly and the atmosphere is great for a night on the quieter side.

Sunset Beer Company: 800+ beers to take home, 12 rotating beers on tap. It’s a mix between a living room, a bar and a beer shop.

1642: Wine, craft beer, low-key, live music.

Take Note: Echo Park is a very walkable neighborhood, though it is hilly. Most of the restaurants, bars, shops, etc are located on Sunset. There is no metro line, sadly, but you can get there by bus. If you drive, there is plenty of free street parking and meters are on the cheap-side.

neighborhood, art

project Watts

WATTS TOWERS, a tiny Italian man’s grand sculpture in South LA.  


It took him 34 years to build. He did it single-handed. No machinery. No formal training. Near penniless.

“I had it in mind to do something big, and I did it,” said Sam Rodia, the tiny Italian man who built Watts Towers.

Go see what Simon Rodia made. It’s nothing short of majestic.

What is it?

Starting in 1921, Rodia started constructing what would become seventeen intertwining sculptures out of structural steel and mortar. He decorated each with a mosaic of broken glass, sea shells, tile, cutlery and all manner of found/donated items. The tallest of the towers stands 99.5 feet and contains the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world. He named his masterpiece Nuestro Pueblo, “Our Town.” Almost everything he made was an homage to his homeland of Italy and memories from his childhood.

That’s where our explanation ends. Go visit yourself. There’s a great story.

Historic Watts Station, just minutes from the Watts Towers Art Center

Historic Watts Station, just minutes from the Watts Towers Art Center

Take Note

  • Take the metro Blue Line and exit Watts station, where you are about a five minute walk from the Watts Towers.
  • Tickets are $7 for the docent led tour. Be sure to check out the website for tour times and more info. 
  • Along your walk check out the historic Watts Station, built in 1904. Sam purposefully chose to buy a plot of land close by this station so people could easily access it along the railroad.


project San Pedro

SAN PEDRO, its self-given tagline: “San Pedro: where the ghetto meets the sea”

Chances are -  if you don't live in L.A., you haven't heard of San Pedro. And if you do live in L.A., you haven't been. 

Here's how to spend a day in San Pedro...

The Itinerary:

First Stop: Take a stroll in Downtown San Pedro. DT San Pedro has exploded over the past 10 years with a burgeoning art scene, new restaurants and an assortment of retailers.

On the stroll…  

-       Sacred Grounds. If there’s such thing as a coffee shop equivalent of a dive bar, this’d be it. The San Pedro vibe is strong here. Take it in. Sweet employees and cheap coffee, couches a plenty and prime Pedro people watching. It also functions as a gallery and live music spot. Bonus: if you’re a Scarlet Johansson or Thora Birch connoisseur, Sacred Grounds’ original location was featured in the 2001 movie Ghost World.

-       The 1930’s Art Deco style Warner Grand Theater. This too got its moment in the limelight in 2001, as a location in the film Pear Harbor. B. Marcus Priteca, the architect who designed the Warner Grand, also designed the famous Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

-       While you’re downtown, pop into some of the art galleries that line the street. Take the opportunity to cup your chin with your thumb and forefinger and remark on the symbolism captured by artist’s bold use of curvature within the painting.

-       Continue down 6th Street and walk to the waterfront. Take a left to see the recently reinvigorated waterfront. Or, take a right, and head to Ports O’Call for some micheladas and seafood.

Second Stop: Pickup Busy Bee for Lunch. Busy Bee is an uncontested Pedro sandwich staple. Locals line up to get their 12” sub brimming with deliciousness. There is so much about this place to be cherished: the charming staff, the food that you’ll want to jam, unabashed, into your face, the atmosphere (which seems un-phased by modern times). It's nothing fancy or gourmet. Just a gold old fashion sandwich. A local’s tip: Call ahead and avoid the inevitable lunchtime line. Then, off to the park you go!

Third Stop: Have a picnic at Averill Parkand bring your Busy Bee! Averill’s got picnic grounds, BBQ grills, a gazebo, waterfall, ponds, bridges, shaded areas, rolling hills (literally, rolling hills. Hike up your skirt and roll down them hills).  Also, some anonymous someone has constructed tiny fairy homes out of found park-parcels. Hint: there is one by the waterfall.

Fourth Stop: Angel’s Gate Park. Angel’s Gate Park is a treasure chest of San Pedro gold. It is home to a multitude of sites and an unbeatable view. A Couple of its site include, but are not limited to….

-       The Korean Friendship Bell. The massive bronze bell was a gift from the Republic of Korea, given to the United States in 1978 to celebrate the bicentennial of the friendship between the two nations.

-       Fort MacArthur Army Base and Military Museum (http://www.

-       The Marine Mammal Care Center (

-    A hostel ( )

Fifth Stop: If you’ve done any research on San Pedro, you’ve probably come across some mention of Sunken City. Okay, so here’s the deal: In 1929, a nearly 40,000 acre bit of coastal San Pedro slipped (ever so delicately) into the sea. Several houses and a road were lost… What remains today (and, honestly, way better) is a mini-graffitied wonderland of broken asphalt. DISCLAIMER: It is illegal and considered trespassing to enter Sunken City, so enter at your own risk! It also requires a bit of minor climbing and squeezing through fences to get to. That being said, people frequent this spot, and, to our knowledge, no one has ever been fined.

Another notable site is the Point Fermin Light House, built in 1874, right next door to Sunken City.

Sixth Stop:   The Tide Pools! A little bit further down Paseo Del Mar are stairs that lead down a cliff to the Sea. (link to map) Check the low tide times online ( ) and go for a fun tide pool adventure. Be mindful that the rocks are slippery!

Seventh Stop: Have a sunset beer at Walker Café. We ended our San Pedro adventure with a beer at Walker Café! It’s a biker hangout right by Park Fermin and Sunken City. The petite little café is such a gem. Okay, to be frank, it feels a spot uninviting to the outsider when you walk in. But, if you strike up a conversation with the lovely counterperson, you are golden. Order a cheap beer, and enjoy it in what feels like a diner straight out of the 50’s. Ask the owner Al (pictured, sipping a beer) about the joint or ask for a tour. You’ll be floored.

Here's a map showing our Pedro POIs


project Venice Beach

VENICE BEACH, a seaside town where beach bum meets high-end hipster.

Abby on a picnic bench in Venice Beach #Abbyonbenches

Abby on a picnic bench in Venice Beach #Abbyonbenches

How to Spend a day in Venice Beach... 

The Itinerary:

First Stop:         Hit up TOMS to use the bathroom before you head to the beach. Yes, TOMS like the shoes. Only this is the flagship store, and it’s in Venice, so not only has it got shoes, it’s got a café, outdoor seating with Wi-Fi, a mini-Astroturf dog park in back and easily accessible (and much cleaner than the ones on the beach) bathrooms. Pretend (or actually do) peruse the shoe selection, while your friend uses the toilet.

Santa Monica Pier in view

Santa Monica Pier in view

Second Stop:    The Boardwalk. Arguably the most important place to check out in Venice. It’s a 2.5-mile stretch of beach and a veritable circus of people and things. Between the Venice Beach Pier and the Santa Monica Pier there are artists, vendors, fortune-tellers, street performers, weed doctors, tourists, locals, surfers, skaters, shops with all manner of Venice Beach trinkets, muscle beach with its basketball courts, paddle tennis and outdoor workout equipment, there are restaurants, ice-cream shops, a skate park, bonafide loons… if you like people watching, Venice Boardwalk is your Shangri-La.

Walk along the pedestrian path with all the shops or join the cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboards (like us), etc. on the bike path. There are plenty of places to rent bikes.

Third Stop:       The Erwin Hotel. Take a break from the sand at the rooftop lounge of the Erwin Hotel. Technically, it doesn’t open till 3:00 during the week. No matter if you’d like to go a little earlier, though. Walk into the lobby like you’re meant to be there, head for the elevator, press the button to the lounge and enjoy the wicker couches and incredible view before the bar opens.

Fourth Stop:    Tour the Mosaic Tile House for $12. Round about 20 years ago, an artist, named Cheri, and her fellow artist (and husband) Gonzalo, bought a home/studio space on a quiet neighborhood street in Venice. What they didn’t know when they bought their home is that they would turn it into an art piece itself. Over the course of two decades, Cheri and Gonzalo have turned their entire home – outside, inside, ground, walls, ceiling – into a mosaic wonderland. Gonzalo does all the ironwork, and Cheri does the tiles.  Send Cheri an email, and set up a private tour. She’s exceptionally warm and welcoming, and you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years. (Note: the tile house isn’t a walkable distance from the beach, but it’s not a far drive).

Fifth Stop:         Grab grub at Gjelina.  Gjelina is new-American cuisine, and it’s delicious. Yelp thinks so, too . Okay, we actually went to GTA, Gjelina Take Away, instead of the fancier restaurant dining room. There’s no indoor seating at GTA, but there are cement stumps (more charming than it sounds) and a couple benches outside. The outdoor seats are perfect for some more people watching. GTA does salads, sandwiches, pizza (all gourmet-style, obviously). The vegetable trio is an always favorite.

Hillary skating the boardwalk

Hillary skating the boardwalk

Sixth Stop:         Stroll Abbot Kinney Blvd. GTA and TOMS are both on Abbot Kinney, which is the most famous street in Venice. It’s got food, bars, clothing stores, furniture stores, vintage shops, etc. This is where you’ll find the more hipster population of Venice. But these are the high-end hips. Nearly all the stores are designer/boutique. Keep an eye out for dudes and their socks. The sock game on Abbot Kinney is on point.

Seventh Stop: Have a drink at The Brig or some ice-cream from N’ice Cream.  The Brig is cool for a bar leaning toward, but not quite full-on, dive. If you’re not 21, or you’re abstaining or one person in your duo forgets their ID’s (we won’t say which of us did that) get some homemade gelato and sorbet from N’ice Cream.  

Eighth Stop:     Head back to the beach for the sunset, and dig your toes into the sand. Bring a blanket or a sweater, because the beach gets chilly at night.

Our favorites:

-       The Swings! Just before the Santa Monica Pier, there are swings. They are amazing swings. They are the Titans of swings. They put playground swings to shame. It takes a little work to get going, but once you do, you feel like you’re flying. If you’re not afraid to go high, you can see the entire park and scan the ocean in front of you. You can get going high enough that people will stop to take your picture.

-       The Skate Park! Okay, so maybe it’s because we just started skateboarding ourselves, but regardless, it’s damn cool to watch people pull crazy tricks against the backdrop of a setting sun.


-       Another place to explore is the Venice Canals. In 1905, developer Abbot Kinney built Venice, Italy- inspired canals as part of his Venice in American project. The gondoliers that used to navigate the waters aren’t there today, but the stroll along the canals is very pleasant….we didn’t make it out ourselves this trip.  

-       Parking. Free street parking is relatively easy to find. You might have to park on a neighborhood street a little further from the beach, but it will be an agreeable walk past bungalow houses. If you go on a Monday, be wary of street sweeping.

-       Some links if you want to learn about the history of Venice: