When I set out to do this story on the nooks of Highland Park I was initially excited to discover the hidden urban spaces of LA’s very own nooked community. The more I walked the streets, weaving in and out between the avenues and main street of Figueroa, I quickly realized that so much of this neighborhood is very much still a residential community. Highland Park may be opening its door to the wave of new age street art, nightlife and eateries, but it is still very much of the community and being held strong by those who have lived here for generations.
Street art is an incredible way to hear the voices of those who walk, breathe and live the streets of their neighborhood, and most of the graffiti I found was centered around family, maintaining cultural traditions alive and Los Angeles pride. The more I saw and the more I walked the streets of Highland Park, the more those three themes stood out to me.
Something that was notable in my wanders was the amount of community gardening taking place. The Milagro Allegro Community Garden integrates urban farming, art and education in the heart of the Highland Park neighborhood.
The neighborhood is quiet, calm and truly reflects the pride in both the predominant latino culture, and in the Los Angeles culture. Although a new wave of gentrification has hit Highland Park strongly, depleting much of the latino businesses that dominated the area, many also have agreed that it has brought more than the common hipster to the community, its also bridging a gap to DTLA. There was a harmonious balance through the residential streets in families living amongst the avenues off fig of both latino and young hipster families. This harmony and unity is something I hope remains in balance in the new found excitement for a non saturated nook of LA. My hope is that these photos help inspire an integration of the pre existing culture into the new wave of popular culture. Lets keep LA, LA.
If your looking to get out of the bustle of Figueroa St. or York Blvd and want to explore a natural beauty, look no further than Ernest E. Debbs Park. Not only will you find a quiet hilltop park with 360 views of Los Angeles, you will also find a hidden pond on the top of this hill park completely surrounded by trees, making this hidden gem the perfect place to bring a blanket, book and one of Julios Mangoneadas!
So if your still wondering where the hidden spaces are in HP, all you have to do is go out there and walk, get lost amongst the gallery of beautifully built old craftsman homes gated by palm trees on streets lined with classic cars, elote and raspado carts with an incredible backdrop of mountains and blue skies.