Welcome to Leimert Park, Vibrant Cultural Enclave
Leimert Park is one of our favorite areas of LA, and it’s no surprise that the residents of this artistic and culturally diverse community are passionate and involved in preserving it’s authentic integrity. This 1.9 square mile residential neighborhood was originally built by Walter Leimert in the 1920s as a master-planned community, and its town center was designed by the Olmsteed brothers (who designed NYC’s Central Park). It has always been known as an African American cultural center on the Westside, as well as an epicenter of Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture.
There has been a resurgence in Leimert Park recently, as people are attracted to its architectural integrity and a stop on the Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX line which will be completed in 2019. Residents won the battle for a station at Leimert Park Village—and for the train to run underground for its first three stops along Crenshaw. As you can see in the below map, this will provide direct transportation to LAX and to Wilshire or the Expo Line, connecting Leimert Park with the rest of LA… an exciting and valuable addition to the neighborhood.
The town square is called Leimert Park Village, at the intersection of 43rd Pl and Degnan Blvd, and is peppered with Jazz clubs, boutiques, galleries, and our newest favorite coffee and lunch spot, Hot and Cool Café.
Hot and Cool Café, which recently opened from co-owners Anthony Jolly and Eric Moore, is the newest artistic and community minded addition to Leimert Park. Jolly is a coffee expert, who has travelled around the globe in search of the best coffee beans, and even spent over a year in Ethiopia, working with the natives and their coffee crop. “My intention is for Hot and Cool Café to be a haven for the community to come and network and grow,” said Jolly. “A place of collaboration.” They have set up weekly events, and plan to incorporate original works from local artists as a part of the café’s aesthetic, rotating monthly art displays.
Be sure to check out their Labor day and weekly events here.
THIS SUNDAY, 9/2: Jazz in the Alley 5 pm-midnight
-Community Burger Night (vegan options), 6-10pm
-Open Mic Hip-Hop Detox, 7-10pm
-Afro-zen Sundays featuring Neo-Soul Singer Jus liv & the Andiv Band, 7pm
-Pancake Social Sundays: $12 unlimited pancakes & free coffee, 10 am – 1 pm
Another Neighborhood favorite is Art+Practice, an incredible organization that provides free, museum-curated art exhibitions and moderated art lectures to the community at its nearly 20,000 square-foot campus. Keep in the know with the rotating art lectures, discussions, screenings, and performances via their website: www.artandpractice.org or read more on our blog.
Often referred to as the “Harlem of the West Coast,” Leimert Park has even won the coveted title Neighborhood of the Year by CurbedLA. When neighbors talk about their community, a sense of pride pervades. “It’s a city neighborhood, but you still come home and find a bag of lemons from your neighbor’s tree on the doorstep.”
Visit Leimert Park soon… grab a latte, visit a gallery or two, and see for yourself the authentic architecture and artistic expression that seeps into every part of the neighborhood.