It took me a long time to buck up the courage to drive around Los Angeles, luckily we moved from Texas to such a walking friendly neighborhood. Franklin Village is a small section of streets just north of true Hollywood but south of the valley area. It has two coffee shops, a cafe, several delicious restaurants, a bookstore, and several other small establishments. I’ve never been the one to love the “cool” places in a city, or go out much at night. I’m a bit of a recluse and most of that is too loud, or busy and overwhelming for me. I love reading, hiking, and taking pictures. So if you are visiting the city and just need a day off from doing “cool” things, here are some of my weekly activities. Especially if you have an Air BnB in Franklin Village, Beachwood Canyon, or Los Feliz.
I live on Beachwood Dr. which happens to lead straight up to the Hollywood sign, you can see it from the road of my apartment. To start the day I walk down towards Franklin St – just a few minutes walk. My first stop is usually The Daily Planet – it’s a beautiful shop covered in ivy that has a wonderful selection of interesting magazines. I’m a sucker for publication design since my background is in graphic design. With my magazine in hand (either an art magazine, Interview or Angeleno) I head next door for coffee at the Bourgeois Pig. It’s a great little nook where I find so much inspiration!
Just a bit further down the strip is Counterpoint Books, a recycled book and record/music store. Anytime I’m planning for travel jobs, I’ll pop in there and pick up a few books for the plane. Its not very large but they always have an interesting mix of beautiful old prints and fun modern fiction.
Cherry Pick Vintage is probably more Los Feliz, but it’s on Franklin and walkable so I count it! Its a great little clothing store with a seafoam green exterior. I’ve gotten so many items here, to wear and for random fashion shoots.
There are some great restaurants on both sides of the book store, but if I’m with my best friend doing what we call “senior dinner” (dinner at 4:30pm) than we normally walk another block down to Pimai Thai, its so much quieter and less busy. The veggie eggrolls and Pad See Ew are amazing, but the servers are likely to forget you exist which I have grown to find charming.
Somewhere between The Daily Planet and Counterpoint is Upright Citizens Brigade which I guess counts as a “cool” LA thing I love to do. With shows at $5, we go see improv more than movies!
If I’m not catching improv then you’ll probably find me hiking, though I think it’s more a meander than a hike. You’ll want to drive to get there unless you are in the mood for a proper hike, but you should definitely stop at a great little flower shop call My Fair Lady’s Flowers. You won’t find a huge selection, but she always has a few interesting flowers there.
This also happens to be the entrance of the Hollywoodland area. And right next door is Beachwood Canyon Cafe, which is my favorite brunch spot, get The Runyon Scramble (you’re welcome). Hop back in your car and hang a left at the Beachwood Market and drive up till you see a castle (yup, a castle). A trail opens up from there and its more of a local spot. It overlooks the Hollywood reservoir and it has a great view of the sign too.
If you’re looking for a relaxed day with fewer social interactions, a little walking, and no parking stress in LA, than this Franklin Village stop makes for a great day!