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The Satellite and the Silverlake Lounge

Silver Lake is no slouch when it comes to nightlife – this Los Angeles neighborhood has a thriving live performance and dance scene.  In this post, we’ll give you the rundown on two Silver Lake establishments, the Satellite and the Silverlake Lounge, both famous for their live performances calendar.

The Satellite

The Satellite

Photo Credit: Thesatellitela.com

Formerly known as Spaceland, this club has a long tradition of live indie-rock music – everyone from the White Stripes to Rilo Kiley to the New York Dolls to the Gossip has played at this outstanding venue.

Their expertly curated schedule includes local bands and visitors from out of state, and the audience can count on an eclectic yet consistently catchy mix. Even though they’ve had plenty of attention from national and international stars – their performing lineup includes the Buzzcocks, Death Cab for Cutie, Of Montreal, Pavement, Moe Tucker, Supergrass, the Muffs, the Detroit Cobras, and Love with Arthur Lee – but they’ve also launched the careers of Los Angeles icons like Beck, Elliott Smith, Possum Dixon, and Silversun Smith.

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If you’re not an indie-rock aficionado, you can still enjoy their DJ and live comedy nights, as well as their pool table, which is kept secluded from the buzz of the main stage with the Satellite’s “Cone of Silence.” Their happy hour specials are always a bargain, so the Satellite has a loyal crowd of local regulars who stop in to drink and dance.

Silverlake Lounge

Silverlake Lounge

Photo Credit: Thesilverlakelounge.com

This cozy bar is small on space but big on atmosphere – and attitude! The Silverlake Lounge hosts drag shows with a Latin flair on Friday and Saturday nights, so come prepared to enjoy the show!

Live music has been part of the Silverlake Lounge’s entertainment wheelhouse since the very beginning, and the intimate space provides a perfect setting to enjoy performers like Portland-native Ezza Rose, “pop-proletariat” band Decker, and latter-day folk-music hero Rufus Wainwright.

Mondays and Fridays are also open-mic night, if you’re interested in seeing some breakout local musicians and comedians.  Sunday afternoons at 4:30 you can catch spoken word performances at the Wasted Afternoon open-mic matinee event. The crowd at these events tends to be raucous but respectful, with many performers attending with a group of applauding friends.  If you’ve got the talent and the chutzpah, you may even want to put your own name on the list!

If you’re not into indie-rock or pop music – or slam poetry – the Silverlake Lounge hosts Classical Revolution on the first and third Saturday of every month. Classical Revolution lasts from 6 to 8 p.m., which just happens to coincide with the Silverlake Lounge Happy Hour!

At this biweekly event, local classical and jazz musicians perform a selection of their favorite repertoire pieces. Offerings range from contemporary jazz to baroque concertos to soaring arias – and several recurring performers specialize in international music, like classical guitar pieces from Mexico or German lieder. There’s no charge for these performances, but the Silverlake Lounge does collect tips and donations, and all contributions go straight to the musicians.

The Silverlake Lounge has a small cover charge, and is cash-only, but drinks are cheap enough to make up for the minor inconvenience. There’s an ATM right next to the bar if you’re low on folding money. Bartenders have a reputation for being friendly, and the casual vibe makes this place a warm, homey retreat for visitors looking to sample uncommon music in a unique setting.

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Whatever your taste in music – indie-rock, jazz, classical, contemporary, lip-sync – the Silverlake Lounge and the Satellite have made a mission of providing a diverse menu of emerging and internationally-recognized names. If you’re in the neighborhood, come for the half-price cocktails and $4 pints, and stay for the amazing array of musical talent on offer!

Are you interested in hearing more about the Satellite, the Silverlake Lounge, and other Silver Lake bars and nightclubs?  At Real Estate Unlimited, our team of dedicated real estate agents takes pride in our in-depth local knowledge of the Los Angeles area, and we’d be happy to show you around this historic neighborhood. Call us for a consultation today!

Hiking the Hidden Stairways in the Silver Lake Hills

Silver Lake is home to the Silver Lake Reservoir, which includes a meadow area for pickup soccer games and a 2.2-mile jogging and walking path. The pedestrian path’s gentle grade makes it a great fit for novice joggers and parents pushing strollers, but runners looking for a more athletic routine might want to turn off into the Silver Lake Hills for a steeper climb. Silver Lake is home to numerous staircases that residents can use to navigate the switchbacks of the steep and winding roads across Silver Lake’s hills. In this post, we’ll chart a course through the Silver Lake Hills!


Photo Credit: Laweekly.com

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The great thing about stair hikes is that they’re a killer alternative to the treadmills at the gym. Best of all, they’re just as modular as a Nautilus or a Bowflex. Hikers can add in just one or two staircases for an intensity boost, or combine a chain of staircases in a neighborhood for a marathon cross-training session. Silver Lake is home to ten public staircases, many of which have been decorated by brightly-colored murals.

Several of the staircases were historically used to offer pedestrian street access to an integrated network of trams and streetcars that ran along main thoroughfares, which is why they fit so seamlessly into the current layout of Silver Lake.  The stairs also tend to tucked into shady tree-lined slopes, which is why they’re often called “hidden staircases.”

The Micheltorena stairs, one of the most well-known climbs in the city, is a flight of more than 250 stairs covered with a rainbow of pastel stripes and two red cartoon hearts. The decorations are the work of local painter Corrinne Carrey. The confectionery color scheme is misleading – you can walk up and down the Micheltorena in fifteen minutes or less, but you’ll be winded by the time you reach the top! The stairs are right across the street from the Muddy Paws coffee shop, so you might want to refuel with an iced latte or an Italian soda.

Hidden Stairway

Photo Credit: Rosseyes.tumblr.com

Many hikers have more fun participating in a group stair-hiking excursion. For example, Los Angeles resident Dan Gutierrez has created the SoCal Stair Climbers social group. Gutierrez hosts the Painted Stairways Tour, a 6.7-mile group trek through the hills of Silver Lake that includes ten public staircases. He also conducts themed tours of Silver Lake and other Los Angeles neighborhoods, bringing walkers to a favorite pizza place or coffee shop en route.

Gutierrez has added an urban art-history component to his tour. Corrinne Carrey, Kimberly King, Evelyn Leigh, and Ricardo Mendoza, the four artists who created the murals adorning the staircases, join the tour when available, donating public lectures to the experience. Gutierrez’s tours have become so popular that he has had to turn them into ticketed events, which sell out fast. Visitors who can’t take part in a guided tour can locate detailed maps of stair hike routes on Google Maps, with public restrooms and watering holes carefully marked along the way.

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Silver Lake staircase highlights include the Music Box Steps, a staggered flight of more than 700 stairs that achieved posterity in 1932 when comedy duo Laurel and Hardy attempted to push a piano all the way to the top. (We recommend leaving your piano at home.) Located between Descanso Drive and Vendome Street in Silver Lake, this is the only officially named stairway in the neighborhood – and the only stairway in Silver Lake to play a starring role in a movie!

In addition to the distinctive public art work, stair hiking will also lead you to some of the most breathtaking views the city of Los Angeles has to offer. The reward for climbing – and climbing – up into the hills around Silver Lake is a renewed appreciation for the way Los Angelenos navigated their city before highways carved the city into an automobile paradise.

Stairway 3

Photo Credit: Climbingla.blogspot.com

Are you interested in learning more about Silver Lake and other historic neighborhoods in Los Angeles? At Real Estate Unlimited, we pride ourselves on the wealth of local information we offer our clients, ensuring that every new homeowner has an insider perspective on the unique neighborhoods that make up this vibrant Southern California metropolis. Call us to schedule a consultation today! 

Farmer’s Market – Tuesdays and Saturdays in Silver Lake!

Twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, local farmers and vendors gather in Silver Lake to sell fresh produce, artisan bread and honey, farm-fresh sandwiches and tacos, and iced americanos. In this post, we’ll give you the rundown on everything the Farmer’s Market has to offer – and tips on how to beat the crowds and find the best organic products for your table!

Farmers Market1

Photo Credit: The Eastsiderla.com

The Silver Lake Farmer’s Market runs from 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.  The market springs up along an esplanade section at 3700 Sunset Boulevard, near the intersection of Sunset and Edgehill. This crossing is in the center of Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle, which is just east of Sunset Junction for visitors who want to linger in the area and visit a bistro or boutique at Sunset Junction proper.

Click here to read about weekly wine tastings at Silverlake Wine!

Due to Los Angeles’ eternally summer-like climate, the farmer’s market runs year round.  Although the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market is somewhat smaller than other farmer’s markets in the city, the quality and breadth of gourmet foods on offer more than makes up for the tidier footprint. Parking can be hard to find on Saturday mornings, which tend to be more crowded. Stop by early on Tuesday afternoons to avoid the rush.

As with most farmer’s markets, the displays at Silver Lake focus on fresh local fruits and vegetables. Over the last few weekends, shoppers have carried home seasonal gems like golden beets, juicy heirloom tomatoes, Bing cherries, and frilled squash blossoms that can be deep-fried for an authentic Italian antipasto. Local farmers also sell organic eggs, milk, and cream. Fromagerie and delicatessen stall Ari’s displays mason jars of goat cheese along with bowls of olives and salty feta in a variety of flavors – try the jalapeno goat cheese or sundried tomato feta. Since last year, Etheridge Farm has sold certified organic nuts alongside its fresh fruit selection.

If you’d like to snack and stroll, you can grab a sweet or savory crepe or a tamale before you start your shopping spree. The crepe stand has a “Saturday Special” for half-price each week! If you require a meat-free nosh, try Komeme for vegan empanadas. Prepared foods in stock include fresh-squeezed OJ and other juices, pupusas, hummus, guacamole. Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food sells spicy kimchi and savory miso broth. Atwater’s Village Bakery sells fresh-baked bread and pastries. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, stop by Nubia for a handful of their flavored honey straws or pick up a pint of clover honey.

Farmers Market2

Photo Credit: Angelenoliving.com

In keeping with the Eastside’s trendy vibe, this farmer’s market offers singular opportunities for vintage shopping. You’ll find row of stalls adorned with vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories. On top of the premium secondhand selection, you’ll find handmade leather goods like handbags and watchbands, semi-precious stones, and beaded earrings and necklaces. Other treasures for sale at this eclectic open-air market include used books and records, crystals, and dried sage and other aromatic herbs.

Click here to read about vintage shopping in nearby Echo Park!

Whatever tantalizes you, you’re sure to find something that appeals at the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market.  Stop by Saturday morning or Tuesday afternoon to check out this one-of-a-kind display of the best artisanal food and merchandise the city has to offer!

Are you interested in learning more about the Silver Lake Farmer’s Market and other weekly events in this historic Los Angeles neighborhood?  At Real Estate Unlimited, we make it our mission to develop an insider perspective on each area in this varied and exciting Southern California metropolis.  Call us to schedule a consultation today! 

Antique Treasures on Display at Silver Lake’s Holyland Exhibition

The sprawling outline of Los Angeles contains a wealth of eclectic entertainment, and the Silver Lake neighborhood is home to its own share of quirky tourist attractions and museums. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Holyland Exhibition, a single-bequest archaeological museum in the heart of Silver Lake!


Photo Credit: Offbeatla.wordpress.com

The Holyland Exhibition represents the lifelong obsession of explorer and historian Antonia F. Futterer, rumored to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Futterer passed away in 1949, but his legacy lives on in this uncommon cache of curios from Egypt, Damascus, Babylon, Cyprus, Israel, and other Biblical lands.

Futterer’s life was stranger than fiction, and nearly as cinematic. While Futterer was convalescing after a long illness caused by severe appendicitis, he began an intensive private Bible study. When he recuperated, he became fascinated with the geography and archaeology of the Holy Land. Futterer was especially interested in the Ark of the Covenant – yep, just like the Indiana Jones movie!

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During the first decades of the twentieth century, he went on several quests to the cradle of civilization in an attempt to locate this storied artifact. Although he never found the Ark of the Covenant itself, Futterer’s expeditions did amass an astonishing collection of ancient art, sculpture, and relics. In 1924 brought them back across the ocean to the mythical desert of Los Angeles, where he put them on display in his own exhibition space. They’ve been here ever since, and you can visit them in Silver Lake.

Holyland 2

Photo Credit: kcet.org

When Futterer returned to the United States, he founded the Holyland Bible Knowledge Study and introduced his trademark “Eye-O-Graphic” Bible seminar, based on his deep interest in the geography of the Middle East. His “Eye-O-Graphic” techniques are spelled out in a large map that takes up an entire wall. Although Futterer’s excavating days were over by the 1930s, he continued to lead his study group on informational trips to the region, including visits to Egypt and Israel, and maintained a scholarly interest in the Middle East until the end of his life.

His museum is fairly small, occupying just one Mission-style building. However, Futterer made the most of the available space, and each room is packed from floor to ceiling with a dazzling display of acquisitions from the Iron and Bronze Ages – some with a provenance that stretches even further back into antiquity.

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Items on display include smaller curiosities like 5,000-year-old oil lamps, gold and silver jewelry, carved ivory, coins, and rows of glass bottles that predate the founding of Rome. The museum also holds several ancient tapestries, a 2,700-year-old sarcophagus, and a mummy casket that dates back to 600 B.C.E. Also on display are three ears of extinct Egyptian corn, carefully dried and preserved, and a game table from Damascus whose intricate design incorporates 10,000 inlaid pearls and wood from fourteen different fruit trees. As in artifacts retrieved from Pompeii and Crete, the magic is in the details of the everyday – the museum also houses handcrafted baskets, weavings, and ceramic plates and jars. Visitors can see these quotidian prizes up close.

Guests can also look at some artifacts from Futterer’s own life, including his antique desk from 1924. Cinephiles can tour a smaller display of memorabilia from silent-movie idol Rudolph Valentino and furniture used in the set for Rick’s Café in the classic movie Casablanca. Futterer also collected many contemporary costumes, souvenirs and religious artifacts, including a statue of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane which is installed near the museum’s entrance. Local history enthusiasts can even look at a gallery of photographs that show the neighborhood of Silver Lake growing up around the Holyland Exhibition building.

Tours are led by Futterer’s widow Betty Shepard and daughter Karen Shepard. Their talks include extensive information on the background of each piece and a summary of Futterer’s own theories about Biblical history and mythology. They’ll also tell you stories about Futterer’s early life in Australia and his participation in Hollywood history. He passed away long before the Indiana Jones films premiered, but his work may also have informed epics like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments.

At the end of your tour, you’ll be treated to a Middle-Eastern-themed snack: a slice of Mandelbrot, or almond bread; a glass of grape juice; and a strip of apricot fruit leather imported from Damascus. You can also stop by the gift shop to purchase souvenirs like a car mezuzah and “Gifts of the Magi” trinket set that includes frankincense, myrrh, and a small ingot of faux gold.

To preserve its one-of-a-kind collection, the Holyland Exhibition is currently only open by appointment, but Betty and Karen Shepard are happy to give tours to anyone who wants to come for a visit. Admission is only $2.50, a small price to pay for such an uncommon and extensive collection. Why not spend an afternoon perusing the treasure trove accumulated by this real-life adventurer?

Are you interested in learning more about the Holyland Exhibition and other exhibitions and galleries in Silver Lake?  At Real Estate Unlimited, we make it our mission to share with you all of the unique cultural and historical interest of this modern metropolis. Call us to schedule a consultation today!