Category: silver lake

Silver Lake Reservoir – The Heart of Silver Lake

With its famously Meditteranean climate, Los Angeles offers residents long stretches of beautiful weather – and no shortage of green spaces for basking in the sunshine! In this post, we’ll look at a famous park area that serves as the focal point of the scenic Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Silver Lake Resevoir

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Click here to read all about Elysian Park, the first public park established in Los Angeles.  

Silver Lake is named for the Silver Lake Reservoir complex, a pair of manmade miniature lakes that sit in the center of the community. Surrounded by a wide jogging path and several park areas, the Silver Lake Reservoir is one of the most popular parks in Los Angeles.

The Silver Lake Reservoir is made up of two basins – the much smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir, named for the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel, and the expansive Silver Lake Reservoir. The two ponds are linked by a bike and jogging path that stretches for 2.2 miles around the reservoir. In 2011, the City of Los Angeles opened up the “Silver Lake Meadow,” a three-acre public park on the east side of the reservoir. This new field is modeled after the “Sheep Meadow” in New York City’s Central Park.

The Silver Lake Reservoir area covers a total of 97 acres of open water, with an additional 31 acres of public green space. The reservoir complex is also an important wildlife preserve, since it provides a seasonal nesting area for majestic great blue herons who migrate back to Southern California every Spring. The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, a group of community volunteers, plants trees and picks up litter at the park to ensure that the area can be enjoyed by everyone.

The dual role these local landmarks play as public recreational areas and parts of the public water system means that they exist in a complex network of public policy. Last summer, the Silver Lake side of the reservoir was temporarily drained and removed from service as a public water source. The city is currently constructing the Headworks

Reservoir, a new, underground drinking-water reservoir near Griffith Park.

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Silver Lake will be refilled soon, and inducted into service as a recreation-only reservoir for Los Angeles residents to enjoy. The city is also considering using part of the Silver Lake site to create  shallower wetlands area that could become a wildlife habitat for native Los Angeles species like the Great Blue Heron, and using “hydroseeding” to create a more natural planted look around the water’s edge. City officials are concerned with sustainability and environmental impact, and urban planners hope to create a nature preserve that will replenish local wildlife populations without strainining Southern California’s dry climate.

Other creative proposals – for a beach area, an esplanade, a music venue – are still under consideration. One local group, Silver Lake Forward, is hoping that the area will be turned into a 96-area public park with a wildlife research center, shaded eucalyptus groves, and a refurbished dog park for the pet owners in the neighborhood.

Click here to read about famous midcentury homes in Silverlake!

Whatever the eventual fate of the Silver Lake basin side of the reservoir, Silver Lake has a long tradition of providing space for outdoor relaxation to the area. Even in its drier state, the reservoir still provides a lovely open community space for jogging, walking, cloudgazing, and picnicking. The gentle grade of the pedestrian path makes it perfect for parents with strollers and novice runners – more advanced athletes can explore the hills and steps nearby. As one of the largest bodies of water in the area, the Silver Lake reservoirs are a popular rest stop for ducks, coots, and Canada geese.  Birdwatchers can also see hummingbirds, red-tailed hawks, and starlings.

The Silver Lake reservoir sits at the center of the Silver Lake neighborhood, providing residents with the perfect retreat for outdoor pastimes.  If you’re in the area, consider stopping by to take a look at this urban oasis!

Are you interested in learning more about Silver Lake Reservoir and the other amenities that make the Silver Lake neighborhood such a pleasant place to call home? At Real Estate Unlimited, we take pride in matching our clients to the perfect home – and the ideal neighborhood! Call us for a consultation today! 

Sunset Junction in Silver Lake

Los Angeles has no shortage of poetic place names – and Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction is one example. Sunset Junction sits at the street junction of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, both of which run from Sunset Junction down to the Pacific Ocean.

Sunset Junction

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Sunset Junction was once known as Hollywood Junction. In 1895, the Pasadena and Pacific Railway Company built an interurban rail line from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, whose route ran along Sunset Boulevard to Sanborn Avenue, where it swerved west along the current alignment of Santa Monica Boulevard.

In 1905, the Los Angeles and Pacific Railway, successor to the Pasadena and Pacific, built a new branch northwest along Sunset Boulevard from Sanborn Avenue as a shortcut to its already-built train line on Hollywood Boulevard, creating the junction that can still be clearly seen in the existing street layout. Rail service ceased on both lines in the nineteen fifties, but the graceful bend of the intersection still gives Sunset Junction a hint of early 20th-century elegance.

Click here to read about famous midcentury homes in Silverlake!

Sunset Junction was also the site of the Black Cat Tavern, a historic gay and lesbian bar that was the site of one of the first protests by gay and lesbian activists, predating the 1969 Stonewall protest for two years. A Different Light Bookstore, a gay and lesbian bookstore and community space that eventually became a national chain with branches in New York City and San Francisco, was founded at 4014 Santa Monica Boulevard in 1979. The store functioned as a salon for the community, hosting readings by luminaries like memoirist Christopher Isherwood, beat poet Allen Ginsberg, surrealist novelist William S. Burroughs, and activist Larry Kramer.

From 1980 to 2011, Sunset Junction also hosted the Sunset Junction Street Fair, a bustling festival that closed off a large portion of Sunset Boulevard so that the gathered crowd could enjoy live music, food, street vendors, and carnival rides. Musical performers at the Sunset Junction Street Fair included Beck, Sleater-Kinney, the Supremes, and Chaka Khan.

Although the Sunset Junction Street Fair has shut down, revitalization is currently underway in Sunset Junction, with design firm All That Is Solid planning to create a giant iron saddle sculpture to serve as the center of a newly envisioned landscaped plaza at the intersection. Although the new sculpture was stalled for a few years, it is hoped like the public installation, named “BLOOMRS,” will be going up soon. Right now, Sunset Junction’s signal landmark is a large royal-blue signpost that towers above the intersection.

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Due to recent urban renewal, as well as spiking interest in the Silver Lake neighborhood, Sunset Junction is currently attracting attention for its eclectic mix of hip coffee shops, casual-dining restaurants and vintage boutiques. The focal point of this micro-district is a rambling, rust-colored stucco building from the 1920s, host to a growing cohort of community businesses. Intelligentsia Coffee, a Chicago transplant known for the intensity of its dark-roast drip coffee and the graceful arabesques traced into the foam atop its cappuccinos, is a favorite for locals in search of a steamy caffeine fix.

Café Stella, a bustling French bistro, serves up golden-brown pommes frites, peppery coq au vin and succulent mussels. The Cheese Store of Silverlake, easily the best charcuterie and fromagerie in the city, is a standout delicatessen in the best Parisian style.  The Town and Café Bakery serves a menu of fresh rolls and pastries along with more substantial brunch fare like salmon cakes and omelettes. Pazzo Gelato serves up soft Italian ice cream, including crunchy pistachio and crimson raspberry sorbetto and more contemporary flavors like thai tea and salted caramel.

Click here to read about more dining options in nearby Echo Park.  

Fashionistas and trendsetters will find plenty of tantalizing clothing and accessories at Sunset Junction. Upcycle headquarters Dean converts leather motorcycle jackets and members only windbreakers into stylish handbags and watchbands. Matrushka Construction combines clothing boutique with open studio, as owner-designer Laura Howe constructs elegant one-of-a-kind clothing onsite.  After dark, clubgoers line up outside the 4100 Bar, where you can sample cocktails in a luxurious, warmly-lit interior modeled after a Moroccan souk.

Los Angeles is legendary for its culture of constant reinvention, and Sunset Junction’s emerging market and nightlife scene is a sterling example. If you’re visiting Silver Lake, why not stop by the intersection of Sunset and Santa Monica to sample a coffee, try on a one-of-a-kind jacket, or take in the sunshine and local color?

At Real Estate Unlimited, we combine real-estate expertise with first-hand local knowledge, ensuring that every client is steered towards the perfect home in the perfect area. Silver Lake is just one of the historic Los Angeles neighborhoods where we show properties – call us for current property listings today! 

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

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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

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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.

Click here to check out our Echo Park dining guide!

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!


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Click here to read about famous midcentury homes in Silver Lake!

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

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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.

Click here to read about wine tasting events at Silverlake Wine!

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!


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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.

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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.

Click here to read about the Gamble House, a historic building in Los Angeles!

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!

Chandelier Tree

Silver Lake, Los Angeles hosts a flourishing community of artists – which means that it has also become home to myriad landmarks and public sculptures, including colorful murals and other open-air artworks. One of its most unusual is a stunning hybrid of nature and artistry straight out of a modern fairy tale – or the surrealist charm of a Wes Anderson film. Read on for the enchanting story of the Chandelier Tree!

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The Chandelier Tree is located on West Silver Lake Drive, in a sleepy, tranquil suburban neighborhood in the heart of Silver Lake, near the Franklin Hills. Over a hundred years old, this towering sycamore gets its name from the thirty vintage light fixtures suspended from its spreading branches. At night, the swarm of surreal elegance gives off a soft golden glow, as though a constellation of stars have come down to roost in the sycamore’s branches.

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The tree was adorned by professional artist and designer Adam Tenenbaum, whose home shares a yard with the Chandelier Tree. He launched his illuminating endeavor nine years ago with chandeliers salvaged from a set construction and decoration job. More fixtures were foraged from swap meets or donated by friends. They were then restored, polished, and rewired prior to installation in Chandelier Tree’s highest branches.

Tenenbaum has carefully arranged each lamp to reflect light onto the silvery leaves of the tree. The chandeliers are from several different eras and in several different styles, ranging from the classic tiered cut-crystal structure to a cascading spiral of art deco lanterns. Most of the chandeliers hang from branches that stretch out over Tenenbaum’s property, but one 1920’s antique swings out over Shadowlawn Avenue, bringing the public sculpture into public space. In addition to the thirty light fixtures that give the Chandelier Tree its name, Tenenbaum has also installed a hidden swing which visitors are welcome to sit on.

Click here to read about the best places to eat in nearby Los Angeles neighborhood Highland Park!

The tree has become a celebrated landmark in Silver Lake, and Tenenbaum’s front yard has become an impromptu haven for the whole block, with residents stopping on the sidewalk to gaze up at the display. The tree is also a popular spot for romantic marriage proposals, dramatic wedding photos, and tourist selfies. Although the Chandelier Tree isn’t a rentable venue, one or two couples have even used it as a dreamy backdrop for a wedding ceremony. The Chandelier Tree’s dramatic backdrop has also inspired a handful of music videos. Tenenbaum’s dream is for the Chandelier Tree to eventually play a part in a major motion picture – a fitting destiny for a glamorous Hollywood fixture.

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If you’re interested in a longer stay – perhaps a honeymoon getaway or romantic weekend? – the Chandelier Tree house is listed on Airbnb! A craftsman building, the home is a work of art in its own right, and guests can stay in the separate cottage that sits in the back garden, an eclectic “apartment studio.”

Click here to read about famous midcentury homes in Silverlake!

A labor of love, the Chandelier Tree is free to visit and open to the public – but you might consider slipping a few coins into the reclaimed 1970s parking meter Tenenbaum uses to collect donations. Your spare change will go to cover the costs of maintaining this dazzling light display, which adds a couple hundred dollars a month to Tenenbaum’s electric bill. The curbside parking meter doubles as the installation’s signpost, ornamented with seventeen light bulbs in a fan shape and a hand-painted sign reading, “Chandelier Tree.”

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The lights go on at around six in the evening – a bit later in summertime – so stop by at nightfall to see this fabulous display of vintage crystalline luminescence.

Are you interested in learning more about the wealth of decoration and artistry on display in the Silver Lake neighborhood? At Real Estate Unlimited, we make it our mission to offer every client an insider perspective on the historic neighborhoods that make up Los Angeles, and we pride ourselves on our in-depth local knowledge of the diverse landmarks and icons that make the city such a magical place to live. Call us for a consultation today!

Wine Tastings at Silverlake Wine

Napa and Sonoma might have cornered the wine-tasting market up north, but here in Los Angeles Silverlake Wine is uncorking tasty local and imported vintages year round! This unpretentious yet discerning Los Angeles wine shop has attracted a devoted following among oenophile Angelenos.  Specializing in products from small-production boutique wineries, Silverlake Wine’s tastings have become popular events for wine aficionados and enthusiasts alike.

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Click here to check out our Echo Park dining guide!

Proprietor Randy Clement believes in high-information, low-prattle blurbs for every bottle on his tasting menus. Each week, Clement sends customers email blasts laced with his own esoteric sommelier prose. One recent example ran, “The beverages this evening are all crafted by talented young people who stand at the forefront of the wine world’s next generation. They make wines that transcend and in some cases blow away efforts by their often relaxed and complacent contemporaries. The same way the band Nirvana, with one song, made acts like Poison, Warrant, White Snake, and all the other great Hair Bands of the 80s a lot less relevant.”

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Clement’s easygoing, populist approach extends to Silverlake’s in-store events, which are designed to be informative yet welcoming. During the week, wine tastings cost just fifteen dollars a head, and there’s no reservation required. Weekly tastings take place Mondays and Thursday evenings, and both days have their own specific vibe.

Monday is low-key and relaxed, like happy hour with friends on the back patio.  Servers provide a flight of three white and three red wines for attendees, all with an emphasis on the innovative and unique. At the wine bar, you can sample a selection of farmhouse cheeses, olives, hummus, and flatbread. If you’re interested in heartier fare, line up outside at the Urban Oven food truck for “the best mobile wood-fired pizza in the world.”

With the tagline, “Thursday is the new Friday,” Thursday’s tasting is more of an early weekend kickoff, and many locals nosh at Silverlake before migrating to a bar or nightclub. The themed tasting menu is paired with Cookbook bread and farmhouse butters, and customers can visit the Guerilla Tacos truck outside for a duo or trio of savory street tacos.

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Photo credit: The Harrison Inn (

One Sunday per month, Silverlake Wine hosts an early dinner with its most substantial tasting menu. Local caterers and chefs prepare four courses of food. Each course is paired with a Silverlake wine selection for an indulgent dining event. The event starts at three in the afternoon with an aperitif, and a reservation is required. It’s a little bit pricier but still a bargain at twenty-five dollars.

Each summer from early June to early September, Silverlake Wine provides a selection of wines to the Barnsdall Friday Night Wine Tastings fundraiser series. This garden party get-together includes music presented by local DJ Dan Wilcox of KJRW, a spread of gourmet cheeses from local shop The Cheese Store of Silverlake, and a fleet of food trucks selling everything from soft-serve ice cream to vegan bento boxes. At thirty to forty-five dollars a ticket, this Silverlake Wine soiree is a splurge, but ticket sales support the Barnsdall Art Park, and ticketholders can also tour the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House on the park grounds and watch the sunset from one of the most beautiful public spaces in Los Angeles.

Click here to read about famous midcentury homes in Silverlake!

Silverlake Wine combines an accessible price range with an impressive command of vintages and varieties. Stop by one of their tastings for a sample of their superlative array of wines, or visit their store for a handpicked tour through some of the most unique products California vineyards have to offer.

Are you interested in learning more about wine tastings and other local events in Silverlake? At Real Estate Unlimited, we make it our business to give our clients an insider perspective on the historic neighborhoods that make up the Los Angeles Valley.  Contact us for a consultation today!

Draining of the Silver Lake Reservoir

Drain Silver Lake Reservoir

We’re all familiar with the lack of water in California due to the drought, and we’re even getting accustomed to integrating water saving behaviors into our routines. In addition to these precautions, you should also expect the draining of the Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles (which was slated to happen in June or July of 2015).

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plans to drain the 400 million gallons of water in the reservoir. Once it’s drained (which will take at least several weeks to completely empty), the city will begin construction on a water pipeline underneath the reservoir. The reservoir can hold as much as 800 million gallons of water. The reservoir has to be completely dry before the work on the new pipeline can begin.

The Silver Lake Reservoir has not been used to supply drinking water to L.A. for the past seven years. Open-air water supplies can no longer be used as drinking water. Using water from open-air sources is too risky, as they are vulnerable to outside elements, including carcinogens, bromate, runoff, sunlight and pollution. Thus, the city will fill a new underground reservoir in Griffith Park named Headworks Reservoir. L.A. will most likely stop using Ivanhoe Reservoir for drinking water as well.

Silver Lake Reservoir

If you live in the Silver Lake area, and enjoy walking the trail surrounding the reservoir, you’ll be happy to know that the trails will remain open to the public. Also, note that the construction on the water pipeline will not block traffic; the city will house the construction equipment inside of the reservoir itself. You may be able to hear the construction going on, but at least it won’t create any inconvenience.

We’re wondering what may be found at the bottom of the reservoir this time around. Last time the city drained it, back in 2008, clothes and hundreds of golf balls were found. A missing wedding ring was found as well!

Will the draining of Silver Lake Reservoir affect real estate in the surrounding area? We know that the reservoir is expected to be empty for at least a year. If you have questions about Los Angeles real estate, contact Real Estate Unlimited. We’re happy to help and will get back to you as soon as we can.