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Westwood Doesn't Suck

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by Ericka Lozano

Okay, Elina, I'll take the bait and defend my beloved Westwood, even if no one else will. I have to say that to bash a whole neighborhood because you got stuck in a parking garage overnight when you didn't read the signs (!!!) seems like you overreacted.

I lived in Westwood for four years, and worked at UCLA almost the whole time. I still serve on the board of the Westwood Branch Library, one of the awesome things about Westwood.

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The best thing about Westwood is, of course, UCLA. UCLA has a gorgeous campus, a Japanese garden, a sculpture garden, fantastic concerts, interesting lectures, and exciting athletic events. (No, I didn't do p.r. while I worked there, it just sounds that way.)

Living in Westwood, above Santa Monica and just west of Beverly Glen, I could walk to the Crest or the Village to see a movie in a historical building on a giant screen, not in some rinky-dink multiplex theatre.

I could walk to several good neighborhood restaurants (India's Oven, Feast from the East, Pomodoro, etc.) I could walk to my hairstylist (the talented Roya at Frega). The W Hotel bar, which you mention, was a short hike from my office on Wilshire. The Westwood Brewco was always a fun happy hour joint, and Palomino has dessert to die for.

The Hammer Museum offers free admission to its exhibitions, collections, and public programs all summer (through September 3, so hurry up!) The Los Angeles Film Festival was hosted in Westwood.

There's a Ralphs, a Whole Foods, and there used to be a Farmer's Market (it moved to the VA due to construction.) Along Westwood Boulevard, there are a few Persian markets with amazing fresh fruit and flowers. Though for my money, Westwood Flower Garden on Gayley is the best florist on the Westside.

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Sure, parking can be a bitch. Yes, businesses close down seemingly overnight. Agreed, the local homeowners can be a pain. (Will there EVER be dancing in Westwood?) But it's a great place, and I miss it. I hope you'll take some time to get to know it better and maybe write something positive soon.


P.S. For the record, I'm a former LAist contributor, and now I live in Long Beach. :)


top photo by unclebumpy, above photo by noeluap via flickr