Living in West Hollywood can really, really fun — and, it’s not a part of the City of Los Angeles!! In 1984, a group of angry tenants got so pissed off at the City of LA for abolishing rent control, they voted to succeed, incorporate, and become their own city!! These are the people you want to hang out with, especially when you learn why people traditionally came here.
We Angelenos also call it “WeHo.” If you’re coming to LA from another large city, you may notice LA doesn’t really ‘feel’ like a city. It’s spread out, far out. You never get the feeling that “YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT THEEEEE PLACE,” like you do when you look up in Times Square (NYC), Copley Square (Boston), or in downtown Chicago. But, when I get this complaint from out-of-town friends, I bring them to WeHo, grab a window table of PUMP, then ask “Do you feel like you are there, yet? Huh?” With a walkscore of 89 it’s as close as you are going get to that feeling outside of (maybe) downtown — we can talk about that later.
West Hollywood is bounded on the north by the Hollywood Hills neighborhood(s) of Los Angeles, on the east by the Hollywood district of Los Angeles and, as you move a little further south, by the Fairfax district. To the west is Beverly Hills. If you’re reading this, you may not know where any of those places are. But the good news is, you don’t need to; everything you need is right here. Living in West Hollywood offers you the opportunity to live in countless super cute houses on quiet streets or modern condominiums that offer their residents a variety of services and amenities. Within three minutes, you can walk to a number of restaurants, bars and cool stores.
A Condensed History of West Hollywood
I’ve read about how WeHo came to be — and I’m going to give it to you here short and sweet. In the late 1700’s, about 5000 Native Americans from the Tongva Tribe were peacefully living in West Hollywood. It is said hey were known for their love of dance and their courage — I’d translate this to “really fun” and “easily angered.” One very special day, a Portuguese explorer named Joao arrived offshore (the ocean is eight miles from WeHo, so we have to assume he had a horse or walked, or — something!) Joao said, “I’m from Portugal and this is my land.” The Tongva were like “no, it’s not.” So, this awkward back and forth went on for awhile. It went on long enough for tribe to get deathly sick from the European guy’s disease!! Then, to add insult to injury, the Spanish Mission arrived years later and thought they would change the tribe’s name (whoever was left) to the “Gabrielinos.” Native Americans are rarely on the ‘sunny side of history.’
So, the 1800s come and go. Stuff happens, but nothing interesting, until we hit the 1920’s. What is now West Hollywood becomes a hotbed for casinos, dancing, spirits — “It’s ladies night and the feeling is right”. Once word got out, all the movie people came, interior designers, decorators, they came from far and wide. If Charlie Sheen were around then, he’d have been here. Much of this recreational activity was illegal in the City of Los Angeles, but not in Los Angeles County, of which our friends on the Sunset Strip in WeHo were (are) part of. Wikipedia summarizes this time period like this: “The city began to earn its reputation as a loosely regulated, liquor-friendly (during Prohibition) place for eccentric people wary of government interference.”
So, as the century progressed, nothing noteworthy happens until 1984 with the angry rent-control people. Today, WeHo is its own city now. A playground for the rich, hip and famous, living in West Hollywood is an attractive option for quieter folks, too. It’s great for people who desire to be close to many of the things that Los Angeles is famous with the benefits of a pedestrian culture found in more traditional big cities.
Craig Spano is a Licensed California Real Estate Agent (BRE# is 01971165) with Keller Williams. Learn more about Craig by reading his bio. Reach out to him via email or call him directly at 323-486-7786.