Sunday, April 22, 2012

Atwater? Where is Atwater?

ON ONE of my weekly theater outings I landed in the tiny Twilight-esque neighborhood of Atwater. Atwater is nestled in between Glendale and Silver Lake and if you were to blink you might miss it. I knew I had reached my destination when driving down the main drag and every shop was named after it’s city, Atwater Dry Cleaners, Atwater Market, Atwater Tacos, etc. etc. The theater I was looking for was not easy to find, turn right on a street so tiny that they obviously require people to park on both sides, just to make driving down it like a game of dodge ball. Turn left on a street full of speed bumps, and then another right on a street full of warehouses. That’s right this theater is in a warehouse. There is one thing you can always count on when driving to a new part of Los Angeles, that it will definitely be an adventure.
Of course when I arrived at the theater I was two hours early, I always leave a ridiculous amount of time to get to a new place because, well its Los Angeles. So I was hungry and I naturally decided to drive around looking for food. Atwater is pretty much just hole-in-the-wall restaurants and after talking to people familiar with the area there are great hole-in-the walls over there. However, I did not know that and I was skeptical. So I ventured down the road and apparently into Silver Lake, however I did not know this until I looked up my restaurant choice after the fact. Nicky-D’s Pizza in Silver Lake was rather odd, with its upstairs location and muggy smell, but the food was absolutely delicious and one I will remember for a while.
Now Nicky-D’s was not far from my final destination but as I said it was not considered to be in Atwater Village. That is just how tiny this place is. Driving back down the main drag to get to the theater, because there is only one way to get there, I couldn’t help but be confused by one of the storefronts. There was a record store that had a “Grand Opening” sign out in front. Now to me this seemed like an oxy-moron but perhaps it was in the perfect location to try a new start.
Once I parked and actually went to the Atwater Village Theatre I noticed that much of the warehouse district had been renovated. There are two theaters in that location, as well as a posh dining hall and even a storage facility where a sculpture for the next “Burning Man” is being built. There is a heavy artistic crowd in Atwater and that became clear very quickly. After spending an evening there I almost felt as if I had found the Greenwich Village of Los Angeles. So in hindsight, the idea of a record shop just opening up, in the couple of blocks that is Atwater Village, Los Angeles, actually makes perfect sense.

--Mickala Jauregui
Photo Credit: myself


  1. Interesting story, and this line made me chuckle because of how true it is: "Of course when I arrived at the theater I was two hours early, I always leave a ridiculous amount of time to get to a new place because, well its Los Angeles." I always do the same thing! Good for you for exploring a new area.

  2. This is a really interesting story. I really like how you are not afraid to go out and explore a new place and try dinner. Very inspiring!