Trade Routes, Part III

Your Holiday Shopping Guide to L.A.'s Echo Park and Silverlake.

By Loryn Hatch

In the sprawl that is Los Angeles, devising a holiday shopping strategy is a must. We chose to keep it simple and head directly to Echo Park and Silverlake, two areas noted for their communal, small-town vibe. And with an abundance of parking, room to roam, and a string of stores in close proximity, you can venture out on foot to plow through your holiday list in total stress-free comfort.
dog_lampOver Easy
A place for kids as well as their adoringly cool 'rents, Yolk is home to display-worthy handcrafted wooden toys, clever dishware, and ferocious homeware like Walteria Livings' porcelain Chihuahua Night Light ($120), guaranteed to keep the monsters away. Yolk, 1626 Silverlake Boulevard; 323-660-4315;
polaroid_beautysalonLook of Love
Lucas salon has the timeless feel of a neighborhood barbershop, a place that friends gather to get gorgeous and swap stories. Let one of your energy-depleted friends join the fun with a massage, facial, or a new hairstyle. A cute Lucas Polaroid (the actual gift-certificate) will be their ticket to bliss. Lucas, 1541 Echo Park Avenue; 213-350-7992;
segwick_totePony Ride
If you're looking to gift a girl who digs a bit of flash with her kitsch, head to Show Pony and pick up the Edie Sedgwick tote ($24) or a decadent satin pillow designed by the storeowner herself (from $18). Show Pony, 1543 Echo Park Avenue; 213-482-7676;
work_mensjeansDenim Resurrection
Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans, and everyone fears their eventual demise (lost luggage, theft, disintegration, you get the picture). Assuage a loved one's anxiety with a gift certificate for a custom pair from Work. They'll take a favorite design and get as close as they can to the cut and look, and have them ready to go in a couple of weeks. Sweet Relief. Work, 1553 Echo Park Avenue; 213-975-0087;
In Season
Holiday top five...
Sea Level Records reigns supreme as Echo Park's favorite place to find indie classics both old and new. If you're stumped on what to get the audiophile in your life, the guys at Sea Level have come to the rescue with its a list of their top five albums of the season:
1. Joanna Newsom: Y's
2. Tom Waits: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards
3. Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas
4. The Gothic Archies: The Tragic Treasury: Songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events
5. El Goodo: El Goodo
Sea Level Records, 1716 Sunset Boulevard; 213-989-0146;
pantyraid_silverlakegiftguiHidden Agenda
A special set of under-things can make the outfit—even if you're the only one who knows it. At Panty Raid, pretty pairs run aplenty, like this lacy black combo by Huit ($55 for each separate). Consider them your secret weapon. Panty Raid, 2378 1/2 Glendale Boulevard; 323-668-1888;
oil_lampShadow Dancer
Ingenious inventions, luminous designs. A+R Store accessorizes su casa with awesome items like Adam Frank's Lumen oil lamp ($48). When lit, it casts a shadow of a natural design (we love the Nest) across your wall and your mood. A+R Store, 1716 Silver Lake Boulevard; 323-913-9558;
book_of_breastsToward the Light
When we say Skylight Books, you may think, "Isn't that Los Feliz?" But sitting right beside Silverlake, this independent bookstore is worth crossing the border for novelties like Taschen's The Big Book of Breasts ($50) by Dian Hanson—sure to be the talk of the coffee table post present-opening. Skylight Books 1818 N. Vermont Avenue; 323-660-1175;
flounce_vintagebagThrill of Frill
With to-die-for vintage dresses, a sales rack displaying any number of ridiculous deals, and an abundance of one-of-a-kind accessories, like this criss-crossed corduroy purse ($28), Flounce will have no problem pleasing your fave vintage vixen. Flounce, 1555 Echo Park Avenue; 213-481-1975;
Restore your strength on the road
From left to right: Gingergrass, Casbah Café, Elysian Park
• To get the juices flowing or unwind after a day of going from one end of town to the other, plan a meandering stroll through Echo Park's Elysian Park, a lush oasis that sits atop the concrete jungle, which offers some awe-inspiring views of downtown L.A. Ask the locals on Echo Park Avenue about the best places to enter. Photo "Untitled (EP - 03)" by Dino Dinco
• In true L.A.-style, Casbah Café mixes up the city's most fortifying mint tea. It also stocks sublime French pastries, sandwiches, and a gift store jammed of uncommon gifts like these demurely tinted water glasses. Don't miss this Middle Eastern watering hole. Casbah Café, 3900 Sunset Boulevard, 323-664-7000.
• A+R Store owner Rose Apodaca recommends trying Gingergrass for a bit of west-coast refueling, a restaurant that takes a fresh spin on Vietnamese but sticks to basics like Imperial Rolls and Flank Steak with chile. Gingergrass, 2396 Glendale Boulevard, 323-644-1600.
Stocking Stuffers
Not Just Filler
Silhouette. Carved cameo ($10 pins, $15 rings) at Flounce.
Shhh! Edward Gorey's Collected Cartoons ($35) available at Secret
Headquarters, 3817 Sunset Bouelvard; 323-666-2228
Flavor Fresh. Herb Pot ($15) at A+R.
Lucas, Show Pony, Work, Panty Raid, Flounce, and Casbah Cafe photos by Emily Virgil
Your Holiday Shopping Guide to L.A.'s Echo Park and Silverlake.

More from Shopping

R29 Original Series