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Key to the City

Explore Annie Costello Brown’s Corner of L.A., Mt. Washington

Key to the City BY alisha prakash 04/09/2014

One Los Angeles ‘hood that should most definitely be on your radar: Mt. Washington. “In the early 1900s, it was a getaway for people living in Downtown L.A. and Echo Park—two of the original neighborhoods in the city,” says Annie Costello Brown, the crazy-talented jewelry whiz who’s all about her increasingly hip (but still serene!) part of town. Just check out its charms. 




178 annie costello brown
"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of Annie Costello Brown



“Here I am soaking up the sun at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, which was opened by Charles Fletcher Lummis in 1907. Lummis walked from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in 1884 and collected surveys, tales, and artifacts of the Native Americans—many of which still reside in the museum’s research library. It’s a place to come and hang out and get a great sense of the older ways. There’s an amazing access tunnel from below that generations of Angelenos have taken up into the museum. Right down the hill is the Gold Line Metro, which speeds you to pretty much any part of Los Angeles. We like to ride to South Pasadena Farmers’ Market, North Hollywood Arts District, MOCA, and Exposition Park. No, you don’t need a car to get around this town.”




“This is me looking out at downtown L.A. from atop Radio Tower Hill in Lincoln Heights. The view here lets you see all the way to Long Beach and the Santa Monica Bay, with the city spread before you in thousands of shapes. There’s a bunch of funky vernacular architecture up here.”




“At the bottom of Mt. Washington is La Tropicana Market on Monte Vista. Inside, there is a sandwich counter called Monte 52, which is one of my favorite spots to grab some food, like the yummiest $5 fried chicken sandwiches with homemade pickles. Just around the corner on Avenue 56 is Good Girl Dinette, which is Vietnamese food that falls within the farm-to-table sphere. My friends run Avalon Vintage next door to Good Girl Dinette, and there’s always something cool to find. Last time I was there, I nabbed a pair of Romeo Gigli linen trousers.”




“Mt. Washington and Northeast L.A.’s colors inspire. Here’s a burnt orange house with a gigantic fuchsia bougainvillea up against it and a mustard yellow wall with sculptural cacti all around—it’s total sun-bleached California post-modernism.”




“We stopped by this wall of yellow flowers in Montecito Heights. Across from where I am standing, a couple of old hippies were blocking the road with their old VW bug and were trying to figure out what to do with a downed phone line.”


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