The oldest residential neighborhood in Los Angeles is Lincoln Heights, but you wouldn't know this if you exit I-5 on Figeroa or Alameda streets. Now, mostly thought of as a seedy barrio for low profile Hispanic gangsters, Wikipedia chronicles that this was once a wealthy neighborhood of Victorian mansions on the bluffs that overlook the Los Angeles River--dating back as early as 1830. The San Antonio Winery, which now uses imported grapes, still makes wine in Lincoln Heights. The good times passed however beginning in 1880, as industrial development along the Los Angeles River prompted the wealthy to flee out to the Arroyo Seco, Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire districts. Lincoln Heights became then an ethnic neighborhood for Italians, and later Hispanics and Vietnamese, but there are still pockets of homes set upon the bluffs overlooking the city, many having great views of the downtown skyscrapers. The commercial strip along North Broadway, which has a theater and various ethnic restaurants and markets remains the neighborhood focus, and preservation of the remaining original Victorian homes is supported by a city-wide awareness of Lincoln Heights historic status. Unfortunately, Lincoln Heights has also been sliced to pieces by a multiple of freeways, particularly the Golden State Freeway (I-5). To the west is Chinatown, and many of the old and new distributer warehouses, sandwiched between the old commercial stores along Spring and Vignes streets, are devoted to supply Asian restaurants and markets within the LA area. On the other side of the Pasadena Fwy (110) is Dodger Stadium and Elysian Park. The LA Medical Center is to the south, and California State University at Los Angeles is to the southeast of Lincoln Heights. The Los Angeles River is now paved with concrete, making for an often spectacular and news worthy flash flood hazard in winter. Lincoln Heights is also a frequent location for hardboiled detective movies and other films requiring the backdrop of seedy warehouses and such, as the community is very close to Hollywood. See my tip on Nick's Cafe for a great place to eat in the Lincoln Heights district. In my images you can see Lincoln Park and the bluffs behind it, downtown skyscrapers, the Chinatown metro station, North Broadway commerial district, and the Los Angeles River.
The Brewery Artwalk is a showcase of some of the country’s most artistic. A former brewery and bottling plant, today, “The Brewery” houses lofts whose tenants (hundreds of them) make up one of the world’s largest artists colonies. And twice a year, in the spring and fall, they open up their doors to the public for viewing and selling of their arts, crafts, etc. However, I think the most fun to be had in the whole artwalk experience is actually being able to check out first-hand how the artists live. I especially enjoy seeing how each loft is decorated. As each artist is unique and different, so too do their homes reflect their personality and style. Way cool! So if you’re ever in town in April or November, check out their website for the latest news.
The Artwalk is free of charge and there is ample free parking. The Brewery is located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles on Moulton Ave. at N. Main St., one block from the 5 fwy.
620 Moulton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90031
The San Antonio Winery
Well, Lincoln Heights is a community often associated with the unseedy and "blah" side of Los Angeles. In this L.A. neighborhood, one finds the abused and neglected L.A. river, general crime and gang activity, unkept streets and lots and lots of industrial and abandoned buildings.
Lincoln Heights represents what we don't like to see in the city- except when one finally gets to discover the place here that is heavily advertised on billboards, street post signs, and huge posters on industrial buildings off the 5 Fwy in the heart of eastern Los Angeles and in downtown.
The San Antonio Winery is "where it's at" in Lincoln Heights. Despite its shady surroundings and inconvenient location (driving wise), it is worth discovering.
There are many pics and words to come from this magical place. Oh, let me gather my thoughts!