Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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110 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A KNOWN FOR ITS live-and-let-live atti- tude since the late 19 th century, West Hollywood (WeHo to the locals) has always been a little looser than its neighbors. This central Los Angeles area, formerly an unin- corporated stretch known as "Sherman" during Prohibition, was loosely regulated and out of reach of the LA Police Depart- ment—an ideal place for opportunists, developers, mafia money and celebrities. Speakeasies, nightclubs and casinos prolif- erated along the Sunset Strip where glam, glitz and grit rubbed shoulders. Marilyn Monroe had her first date with baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, right across the street from the iconic music venue, The Roxy Theatre—the birthplace of many a rock legend. The decadent era of the 1920s and '30s gave way to the counterculture movement in the '60s, bringing to the area musicians, seekers, publishers, promoters and hippies, fueling a renaissance in music clubs that are now part of rock 'n' roll lore and became landmarks including Troubadour and Whisky a Go Go. The Troubadour cultivated singer-songwriters like Randy Newman, Neil Diamond and Elton John, who per- formed his first U.S. show there in 1970. And Whisky a Go Go served as a rock incu- bator, hosting early performances of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Blondie, Guns N' Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and gave The Doors their start as the house band. Creative City West Hollywood is a densely packed 1.9 square miles, a key-shaped city within a city, straddling the iconic Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, part of the historic Route 66. Today, this cosmopolitan and self-styled "creative city" is where music, art, fashion and design intersect. A mix of Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco buildings, designer flagship stores, furniture showrooms, art galleries, restau- rants and clubs vie for attention. Music lovers, entertainers, fashionistas, glitterati and people-watchers alike indulge their senses and let loose here. West Hollywood is home to a vibrant gay and lesbian community and the largest Russian community in the U.S. outside of New York. The city hosts a number of must- WEST HOLLYWOOD A place to indulge your senses and let loose B Y J A C Q U E L I N E Y A U BOYS' NIGHT OUT, above; Hamburger Mary's, below; The Roxy, opposite top; Whisky a Go Go, opposite boXom. VISIT WEST HOLLYWOOD

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