Discovering new ground in your own city can be quite inspirational. That’s what happened to me when visiting Silver Lake for the first time yesterday. Following Sunset Boulevard all the way up from the Pacific Palisades is an experience in itself and worth the 50-minute drive. You directly notice when you hit the Silver Lake neighborhood. People dress differently, and good-looking restaurant or storefronts pop up interspersed with not so great looking places. Some are super-messy even. Many are old warehouse-like buildings and a couple have already been restored while others are just fenced off.

The reason of my visit was to check out the European inspired, but fully-handmade in Detroit, USA Shinola bicycles, having recently been approached to start carrying the Shinola bicycles in our Santa Monica store. I was quite impressed. Shinola bikes are built to last (like our Gazelle’s) and the details and hand craftsmanship make them quite unique in their kind. The Shinola store is beautiful and sophisticated-looking. The products are perfectly displayed by color, and the “all that I want? factor increases by the minute while there.I lucked out since Clare V.’s first flagship store is also located in Silver Lake and after having just read Clare Vivier’s success story in the LA times magazine Image last weekend, I was also able to cross that of my list. Well that said, I loved it so much that now Id like to check out their newest store that opened this week in West Hollywood.

Very pleased I was to see and feel the hustle and bustle taking place on a part of the street that was closed off for cars. What a positive impact on the livability of a neighborhood! Thankfully more cities are discovering this and experimenting with it. I just read that the huge city of Hamburg in Germany is working toward a fully car free city in the coming two years. Very exciting! Let’s put Hamburg on my must see places to visit for 2017…

For more information about silver lake. Click here.