The names of Los Angeles’ neighborhoods haven't really changed since the days when The Grove was home to the 1940 NFL All-Star Game (true fact!). The neighborhoods, though? Yeah, see, they’ve changed a ton. Sure, Koreatown is still home to a ton of Koreans and Palms has a bunch of palm trees, but what exactly is “Bel Air,” and what “wood” is Westwood west of?
All these questions mean it's high time we rethought some of the names of LA’s 'hoods (and without the help of some shady real estate developer trying to Dowisetrepla his way to a sale). Here are 22 neighborhoods we came up with better names for, all of which truly describe Los Angeles today.
1. LULULEMONICA (Santa Monica)
The real St. Monica was an Algerian woman who had some serious family issues, but the women of today's Santa Monica are more into spinning, farmers markets, and as many yoga classes as ClassPass will allow. And since the official patron saint of this beachside city is now Lululemon…
2. ALL OF THE TARGETS (Culver City)
Need to go to Target? There's a good chance you're heading to Culver City, where there are not one, not two, but three Targets in the greater CC area. You may not know who Harry Culver was, but you definitely know which Target you need to go to for new Brita filters.
3. RAINBOW CENTRAL (West Hollywood)
Why should this self-governing mecca of pride be relegated to directional adjacent-city status? This isn't West anything. This is Rainbow Central and if you don't like it, we hope you get crushed by a float during Pride.
4. YOUR DOCTOR'S HERE (Beverly Hills)
While the idealized dream of Beverly Hills lives mostly on TV, the reality is that there are a lot of ladies named Beverly residing in these hills. The splendor of 90210 has aged up considerably and there's a good reason why so many physicians have their offices here. If you want the best medical care in the city (“and so close to Cedars!”), you're probably heading somewhere near Wilshire and Santa Monica because Your Doctor's Here.
5. NEW RENT CITY (West Adams)
The big houses that used to exist for cheap in West Adams are now all snatched up and the flippers are operating at full speed. Shady landlords are kicking out longtime tenants to remodel, jacking up rents, and padding their own pockets. What used to be an affordable little 'hood has turned into New Rent City.
6. MOUNTAIN VIEW SOUTH (Playa del Rey)
OK, OK, “Silicon Beach” works just fine as a new nickname for PdR, but it also implies a lot of plastic surgery baking in the sun. Instead, let's call this oceanside enclave what it really is: the home of a bunch of NorCal expats who love to whine about how much they miss “a real city.” You mean the one with trollies running everywhere? That's not a real city, techies. That's the set of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
7. DIVIDEND ROW (Pacific Palisades)
If you tell me you know what a palisade is, you're either a geography major or a liar. Either way, the word is too arcane to describe the quaint hamlet that one can only call home after multiple script sales or a few years at a hedge fund.
8. LOOK! IT'S THE OCEAN! (Malibu)
You moved to Malibu for one reason and one reason only: you can wake up every morning and see the Pacific Ocean. While the Chumash-derived name is a nice nod to the town's origins, it's time to acknowledge that you're only here because you get off on seeing a large body of water near property that you own.
9. BRUINBURG (Westwood)
This may be the easiest new neighborhood to name. Westwood has been associated with UCLA since the university's founding in 1919. Why deal with the direction of wood when you can apply the nomenclature of UCLA's favorite bear to this collegiate colony?
10. MUSTACHIO HEIGHTS (Echo Park)
Parks are great and all, but when you yell in this part of town, it doesn't get repeated back to you. It gets turned into the lyrics of a folksy pop song by a guy wearing suspenders and wool pants in the middle of summer. This, my friends, is now Mustachio Heights, capital of All Things Hip. Just be careful where you step -- you might just slice your toe on the cutting edge.
11. EAT HERE AND DON'T STEP ON THAT (Downtown)
While Ehadsot may sound like a kibbutz in Israel, it's actually an acronym for Downtown's newest moniker. Gentrification is in full swing with new retail and restaurant complexes popping up at just about every intersection, but Ehadsot will never escape its checkered past and that's evident when you try to figure out what's smeared all over the bottom of your shoe.
12. NOT SO LITTLE ARMENIA (Glendale)
Although the Armenian population of Glendale isn't an exact figure, the 2000 US Census registered 65,343 people of Armenian descent residing there. That would make Glendale the fourth-largest city IN ARMENIA. I don't know who Glen or Dale is, but their last name better be Yousefian because they now live in Not So Little Armenia.
13. MCDUCKLAND (San Marino)
Naming your little Pasadena suburb after a tiny Roman microstate with one of the highest GDPs in the world isn't a bad call since the median house price around here is over $2 million, but don't hide behind fancy Italian allusions. Instead, let's be open about your massive bank accounts and pools filled with gold coins. This is McDuckland and Scrooge McDuck is now your mascot.
14. TRADER JOE'S KINGDOM (Monrovia)
Monrovia sounds like the fictional kingdom where Julie Andrews taught Anne Hathaway how to be a princess. In fact, it's a real kingdom where the mysterious Trader Joe has set up his trading headquarters to distribute and sell ultra-cheap trail mixes and bacon jerky.
15. STARBUCKS VILLAGE (Studio City)
In the heart of the former Studio City, at the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Ventura, there are two Starbucks within .2 of a mile of each other -- and that's assuming you're not jaywalking. If those didn't suit you, there's always the 'Bucks at Vineland and Ventura or the one on Laurel Canyon and Riverside or the one on... you get the point. Sure, there's a studio here, but there are many more Starbucks. Also: the coffee bar inside the lone studio? It serves Starbucks coffee.
16. NON-UNION STATION (North Hollywood)
Geographically, NoHo is definitely north of Hollywood, but realistically, it might as well be five states away. This is where you go before you hit it big. This is where your dreams are alive but not quite within reach. This is where you pray to Stella Adler that your SAG card is just around the corner.
17. FEDORASTAN (West Hills)
Trends that start in Silverlake never die. They just get relegated to the bargain bin at the Walmart in West Hills where the entire city still ventures out on Sundays in fedoras because they're “adorable.”
18. DREAM DUMPSTER (Hollywood)
This is no idyllic forest filled with sprigs of holly and joy. It's a dream dumpster, plain and simple.
19. BRONZEVILLE (Manhattan Beach)
Beach, yes. Manhattan, no. Let's leave Manhattan to that other city on that other ocean. Instead, focus on the fact that the sun seems to shine here 24/7 and the denizens of this Volleyball Valhalla never seem to burn. They're just perpetually a perfect bronze.
20. FOTBOLL (Carson)
At this point, Carson is known to Angelenos for two main reasons: IKEA and LA Galaxy games at the StubHub Center. It may even be home to an NFL team if the city and its partners can clean up that former toxic waste dump to build a stadium. While it's a lovely tribute to name the city after rancher and old-timey LA politician George Henry Carson, it's more fitting to call this place Fotboll, aka “soccer” in Swedish.
21. YES (Cerritos)
Cerritos may mean “little mountains” in Spanish, but to just about anyone with a radio, it means “Yes Cerritos Auto Square!” Admit it. You're singing the jingle in your brain right now, aren't you? Sucker.
22. TERRANEA (Rancho Palos Verdes)
The Spanish translation of Rancho Palos Verdes is Green Sticks Ranch, which probably made sense at some point in California history. Now, though? It's pretty much meaningless. So why not name it after the mid-level resort in RPV that hosts roughly a million weddings every weekend? After all, that's how most people know it anyway.
Sign up here for our daily LA email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Los Angeles has to offer.