I hate it when people say there is no winter in Southern California. Pretty sure I almost froze my balls off two nights ago in Anaheim when I met some friends for dinner and a little gift exchange fun at Downtown Disney. Today, I ventured out to do some Christmas shopping in Belmont Shore (2nd Street) and it was 40 degrees!!! I had on a beanie, fingerless gloves, a scarf, boots- full on glacial mode. Its totally Christmas in L.A. evident by the guy who looks like Cee Lo Green in a Santa Suit standing on the corner of Crenshaw and Venice, but I digress…
If you are like me and still need to finish some shopping, here are some of my favorite malls for your best bet to find what you need:
Century City Plaza (has been one of my favorite malls since the 90’s)
The Beverly Center (has the best Macy’s in Southern California in my opinion)
South Coast Plaza (Sak’s, Nordstrom and Bloomies in the same mall)
However, if you don’t want to battle the messy malls and ridiculous parking situation happening out there, here are my favorite boutique shopping suggestions found in neighborhoods around the city. I like to shop independent stores whenever I can. These business owners, artists, and entrepreneurs need us:
Silver Lake- East Sunset Blvd has some of the most eclectic and artsy stores in the city. I love this area that includes Los Feliz, Echo Park and boarders DTLA. If you can handle the hipster population, you wil love it too. Find the collection of interesting boutiques, gift stores, and restaurants near the Sunset Junction (E. Sunset Blvd).
Montana Ave. in Santa Monica- this row of lovely shops and boutiques is for you ballers not on a budget. Find plenty of fabulous home stores, gift shops, stylish boutiques and salons. Prepare to spend and possibly spot some celebs as well. I’ve seen some A listers here for sure. Makes for great people watching too.
Little Tokyo- DTLA has been evolving for years now. It used to be all dangerous and littered with homeless vagrants. Ok, I guess it still kind of is, but it has come a long way and I heart it! Now its rocks a sort of Hipster/Hobo culture that I actually enjoy frequently. Some of the dopest bars in the city are in DTLA as are many foodie approved restaurants. Art, culture and creativity are abound here. There are lots of places to shop too but I especially enjoy Little Tokyo and the stores within and surrounding the Japanese Village on 2nd. I got some great gifts here last week.
Long Beach- 2nd St. (Belmont Shore), 4th St (Vintage Row), Downtown, and Main St. off of PCH in Seal Beach are all great places to treasure hunt. Find book stores, record shops, card/gift stores, vintage stuff, commercial stores, high end stuff, low end stuff. Something for everyone in the LBC