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MAPPING L.A. > Central L.A.


Tell us what Hollywood means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


I love living in Hollywood but am getting concerned about the crimes involving the panhandlers and costumed characters.

LAPD has increased its presence since the June 18 homicide, but will it last?

— resident
June 24, 2013 at 10:07 p.m.

Hollywood is a nice place . But it can be pretty bad. Theres alot of crime and there is gang activity and depends what parts of hollywood your in , like Van ness too western is pretty ghetto and east hollywood and parts of hollwood which mainly contains latino residents and also some eastern europeans ,etc . Theres is gangs like MS 13 and Saint Andrews 13 and many more. White people tend to live more west .

— ?
June 1, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.

soroundings of hollywood are great place to live in , i lived for an year with out any problems, most of the time i am half sleep and resting.

— sir william venkat kalepu the duke of indian pendo
October 12, 2012 at 4:29 a.m.

Best place to live in.. that's for sure..

But crime is increasing.. get rid of the useless LAPD that don't do nothing for this community.

Cmon lets make this a better place to live in.

— Madonna
July 1, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.

Best community in LA because its my daughters' HOME.

— cleavinger
May 23, 2012 at 10:01 a.m.

I've been living in Hollywood for the last 17 years,since I was born. I've been going to school in the Brentwood/Palisades area since I can remember. As a junior at Hollywood High,I've been able to spend much more time in my community this year. It's a love/hate relationship. During the day it's beautiful and just active. At night,it could get a little too quiet and like they say "The freaks come out at night" but nothing too scary, if you know your way around the city itself. Other than that,it's a beautiful city full of opportunities,for those who search it. :)

— Jackie
April 6, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.

The gang rape of a woman at the corner of Vine and Yucca streets happened on Feb.2nd at 2 am. A crowd cheered on the rapists. Why no coverage in the Times?

Because the female victim was non-white?

February 20, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

I don't understand why the violent incidents repeatedly aren't reported here. The shooting spree and murder last week at Vine/Sunset isn't a crime? Lived in Hollywood over ten years and the violent "incidents" I've witnessed are NEVER reported on here. I wonder why that is?

Walking to the bus stop at 6am isn't as pleasant as it was five years ago. Stop firing and start hiring more Police.

— Bob
December 29, 2011 at 7:47 p.m.

I grew up in Hollywood. Attended Gardner Elm, Bancroft Middle, then Hollywood High. I've seen Hollywood BLVD go from dirty, run-away haven to gilts, bright lights and gentrification. I lived in a beautiful community where neighbors talked to each other and built. To new yuppie neighbors moving in and building up physical and social walls. I no longer live in Hollywood where hippsters and gentrifiers sucked the soul out of my beloved former community. It may look better but it's not the same.

— DJ
November 3, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.

Robot Betty9 was "born" here. It is the cat's meow!

— Thomas
October 27, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.

I've always said that I want to live where other people vacation, and Hollywood fits that criteria to a "T". It just has a vibe and 'feel' unlike any other place in the world. Always energetic, always happening, always 'on', it's a wonderful confluence of bright sunshine, unparalleled food and entertainment, and trend-setting glamour!

— Andrew
October 10, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.

I've lived in Hollywood since Aug 1982. Heck, I've had the same phone number since then with an area code change!

I love it here. It is close to everything. The Red Line makes it easy to get anywhere. We walk all over our part of town to shop, bank, eat out, go to movies, exercise! Bikes allow us to go even further.

Sure, when the Oscars come to town, or on Halloween Night or if the Marathon routes thru, it makes traffic awful, but all of those things are fun too. Mostly, Hollywood is fun. The best of everything is here because so many people come and visit and spend money HERE! And everyone dreams of getting a star on the Walk of Fame.

— Ben Andy
September 11, 2011 at 12:50 a.m.

most diverse neighborhood in LA....its great

— dermot
September 8, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.

Hollywood has been my home for 10 years and if I leave it regularly and see the world, I'm always happy to come home again. The trash collectors are noisy and the homeless are ever present - but the walk up Runyan Canyon and eternal sunshine keep me smiling. Grab a nosh at the Hungry Cat or The Village Idiot and a little Pink Berry. Sit outside and remind yourself that the rest of the US has winter...

— Chris
April 25, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.

I've softened over the years in my view of Hollywood... it used to be my absolute most detested part of the entire southland for it's tourist traps, chintz, Cahuenga crawlers, Scientologists and the smell of baked human urine and excrement.

However, if you get out of the festering heart of it, you've got Thai Town, Hel-Mel, Franklin Village and other more interesting areas. Now I administer the Hollywood Facebook page for anyone interested:

— Eric Brightwell
April 6, 2011 at 1:50 p.m.

Hollywood in comparison to 10 years ago has gone through quite the improvement. However it isn't THAT much better. I've lived by the intersection of Vine and Santa Monica all my life and the crime problem hasn't increased,but it hasn't gone away either. I even had someone I went to elementary school gunned down in broad daylight at that very intersection. The police have their priorities all mixed up. It's always been sketchy all over Hollywood,but that's because it's such a mixing pot. It has its up's and down's but in the end,it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

— Dan
October 6, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.

Lived here 20 yrs and the area has definitely improved. There use to be gang members now there are a few taggers some petty crime. Graffiti use to be a huge issue now its an occasional issue.

Traffic can be an issue on the major streets: Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, etc, but its nice and people should appreciate the sites. The public schools aren't the greatest but if you raise intelligent kids then they should have no problem going to a ranked university.

Cops patrol the major street on weekends and have a heavy presence to crack down on dui's and it makes you feel safer.

Plus recent building projects and cleaning campaigns are bringing the town back to its golden ages. The town is what its citizens make of it so get involved.

Favorite thing to do is drive on Sunset or Hollywood in the late afternoon or at night an watch the people lined up to get into clubs or gathered for a movie premiere. Very urban diverse and contemporary no place like it.

— Brian
October 5, 2010 at 11:06 p.m.

I've moved to Hollywood from Orange County for work about 5 months ago. I love it!! There's so much to do, places to see, great public transport, and a very self contained community.

I ride my bike EVERYWHERE..even though I have a nice car. I love going to Griffith Park for hiking. I hop on the red line subway ANYTIME to go to City Walk, Downtown to work, and to the Kodak theater for going out. And, its pretty safe to me...I live by Hollywood and Western.

Despite low crime, I tell people, Hollywood is not for families. Its for young, fun, ecentric, professionals in my opinion. You can get in LOTS of trouble out here...its like mini las be focused if you going to move out here.

Depending what area in Hollywood, The noise, traffic, the homeless, and the weird stuff is just not for everyone.

Hollywood won't be my home, but at this time in my life...if fits my needs and taking me in the right direction.

— Bennie
October 3, 2010 at 8:59 p.m.

I lived in Hollywood for a period of 6yrs -88-94 and LOVED IT!! Then again i loved it everywhere in America where i lived in 8 different states for 17yrs! (I'm from Europe) I'D LOVE TO REPEAT IT ALL!! THANKS TO YOU ALL!!

— Marco
October 2, 2010 at 2:01 p.m.

If we can get all the actors/actress wanna-be's out. We will be fine.

— native
September 15, 2010 at 12:26 a.m.

Live North of Hollywood Blvd and you're fairly in the clear.

— C. B
August 1, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.

I do love living in hollywood...Cherokee and Sunset...but I will admit the people out at night are a bit sketchy. The roaches, raccoons and rats freak me out a bit too. I also feel bad for people that visit and expect "hollywood" to be so glamorous. lets be honest, its not. The area smells like urine. The parks in the neighborhood have kids playing and homeless people sleeping. Once you live here and figure everything out, its awesome. Def a love/hate relationship for me.

— J.G.
July 13, 2010 at 4:16 p.m.

Lived here my whole life and I love it.

I feel safe here (Wilcox Ave) and you can walk (that's right, walk) to many stores. I rarely see any gang activity... actually I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a cholo around these parts. I guess it depends what street of Hollywood you live in, but mine is great. Lots of families and nice people.

As someone who grew up here, I've seen how dirty and dangerous this placed USED to be. Now? It's awesome (except for the traffic of course).

— DM
June 7, 2010 at 2:56 p.m.

I grew up in Hollywood, attended Le Conte Jr. High and Hollywood High School, and although things have definitely improved the last ten years, it is still a semi-dangerous place to live in. The gang situation has improved a little, but as another reader put it, as soon as the veteranos get out of jail, things get bad again. Gentrification is taking a hold of the area, but the disparity between the have and have-nots is becoming more prevalent.

— Jorge
May 19, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.

I've lived here all my life and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. The only problem with Hollywood is that it seems to beckon people to move here from all walks of life, maybe for the industry, little do they know many of the studios are not even in Hollywood. Every year this place gets more and more crowded, and the traffic worse, other than that it's lovely once you learn to live with all the downfalls. I love my town! There's great history all over the place, and everything you need is walking distance.

— atm71
May 19, 2010 at 1:16 a.m.

Hmmm... Well June first will be a year since I've moved here (for no other reason than to pursue the career of my choice) and I have hated it more than I have even liked it. I would have never thought to move here if it weren't for acting. My experiences with the day job, specific people and traffic have helped in making me hate this place the way I do. If Hollywood... or LA for that matter had half the people it has now it'd be such a lovely place. But that's dreaming huh? Ha...!

PS. The acting classes have kept me sane enough so a big THANKS to those.

— Natalie
May 9, 2010 at 11:38 p.m.

Hollywood aint that bad no more.Gang activty is at a low rate.Only reason for that is nothing but youngsters are out and the old heads are locked uped.But when they start getting out, all kinds of crap is gonna crack.

— Oscar
April 16, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

I live at Sunset & Poinsettia Pl., & I must say I love the hood. On the other hand, Hollywood east of La Brea can get a little squirrelly.

Definitely NOT pleases with LAPD Hollywood Division (they are good only in comparison to Rampart) but the buildings on my block all have private security, & those guys are good.

— kgoddess
March 31, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.

Cracking up at these comments except for a few. This is a great neighborhood that has changed much over the years. In keeping the diversity and the historic aspect intact Hollywood has made huge strides in cleaning up. So surprised to hear so many complaints here about crime. My neighborhood at Santa Monica and Vine was a two-day event on COPS ten years ago. Today it sparkles by comparison. Sure they've handed out liquor licenses, many going to bars and eateries I walk to all the time. Sure you can buy weed cheap and at a store. But crime? way way way down... Unfortunately the entertainment economy has slowed too and there just aren't the young outgoing types we had in the past. Much less people and much more corporate. Still a great neighborhood though. Not a better neighborhood in Socal.

— bligh
March 20, 2010 at 6:55 p.m.

Lived on Bronson St. just south of Franklin across from The Church of Scientology. This was in the early '80's. Found it to be quite diverse and interesting. Excellent restaurants with many cuisines. And pretty much within walking distance. Loved the weather. Seemed to be a lot of crime though.

— Warren
February 25, 2010 at 9:07 a.m.

i love living here. i live on wilton and hollywood and feel 1000x safer walking my dog late at night than i did when i lived in Venice, which is also twice as expensive. the rents here are actually much better than anything on the westside or fancy-pants silverlake/los feliz area. i walk everywhere with one kid in my arm and one clutched in my hand. i want my kids to live and breathe the sights and smells of urban life. it never gets boring.

griffith park is AMAZING for children. hiking trails, pony rides, a train museum, a park for kids with disabilites... the fern dell alone is worth it.

the public elementary schools are the only issue i have. the administration has a lot to deal with. there are some great ones in the area but the homes in those areas are ridiculously expensive. i am interested in the new(ish) charter school called "los feliz school for the arts" but admission is on a lottery system and the chances seem slim.

— Liz
February 1, 2010 at 10:08 p.m.

I'm going to keep in short and simple: Hollywood is what made L.A. This is what dreams are made of. Whether you take a stroll down Hollywood Blvd through the Walk of Fame, or enjoy the nightlife on Sunset or Hollwood blvd, you cannot speak L.A. without mentioning the neighborhood that made this the city of fame, dreams, and (of course) angels.

— Jaden
December 12, 2009 at 1:47 p.m.

I just came across all these wonderful postings! Thank you everyone! I'm in the process of wanting to move to LA area and would love some feedback of a great area for a Single 34 year old Female! I would like a place where it's not crazy noisy, but I can walk a few blocks and there are local bars, shopping, etc....if this exists out there?

Booking a flight in the next week would love any information before I wander myself....


See you soon!

— Kelly
December 2, 2009 at 11:19 a.m.

Hollywood is a good place for gangmembers,drug dealers,prostitutes,ect...Thanks to the Hollywood police dep. In my 28 years at Lexington Ave & El centro the police did nothing to clean up this area,they all on Hollywood Blwd waiting for a camera van,or escorting Lindsay Lohan or some other doped up bimbo.In my eyes they are the biggest problem in this town.

— Yani
November 22, 2009 at 4:54 p.m.

Socioeconomic and cultural diversity and a bustling environment. 100x cleaner than the Hollywood of the late 1980's.

Downsides are high rent, traffic, parking and paying to park. Upsides are lots of interesting and beautiful people, great food options, lots of culture and history, architecture, etc. Unlimited creative resources for those that seek it out. A great community to be a part of if you can handle the craziness.

I'd be curious as to the city's consumption rates of various narcotics. Like how much of what is consumed in the town. Even coffee for that matter or alcohol. How many gallons, pounds, ounces, grams, whatever a day would be neat to find out although its quantifiably impossible.

— Mike Hawk
November 4, 2009 at 10:15 p.m.

My longtime friend Bill Hooey is doing whatever he can as a citizen to clean up Hollywood and make it a safe, inviting place to live and visit again.He also helps Landlords reclaim their properties when those who don't pay use city lawyers to stay in their residences. A few folks here hit the nail on the head, as to those poor folks whose families want nothing to do with them, and they have mental issues with no where to go for true help. Many are vets. We come to LA frequently to visit our family, our friends, and find any fil-roles we can. We would LOVE to see it safer..but, there is NO war on drinking. Just watch a Ralph's clerk not card someone in a busy supermarket line. It's a big problem, but hopefully can be handled.


Gene Arnold

Terry Arnold

The Sounds Of Philly at

— gene arnold
September 20, 2009 at 5:57 p.m.

Every time a building gets torn down, I smile a little wider. Sunset/La Brea is the ONLY part of town where a Denny's has gone out of business. Probably all the junkies that took seats and lived on coffee refills. You'll get hit up for money or mugged by rock-n-roll Ralphs/Consumers Liquor, beware. Cars get towed too, this is how the city makes most of it's money.

Yeah, it's still a sh*t-hole. But some of the new mixed-occupancy high-rise lofts and condo buildings are helping. If you don't want to hear bar noise, stay away from the major east-west streets: Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Melrose. The best area borders Hancock Park, west of La Brea and between Santa Monica/Melrose if you can afford it.

— Kelly Ho
September 12, 2009 at 12:18 p.m.

There is a dark underground to Hollywood that merits discussing. Many homeless people who were forced out of Skidrow now call Hollywood home. We will never truly make Hollywood a great place until we help more homeless people help themselves.

If you're mentally ill, addicted to various drugs, unstable, bipolar and un-medicated by a doctor it's hard to get off the streets.

If your family wants nothing to do with you and you've lost your friends you may never really recover from the homeless lifestyle and street culture. At least not until you find someone that cares and wants to provide some support.

It's sad to see the world class events that take place just blocks from the streets where people vomit, defecate and urinate on the pavement.

Only those of us that are sane, stable and with a roof over our heads will truly make a difference.

Start by befriending a homeless person and help feed them and feel like they are part of the human race.

— Carlos A.
September 5, 2009 at 10:12 a.m.

There is a certain folklore that you can only find in Hollywood. I have a friend who lives on Hollywood Blvd and Vista, and I love visiting. In fact, I'm in the process of looking for a place in this neighborhood. It offers the best of both worlds, famous touristy attractions like Hollywood and Highland, The Kodak and hopefully Cirque du Soleil soon, The Roosevelt Hotel which houses a mirror where supposedly "the ghost" of Marilyn Monroe appears. But also lots of local gems like Cafe Audrey on Hollywood Blvd and Las Palmas; Runyon Canyon is within walking distance. Some awesome Mexican Restaurants like El Coyote (infamous for being the place of Sharon Tates last meal) and El Compadre which IMHO serves the best Cadillac Margarita in LA, it's literally on fire when they bring it to you. I always get a good feeling when I am here, it feels like home. And I'm always sad when it's time to leave.

— Himbo
August 21, 2009 at 11:52 a.m.

I used to love living in Hollywood and now I can't wait to get out. I live near Sunset and Seward, the area is covered with graffitti and litter and in between those nice restaurants are some pretty run down buildings. The area is loud and the traffic is horrible due to the clubs and not to mention dangerous, the same day I got laid off from my job I had my car broken into, sure my apartment is next. Everybody is matter of fact about the crime, the police try their best but the neighborhood is a mess. I want OUT!

— Shawn
August 17, 2009 at 11:38 p.m.

I think the Police in Hollywood would have benefit a lot with having a meeting where they invite the people who live here to come for coffee. Or to bring coffee for the police.

My only experience with them is the numerous times I see them pulling over cars, I know it is for DUI - and it benefits us all getting those killers off the road, but it stressing me out. I believe a far lot of us would have called the police to help keep this hood clean if we knew who they were, what their policies are etc. It is pretty weird to have the streets swarming with cops all the time, however I wish to stress that I am very, very greatfull they are there.

But I have no idea who the officers are, what they look like - what kind of people they are. And that pretty much stops me from calling 911, or getting involved. The way I feel is pretty much like if I pull my seatbelt off on a red light to reach for my purse that is in the back seat, I will get pulled over. That freaks pretty much everybody out, now - we all benefit from cooperating with the police, there is so much weird things going on in august 2009, that we all have to look over our shoulders at all time - but I can´t help it - it would feel nice to know who you guys - who you guys are. And what your policies are. With Love!

— Mia
August 17, 2009 at 2:16 a.m.

Hollywood has emerged as a great place to live, party and play, but the recent surge of nightlife and tourist bring with it old nemesis: drug dealing and increase gang activities. If progress is going to be maintained the community has to work with the police and local government to keep the progress that has been gained over the years.

— Jerry Martinez
August 16, 2009 at 5:23 a.m.

I live on Sunset/ La Brea and I love my neighborhood. We have two Ralphs nearby, two StripClubs ( one nude, one topless ) we have great restaurants, and the crowd around here are a mix between families with kids and professionals. Professionals in both directions ;) Sunset Blvd is swarming with police ( in august 2009 we just had 40 new cops added to the neighborhood ) and I feel safe at daytime - at night I do not walk alone. Things have changed over here the last half year or so - I used to feel good about walking my dog alone after dark, but I don´t anymore - the homeless people in particular have turned much more aggressive the last half year. I guess since people in general have less money, then we give less to homeless people when the beg on the street, so I guess they are even more desperate than they used to be. It is hard to get used to see people living on the street, but the rent is affordable for now.

If you like great cafe´s, great people and great food - and an eclectic crowd, then this place is your home.

— Mia
August 15, 2009 at 6:44 p.m.

I lived at Ivar and Yucca for 23 years and loved the Ivar Farmer's Market, the proximity of many movie theaters (and even the legit Pantages and Henry Fonda), great restaurants like Joseph's Cafe, and the fact that there was action day and night. Our neighborhhod Watch, the Ivar Hawks, became famous as we cleaned up Central Hollywood and drove back the drug dealers that overwhelmed police in the early '90s. I lived in a bungalow complex owned by a gracious landlord, and stuck around long enough to see gentrification come to pass. But we never solved the liquor problem, as much as we fought it, and that one issue has helped 18th Street and other gangs hang on there long after they should have been pushed out. There is no wealthier area in terms of Hollywood history, and none more deserving of the special treatment it got from the NY Times Travel section in its article on the Hollywood Renaissance five or six years ago. I was proud they singled out my block of Ivar for special mention. I remember it fondly and well.

Joe Shea

Bradenton, Fla.

— Joe Shea
August 14, 2009 at 10:37 a.m.

Youth-centricly re-invented during the late 90's and early part of this decade, most of Hollywood is now surprisingly clean and walkable, like Manhattan with more tourists and fewer smelly sewers. The Sunday Farmer's Market on Selma is a neighborhood event and you can find every type of club/restaurant imaginable within a few blocks. As with any city, there are a couple areas to be avoided in this otherwise bustling urban enclave that has been dubbed 'New Downtown' by locals.

— Stephen
August 4, 2009 at 9:36 a.m.

I live on N. Fairfax, and I identify my neighborhood as West Hollywood or the bottom of the Sunset Strip. My neighborhood has lots of child-free, educated, professionals who are proud homeowners. Although I don't visit the bars on Sunset Strip anymore, I think it is a fun place to bring visitors. There are comedy stores, a movie theatre, restaurants, book shops, hotels, etc.

As for the neighborhood east of me, there are sections of Hollywood that are decent. A lot of it is just run-down though and filled with families who had too many kids and can't afford them.

— Aine
June 26, 2009 at 1:11 p.m.

Hollywood is a great place to live. You can walk everywhere, the people are nice and the weather is great. The schools, not so good, but they try.

— lizedgar323
June 13, 2009 at 3:19 p.m.

I live on Wilcox below Franklin Ave. And all I have to say about my neighborhood is that it's filled with gangsters (18th street and many others), drug dealers, and homeless people. Within 3 blocks of where I live there's a liquor, a market that sells alcohol, a CVS that sells alcohol, a 7-11 that sells alcohol, and 7 night clubs that serve as restaurants during the day that sell alcohol as well. In short: My neighborhood is filled with drunk gangsters and drug dealers, drunk wanna be actors and actresses. Everyone in my neighborhood is publicly drunk.

— Lisa
June 8, 2009 at 4:16 p.m.


is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Franklin Village, Little Armenia, Spaulding Square and Thai Town.
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About This Project
Hollywood is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.