Mapping LA Neighborhoods
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Tell us what Pico-Union means to you

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


Pico Union is a place to have fun everyone is outside and there is always something to do its 2 blocks from staples center home of the Lakers!!!!! ALBANY and 11 St!

— Leo Pena
May 11, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.

I grew up on the 11st street of pico union i know i live in a ghetto but you know i gotta love that hood ;

the salvation army is the spot

— pancho villa
February 28, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.

Pico-Union is a Mideastside nieghborhood ( that straddles an old border. East of Hoover the streets are laid out diagonally, a relic of the city's Spanish past. West of Hoover they shift 45 degrees, as Midtown was developed in the 1920s long after the US had taken over the city.

As with its Little Central America neighbor, Westlake, the majority of inhabitants are refugees and the descendants of refugees from Central American conflicts inflamed by the US in the '70s and '80s in the name of anti-Communism.

The area used to be known as Greektown and was home to many Greek-American merchants who worked downtown. There's still a Greek festival, church and market.

As a formerly wealthy neighborhood, there are many beautiful old homes in Pico-Union. Their original inhabitants left long ago and the old homes were usually subdivided to fit more, poorer residents. Nowadays Pico-Union is one of the poorest neighborhoods in LA but one with a lot of history, past, potential and heart.

— Eric Brightwell
November 22, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.

I live in cross street's of Olympic & albany. a beautiful place to live 2 blocks away from all entertainment LA LIVE a place to be with friend's and family. A secured place to walk late at night due to LAPD patrol.

— Robert Palacio
November 10, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.

pico-union!! a place known for drugs and violence in early 90s have recoverd over time and years due to dedication from LAPD and Convention cntr/La Live. And now we welcome a stadium soon!! Pico/union the best place to live and party.

— anthony
November 10, 2011 at 5:52 p.m.

Born and raised on Constance St in 1965, one block over from the intersection of Pico and Union. Attended Magnolia Elementary and Berendo Junior High. Parents still live there afrer alomst 50 years. Gotta love those old big houses - my dad's is three stories tall above ground (basement, two floors and an attic). My kids love going overwalking around this place. I used to gaze out at the sky scrapers in downtown LA out of my second story window when I was kid. Last weekend when i was there I had a great view of the Ritz Carlton hotel. Area was great to grow up in. Playing in the water fountain in front of the LA Convention Center, playing football games on their front lawn before being chased out by security, catching a movie at the old movie houses on Broadway..... Good times!! I love LA!

— Cookie Monster
September 27, 2011 at 8:46 p.m.

Im glad im not from pico union no more,I live so many years in that garbage town.I move when I was 16 from valencia, and move far from their,for a better place!now im 30 I have a good life

like money,education,future a really sucesful person in life,I think if I would never not move from their,I think I would never have what I have now,like power!!!

— Richard Q
September 14, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.

i love la, want to live in la, wanna come again,

— love la
August 6, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.

I don't care where the borders are except when they're tied to data. Living at the interesction of Pico-Union & Westlake & Koreatown gave me a window into a world that I treasure. I grew up speaking Korean, Spanish and English because these were the languages of my friends and family. I feel just as comfortabe around the grittyness of my old neighborhood as the I do in the whitewashed world of quaint uberhipness that surrounds it. Nonetheless, I moved out of Los Angeles. There's something about the struggle of life here that makes you want to escape no matter how much you love it. Paradoxically, for many, the esacpe was into Pico-Union from Korea, Mexico and Central America.

— Charlie
April 2, 2011 at 8:52 a.m.

I grew up in this area from 1968-1981. Very little crime at that time, and a great community to live in. I now live on the east coast, and love coming back home to LA. The skyline from my house is great, and I can still see the Hollywood sign from my house. I am glad my brother still lives there so I can come home to visit this great city call Los Angeles.

— VT
October 31, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.

I moved to the Pico-Union area at age 14. I was scared at first because during the first week there were car accidents every other day. But I got used to it after that. Not to mention that Washington and Union is an area prone to accidents. I'm 20 now and in college so I visit once in awhile. It truly is a nice neighborhood. Close to downtown and everything. Not to mention that PSYCHO REALM were from that area too :D

— LA chik
October 2, 2010 at 1:15 p.m.

I love PICO UNION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— yoshi
April 14, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.

Although at times it was hard to see the stuggle of my neighbors lives, living most of my life in Pico-Union is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. From buying groceries at Best Buy on Pico and Magnolia, to buying pan at the local bakery on Pico and Arapahoe. Living that close to the L.A. skyline is what it's all about. I Love L.A. and Pico-Union is as L.A. as it gets.

— -Los
March 24, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.

born and raised. 11th and westlake. from 78 till. from all the parties to all the murders nowhere else i would rather live. puro los angeles!

— cahimbon
March 23, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

What can I SAY I LOVE L.A. I was born and raise in PICO UNION west 12th place and proud of it the best Barrio i ever grew up in. Never gonna forget where I came from.THE CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS!

— michael
December 10, 2009 at 1:58 p.m.


November 28, 2009 at 4:49 a.m.

I grew up and lived in Pico-Union from 1976-1993. I moved to the east coast, and I just visited after 16 years. Seeing my old neighborhood was bittersweet. I will always be proud of where I grew up and Pico-Union will aways be in my heart.

— Miss my city
October 16, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

the boundary map the Times shows seems to be the Pico-Union neighborhood council map.

— M
September 11, 2009 at 2:02 p.m.

Pico-Union is a great place to live. We have Mexican and Central American restaurants, bakeries and other businesses. It is a working class neighborhood and the people are happy. It is located just west of the Convention Center, near downtown and the new LA Live. I love LA!

— Bruce Craig
September 2, 2009 at 12:46 p.m.

The area between Vermont and Western is undoubtedly Koreatown. It's the center of it, let alone not Pico Union.

— kla
August 23, 2009 at 11:15 a.m.

Pico-Union came about in the early 1970's when the Pico-Union Area I and Area II redevelopment was adopted. Councilman Cunningham, on the request of the Mayor's Advisory Committee(later became the Project Area Committee) had the community ID signs "Pico-Union" put up at the boundaries of the neighborhood. You should not be able to see any sign outside of the area bounded by Olympic Blvd., Harbor Freeway, Santa Monica Freeway, Hoover Ave. See the Pico Union Self-Guided Walking Tour, published in 2009 by the Los Angeles Conservancy and see the CRA's Pico Union development plan maps. Also,_Los_Angeles,_California

— Peter
June 30, 2009 at 9:08 a.m.

I am sorry but all these maps have been arbitrarily made by someone at the times with little knowledge of the neighborhoods. It is really disappointing because it makes me not really care to participate in what I am sure the Times thought would be a great way to give the paper a local feel and experience and increase readership and involvement, but what it does, is just show once again how little the times knows its own readers. But hey, I am only a LA native with 30 plus years of local knowledge, what do I know?

— rick
June 25, 2009 at 8:12 p.m.

as a property owner in the area since 1939 I have always known the western boundary of Pico Union as Alvarado. The neighborhood west of Alverado is known as 'Pico Heights'. The old businesses on Pico west of Alvarado such as the Empire Theater, National Hardware, Carty Bros. Market and our Post Office which was Zone 6 was all in Pico Heights.

— bob
June 15, 2009 at 5:36 p.m.

To Jesus:

The City didn't make a mistake...the Times did...

— Philip
June 4, 2009 at 10:36 p.m.

Just because Korean businesses are now operating south of Olympic on Vermont, doesn't mean Koreatown should expand... the northern boarder of Pico-Union has been and should continue to be Olympic and it is shown correctly here. The people living in the residential streets south of Olympic likely refer to themselves as living in Pico-Union even if the tofu place on Vermont has Korean signs. However, the western boundary shown here is clearly wrong. If you drive up from USC (as many students do to eat dinner), Vermont is clearly understood by everyone as the starting point for Koreatown. Vermont is a well established reference point for Koreatown so that is where Pico-Union should end.

— Irwin
June 4, 2009 at 11:15 a.m.

I agree with other commenters. Many of the newly updated maps are correct, but this one is still busted: Koreatown begins at Vermont and West Adams begins at Washington.

— Tommy
June 3, 2009 at 7:59 p.m.

The high school that was recently built on Washington Blvd and Vermont Avenue is called West Adams Prep. So either the city made a mistake or Pico Union should end at Washington Blvd to the south.

— Jesus
June 3, 2009 at 2:14 p.m.

I think the northern border of Pico-Union and Koreatown between Hoover and Normandie should be somewhere between Olympic and Pico. 11th street works. If you walked past Olympic on Vermont it is still pretty much Koreatown. The way this map is now means that places like Hodori and the Hannam Chain market are in Pico Union.

— Lopez
June 3, 2009 at 9:18 a.m.


is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County.
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About This Project
Pico-Union 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.