Where is Silver Lake?

Since the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted Wednesday night to declare  itself not part of the Eastside, where is it located.  A scan of Twitter and blog comments found a variety of alternative names:

Let’s see if the Silver Lake council will take a vote on these.


  1. Any native Angeleno will tell you — it’s on the eastside. It’s east of Mid City / Mid Wilshire which is the middle of the city (duh!).

    DTLA is on the eastside as well — let me get that out of the way before the geographically challenged chime in.

  2. (A repost from the other comment section) I am so glad that this issue has been resolved I can finally sleep at night. I live in Silver Lake (or is it Silverlake). So now maybe those members if the Silver Lake council can deal with some issues that aren’t as important, I can think of two off the top of my head. maybe our beloved council can do something about the horrible traffic on Rowena Ave? if that is to small of an issue maybe they can do something about the out of control developers who’s construction workers have physically attacked Silver Lake residents? But thank god we have the whole are we part of the east side name thing dealt with?

  3. Kudos for the Council for tackling the urgent and pressing issue head on. Now that we have this out of the way, now it is time to tackle the next misconception about “Silver Lake”. You see, there is not an actual lake in Silver Lake. And if you want to call a reservoir a lake, it certainly isn’t silver. Calling a place Silver Lake that is not silver and does not have a lake gives visitors and residents a misconception. We must work to rename our fair town, “Chain Link Reservoir” so that it is an accurate description of our town and we don’t cause anymore confusion.

    • Echo Park resident

      Calling Silver Lake “Silver Lake” is offensive and ignorant to the actual silver lakes in Los Angeles!

      • My children are confused. They learned the difference between lakes, reservoirs, bays, rivers, oceans, etc, and they don’t understand that “Silver Lake” is actually a black reservoir. Think of the children!

    • A neighborhood council declaration is about as useful as one of those big fake keys mayors give out as “keys to the city”.

      Now that we know this, let’s get back to our day on the eastside, Silver Lake.

    • Actually, Silver Lake is a real lake. There was water there long, long before it was ever exploited as a place to store drinking water. It had ingress of water, I believe possible from an underground spring, but not positive about that. Not sure about egress of water. Maybe it was a pond rather than a lake, but it was natural water, although not a lot of it.

      I’ve seen pictures of it from when the first house was being built around it, long before it was even considered for reservoir use.

  4. Any native Angeleno will tell you that Silver Lake is NOT on the Eastside.

    Let’s take an informal poll here. How long have you been in L.A. and where do you think the Eastside is? What area would you consider Boyle Heights in? Note, it’s NOT East LA. East LA is its own area.

    • Been here 33 1/2 years. I’ve lived in every part of LA. Silver Lake is on the eastside — so is Boyle Heights. So is EasLos. So is Atwater Village. It’s all on the eastern part of our city. Anyone who lives in Mid City or on the Westside will refer to Silver Lake, Downtown, Echo Park, Highland Park as “the eastside” of town.

      I moved from the Westside to the Eastside 5 years ago. I live in Echo Park and I hang out mostly on the eastside of town (Highland Park, Downtown, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights.) Its all east — east of the middle of the city is east no matter how you slice it up. The dead center of our city is Somewhere between Fairfax and LaBrea. You can’t change that.

      • Cool, I’ve been here for 32 1/2 years. My family lived in Echo Park and South LA since the 1930’s. I grew up in East LA. If you look at history, the area East of the L.A. River has ALWAYS been considered the eastside.

        Boyle Heights and Silver Lake cannot both be on the eastside. There is a little place called Downtown in between. Also, Highland Park is very clearly part of NELA.

        You can’t change history. Eastside is east of the river. There’s a very prominent historical dividing line.

        • Echo Park resident


          East of the LA River = East LA
          An area “east” of Hollywood = Eastside (of Metro LA)

          • Wrong.

            East LA is definitely East of the L.A. river but so is Boyle Heights. BOTH are part of the eastside.

            An area east of Hollywood … hahaha like Hollywood is the center of the city.

        • So by your logic the 16 miles west of Downtown is considered the westside…. and the eastside extends 4 miles tot he east until it reaches Alhambra?

          Makes zero sense.

          And guess what… “North East LA” is EAST! Just like South West is the westside (Marina Del Rey).

          I guess those South LA and East LA schools didn’t teach geography or the culture of LA.

          • I never said that. Most of that is Central Los Angeles. I’m not from the westside so I don’t know enough about it to determine where that border starts.

            East of the L.A. river until Monterey Park is the Eastside.

            North East LA is its own area with its own vibe. NELA

        • But people change history all the time. History is the product of people telling stories, not ineluctable fact. And native Angelenos in this very thread who have lived in this city longer than you are contradicting you. Moreover, any number of sources are contradictory on this subject, as Cris pointed out above:



          The more likely case is, people have for decades used very similar language to refer to three different areas: east LA proper, “the Eastside” neighborhood identified in the Wikipedia article above, and the “east side” of Los Angeles, as identified in the map above.

          Same words, different places. Almost everyone is right. Same way “orange” can mean a fruit, a color, a telecom company, or the crappy county south of LA.

    • 7 years
      San Bernardino is the east side

    • The Eastside Starts From The LA River There Is East And West Silverlake Is The Mid East L A . Been Liveing IOn The Eastside 42 Years And Echo Park @ Silverlake Never Was The Eastside . Its The Newbees Think It Is”

      • Actually, it’s everyone west of the 101 that thinks it is. Or west of La Brea. Or west of Fairfax. Or west of the 405. The great majority of LA thinks of Echo Park and Silver Lake as the “east side” of LA.

        It has nothing to do with “newbies”. My in-laws, who live in the canyons, are native Angelenos in their eighties and consider Echo Park and Silver Lake to be “east side” neighborhoods. The “newbie” red herring is what people tell themselves to try to delegitimize perfectly valid points of view that differ from their own.

        The only people who truly struggle with this eastside/east side distinction are those who lived part of their lives in Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, El Serreno, or adjacent. Because they are used to their *neighborhood* being called the Eastside (typically one word).

        This is all very typical linguistic misrecognition as a result of overlapping lexicons and homophonous regional identifiers.

    • It is unfortunate that people like yourself from the true “Eastside” are so wrapped up in stupid labels regarding neighborhoods. Why not work to make your neighborhood better? Why not spend your time arguing a worthy cause?You only make locals to your neighborhood look like a bunch of stray dogs walking around peeing on everything and not worrying about the lack of resources your community receives from the city. Stop acting like a two year old crying over what someone else calls your ‘hood and start looking towards making it a great place to live for you and your neighbors, but wait, making your neighborhood nice would be only gentrifying it. The white devils would then move in and only make you more angry. I guess keep screaming on the internet how SIlver Lake, a neighborhood east of mid city, is not the “true” Eastside.

      • Animal…. YES!! thank you. Best comment I’ve read on this whole issue.

      • Might I remind you it was SL residents who brought this issue to the NHC.. The only ones looking like whining children are the SL residents calling others communities dogs and talking trash because your own NHC decided to bring up the topic. It’s not like the BH/LHTS/ESR NHCs asked SL to do this, they did it on their own.
        Stay classy SL.

        • Actually, it was not Silver Lake that brought it up. It was a motion set forth by the husband of one of the NHC members who is from El Sereno. Most people outside of the actual “Eastside” could care less and will probably continue to refer to where they live as the eastside when talking to someone who is unfamiliar with the area, because looking at a map, it is on the more east than west side of LA. I can’t help that our local neighborhood council is embarrassing.

          • From ESR but currently lives in SL. This was brought up by a current SL resident and decided by the SLNHC, no other organizations made this happen.

            The I argument that “I call this the east side because from looking at the map its relatively east”, and the argument that well “we need a description of our neighborhood in order to explain it to outsiders” can both be addressed with history.

            The Cities center has been and always be Downtown, as LA grew it took an odd shape, but that doesn’t mean the nucleus of the city shifts in order to accommodate someone sense of symmetry. History is History DTLA is the center of LA, DTLA is the epicenter of the cities growth. Just because the city grew in an asymmetrical fashion does not mean that its center gets moved. In fact LA has such an odd shape that one really couldn’t re-assign a new true center. SO we stick with our historical center.

            And if you really need a secondary term to call the SL/LF/EP area then once again look to history because there has been one for part 100 years, its called Edendale. All throughout LA’s history the Eastside and Edendale have always been 2 separate areas, and they always will be.

            Does that solve your desire for an easy way to explain to outsiders where SL is? no, but then again who cares. We don’t change our history and adjust the neighborhoods for the benefit of those who don’t know LA. There are plenty of landmarks you can use to located SL. If someone doesn’t know where Dodger Stadium, the 101 freeway or the Hollywood sign is in relation to the rest of the city so what, they’ll have to learn, were not going to change our history just for the ease of explanation.

          • Thank you for the history lesson but it is not going to change the way thousands of people describe the l

          • My comment got posted before I was done but guess what? I don’t really care. I almost feel dumber for engaging this argument.

          • I honestly think that if you say you live in Silver Lake, people will know where that is by now. They have heard of it. It’s not the EastSide, it’s Silver Lake.

            Start calling the area Edendale to continue with history, or start something new like Park Side, Griffith Park adjacent, or whatever else you want. As long as it’s not taking something away from a different historical area.

          • …certainly wouldn’t call Silver Lake EAST LA. But that’s not the conclusion here. Silver Lake is “east side” East LA is well a sh*thole.

          • Grahm Wellington, you are an ignorant douche. All your previously posted comments make so much sense now.

            Silver Lake isn’t East Side and it’s not the Eastside. You’re wrong, end of story. East LA is not a sh*thole you clown. Go back to whatever hillbilly town you crawled out of.

          • Well, Angeleno. Since I grew up in East LA, from your assertion East LA is a hillbilly town and a sh*thole.

            You have nowhere to go with your argument so you start calling people names? Brilliant tactic! What are you 5?

          • Actually 6, but you were close.

            So you grew up in East LA and refer to it as a sh*thole? That’s nice. Too bad you’re wrong, it’s not, and what does that say about you? I grew up there too and have many ties to wonderful communities there.

            I’m tired of people on this site talking so much trash about the Eastside. Calling it third world and saying it’s a sh*thole.

            My argument is simple, the eastside is not silver lake and it’s a great place. Regardless of what White Los Angeles thinks of it.

          • Yes. Grew up there and couldn’t get away from the gun shots, tagging, stray dogs on the streets, trash everywhere, sofas in the front yards, cars on blocks, mariachi music blasting from cars and unkempt houses… should I go on?

            Moved on to a better place as soon as I could afford it. To be nostalgic about a sh*thole just because I came from there? Well that’s just plane old dumb.

  5. I know it won’t change anyone’s mind, but here’s an article from Jill Stewart (whatever you think of her) in *1994* talking about this issue:


  6. Only logical since Westwood Village is just a hop, skip and a jump down the street

  7. This just in………… yawn!

  8. Echo Park resident

    Seems like a good time to let everyone know that neighborhood council elections for Silver Lake and Echo Park are coming up in a few weeks. Candidates have until, I believe, the end of this month to register to run. If you want to see your NC tackle IMPORTANT issues that will directly affect the quality of life for all residents of your neighborhood and see this NIMBY White Devil type of attitude go away, you should run!

  9. I propose we establish a new area of town called “The Douche Side”.

    Congrats to Silver Lake, your neighborhood council has made you the founders!


  11. Mexico and the Native Americans had a council meeting last night and officially declared that to not disregard history, Silver Lake shall from now on be referred to as Mexico.

    • @Therealhistory

      When I last checked, nobody asked the Chumash and the Tongva natives if they wanted to be either Mexican OR American as well as if it was ok to declare their traditional lands as governed property of either country.

      I’m pretty sure they just wanted to “be” without Americans, Spaniards or Mexicans telling them how to live.

      But for the topic at hand:

      I’m a little more concerned with roads & sidewalks being properly maintained and if schools are being adequately funded than squabbles over Silver Lake’s geography.

      Silver Lake is a great neighborhood in Los Angeles and that’s good enough for me.

      • The Chumash and the Tongva natives had a meeting last night and they declared that to not disregard history, Silver Lake shall from now on be referred to as the land of our fathers. our fathers fathers and our fathers before them. Happy?

        • that takes too long to say. can we abbreviate to LOOFOFFAOFBT? or loof-off for short?

          i like to go to the loof-off dog park. But parking in loof-off is crazy. luckily they are adding a lot of loof-off bike lanes.

        • that takes too long to say. can we abbreviate to LOOFOFFAOFBT? or loof-off for short?

          i like to go to the loof-off dog park. But parking in loof-off is crazy. luckily they are adding a lot of loof-off bike lanes.

  12. What a waste of time and money. Who gives a shit. Also silver lake was never a real lake. That is a joke. There are no natural lakes around here and no “springs”. Silver lake is high ground. a spring would not be at this altitude. In the pre whitey days, water would run when it rained. Thats it.

  13. +1 for “embarrassed by my neighborhood council”

    No reasonable person could have expected an SLNC motion to settle this–just to fan the flames of the argument, like we’re seeing here on this comment board. I guess what they really wanted was to encourage more geographic tribalism. bummer.

    I voted for Dorit–in part based on some of her Eastsider comments about things like homelessness and anti-NIMBYism!–as well as several of the other SLNC members who approved this in the last SLNC election, but their campaigns at the time did NOT mention this pro-tribalism agenda. I’ll definitely be paying closer attention when the next election rolls around.

    For what it’s worth, the correct vote was neither for or against, but to abstain. First, it’s a waste of time and there’s got to be more important business than playing language police. Second, taking a position on either side is just going to rile people up–to what end?

    Please, SLNC, try to make some news for doing something real.

    • Underscoring the stupidity of this whole argument is the fact that even claimed 30+ year residents of Los Angeles can’t seem to agree on the boundaries, as evidenced by this comments section. Whatever the historical labels might have been, in modern-day LA parlance (and in my experience, this applies to both long-term residents and relative “newbies”), it seems that Hollywood has essentially become the dividing line between what people call “east side” and what they call “west side”. Using Downtown as a divider is silly…if that’s to be the case, then will someone please explain to me how MId City became Mid City even though it’s substantially west of Downtown?

      Perhaps we should all agree to abide by the ‘LA Times’ neighborhood map and call it a day.


      By their reckoning, “Eastside” (one word, note the distinction between that and the more general “east side”) is comprised ONLY of Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, El Sereno, and East LA. Montecito Heights, Glassell Park, Mt. Washington, Eagle Rock, Atwater Village, Highland Park, and Cypress Park are all “Northeast LA”; and basically everything west of (and including) Downtown between the 134/5 to the north, and the 10 to the south…all the way to the western edge of West Hollywood…is just “Central LA”, an area which of course encompasses Echo Park, Silverlake, Elysian Park and Valley, Los Feliz,, Hollywood, even Hollywood Hills, etc., etc.

      Frankly, i’m happy to say that i live in NELA (Glassell Park) as opposed to the Eastside, and for Silver Lake to go fuck off and be part of Central LA. If you Silver Lake neighborhood council folks prefer to associate yourselves with Hollywood than with those of us who live further east, then great…you go on and own that particularly swell distinction. It seems to suit you.

  14. east silver lake…west silver lake

  15. If this story interests you…

    Consider running for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council

    Complete Candidate Filing Information at: http://www.empowerla.org/slnc/

  16. Can I tell people I live in the area on the east side of Vermont and Santa Monica?

  17. Atwater Village , Welcome to Texas!

  18. Who cares? Let Silverlake be the first to claim NWLA and be done with it. The feeling is mutual and we won’t miss them.

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