The first thing you might notice about Uptown Whittier is that it is someplace special. It's not picture perfect...but it has character.
When we moved to Uptown ten years ago, it was a diamond in the rough. So much potential. Since then, we have seen it grow and flourish. Most recently, the additions of interesting and well-run restaurants like Ravello and Greenleaf Thai (both on Greenleaf Avenue) have joined some of our longer-established favorites (such as The Rusty Monk, Seta, Bizarra Capital and Azabu). Uptown's uniqueness stems from the marriage of tried-and-true shops (Lovell's records) with fresh and innovative (Local Fixture).
" Uptown's uniqueness stems from the marriage of tried-and-true shops with fresh and innovative. "
The main shopping area is surrounded by neighborhoods featuring charming historic homes. I was not born and raised in Whittier and didn’t know it existed until I attended an event at the Red Cross building in 1999. I was immediately taken with the Central Park area, which looked like a movie set to me. I had not seen a place like it. Only a few years later, I became much better acquainted with Whittier and its historic neighborhoods. I came to learn about the challenges since the 1987 earthquake in saving some of the historic buildings. I have never understood reluctance to preserve the architecture that makes Whittier so unique. I am proud to own a 1921 Federal Revivial home in the Whittier Historic Neighborhood district.
Uptown is situated close to two resources that are popular with both residents and visitors alike. The Greenway Trail is a 4.5-mile pathway open to walkers, runners, and bicyclists. It features several “stations” or rest stops, each with its own theme, and the trail takes users through lushly landscaped areas, past Whittier’s first dog park, and over bridges crossing thoroughfares in and out of Uptown. The second resource adjacent to Uptown is the Whittier Hills with several hiking trails.
The City has several opportunities throughout the year to show off Uptown, including the annual Christmas parade and other holiday celebrations, car shows, farmers markets, art walks, zombie walks, and a well-attended Dia de los Muertos festival.
When you drive through Uptown, it is easy to imagine that you are in a small town, rather than Anytown U.S.A. among the urban sprawl complete with track housing and mini malls. It reminds you that Whittier was developed as its own distinct place with distinct character and a distinct history. There is something for everyone here and in a world that seems increasingly impersonal, Uptown can easily become a place "where everybody knows your name."
Contributed by: Maria Claver