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A DAY IN

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The Lush Land of Los Feliz

March 04, 2007|Jessica Gelt

The rich may live in Beverly Hills, but the boho-rich prefer Los Feliz, which often is associated with starving-artist types but actually is one of the most prosperous areas in the city. With Hollywood to the west and Griffith Park in the chaparral-covered hills to the north, the community once was part of the Spanish Rancho Los Feliz land grant. In 1882, Welsh emigre, gold-mine speculator and eventual wife-shooter Col. Griffith J. Griffith purchased the land. Fourteen years later, he gave 3,015 acres to the city for a park. The shady streets are said to have been laid out in 1910 by Beverly Hills landscape architect Wilbur Cook. Their fairy tale-like quality has aroused the imaginations of architects such as Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose 1924 Ennis House crowns Glendower Avenue.

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ONE THING TO DO

Cheers to a Crooning Couple

Get into the groove. You can't call yourself an Angeleno unless you've been to the classic, Old Hollywood-style Dresden Restaurant at least once to hear the legendary crooning of longtime lounge singers Marty and Elayne. The couple, who celebrated 25 years of singing at the Dresden last March, have grown almost twin-like over the years, with their expressive faces responding to timeworn punch lines in unison. Prepare to be bowled over by Elayne's increasingly frenzied electric keyboard solos and the crowd's equally frenzied response. 1760 N. Vermont Ave., (323) 665-4294.

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10: Age of Lucy, Skylight Books' "bookstore cat"

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EAT, DRINK

Hot Bites and

Greek Treats

Bar-food gourmands know that Ye Rustic Inn has the most heavenly hot wings. Speculation about how it accomplishes this culinary feat abounds, but one thing is certain: Walk into the dark, loud, shabby-chic saloon, and you'll see bleary-eyed patrons gnawing sauce-smothered wings at nearly every table. 1831 N. Hillhurst Ave., (323) 662-5757 . . . Microscopic El Greco, next door to the Los Feliz 3 cinema and across the street from the overrated Fred 62 (where the busboys' shirts say "Jesus is Our Dishwasher"), makes tasty chicken gyros, fresh Greek salads and garlic-Swiss cheese-mushroom burgers. Best of all: They deliver until midnight seven days a week. 1824 N. Vermont Ave., (323) 662-3431.

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SHOP, DROP

Service as It Used to Be

Eighteen-year-old Jerry's Video Reruns is the labor of love of cinephile Jerry Neeley, who stocks more than 30,000 titles. In the age of Netflix, the place lacks a computer filing system; customer accounts are kept in Manila envelopes in a cabinet. The personal touch is priceless. 1904 N. Hillhurst Ave., (323) 666-7471 . . . Y-Que Trading Post makes and sells quirky T-shirts, the most famous of which deal with so-called celebrity victims (a "Free Winona" T-shirt, anyone?). There's also a lot of "cultural pulp," including mesh trucker caps and "ruffle butt" panties. 1770 N. Vermont Ave., (323) 664-0021.

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Filmed on Location: The carnival scene at the end of the 1978 musical "Grease" was filmed on the football field at John Marshall High School on Tracy Street. Things get hot and heavy when Olivia Newton-John uses a tight-black-leather-pants makeover to win John Travolta's heart. If the wind blows just right, you might still hear strains of the song that made it famous: "You're the one that I want . . . ooooohhh, ooohhhh, ooohhhh."

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