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A Whimsical Day In LA

We recently read an article in which Ryan Gosling mentioned how much he likes magic and all things whimsical.  Did you know that he goes to both The Magic Castle and Disneyland alone...often?  Since we’re planning to marry him one day, we figured we should get into the things he’s into, so we did a little research and compiled a list of ‘magical’ places in LA.  Even those who have no interest in acquiring Ryan Gosling as a life partner will enjoy discovering these quirky, under-the-radar spots mixed in amongst the palm trees and silicone. 

History for Hire in North Hollywood

We’re really letting the cat out of the bag on this one. History for Hire is one of our favorite places in all of LA.  It’s packed with costumes (we’re talking Spartan hats and 19th-century cop uniforms), vintage instruments and TVs, props used in war films, and more.  Note: This is a really fun, outside-of-the-box date spot (call us, Ryan). 

Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City

Portrait of a Bookstore is hidden by the Aroma Café in Studio City, but it should never be overlooked.  If you’re a girl who loved storybooks, get ready to step into one. This bookstore is more like a tiny shop full of knickknacks than a Barnes and Noble, and that’s a great thing. Go in the morning when Aroma is less busy, as one of the best things about this place is that it’s a bookstore you can eat in! 

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills

If Versailles had a love child with Cinderella’s mansion, Greystone Mansion would be it.  The grounds are beautiful if...confusing. The best part of a trip to Greystone Mansion, however, isn’t the exploring, it’s the ability to have a picnic somewhere that feels like you’re in Europe.  Take a basket and enjoy the view -- it’s the perfect 2-hour staycation.  (P.S. This is not to be confused with the new SBE version on La Cienega which, we're guessing, will only be magical after about ten cocktails.)

Movie World in Burbank

Movie World is like walking into a hoarder’s house (minus the cats). There are new and old posters, biographies, and back issues of magazines and newspapers. If you’re wondering how far back, we’re talking the 1920s.  The guy who runs the place knows everything. If you ask for a book he doesn’t reference a computer. It’s completely old-school and packed with charm. If the gateway to Narnia exists, it’s probably here in the back somewhere. Note: This is the perfect place to find original gifts for the movie fanatic in your life.

Storybook Architecture

If you’re looking for a quick drive-by of whimsy, try checking out some of the Storybook architecture around town. For instance, in Beverly Hills sits an LA landmark called “The Witch’s House,” and at 3819 Dunn Drive in Culver City you can find a group of houses LA locals have come to call the “Hobbit Houses.” Keep in mind that while you can admire the outside of these residences, they’re not open to the public (and yes, you will get arrested if you try to give yourself a private tour).  

written by Jessica Blackwell 

Nov 02, 2011 - 08:54 AM

cheap activities, ryan gosling