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Located at the eastern end of Hollywood and technically part of Los Angeles, these two communities have been rising steadily on the hipness meter. Silver Lake, named for the man-made Silver Lake Reservoir at its center, is a bohemian community of artists and ethnic families that's popular for nightclubbing and barhopping. Los Feliz is northwest of Silver Lake, centered on Vermont and Hillhurst avenues between Sunset and Los Feliz boulevards; it's slightly tamer and filled with 1920s and 1930s buildings. You'll find tons of unique businesses of all sorts, including artsy boutiques, music stores, and furniture dealers.

Because so many alternative bands call Silver Lake home, it's not surprising to find cutting-edge music stores around every corner. A neighborhood mainstay with lots of used CDs, collectible disks, and new releases is Rockaway Records, 2395 Glendale Blvd. (south of Silver Lake Blvd.; tel. 323/664-3232; www.rockaway.com).

Vintage clothing is another big draw in these parts. The most reliable yet eclectic selections to browse through are at Ozzie Dots, 4637 Hollywood Blvd. (west of Hillhurst Ave.; tel. 323/663-2867; www.ozziedots.com); Pull My Daisy, 3908 Sunset Blvd. (at Griffith Park Blvd.; tel. 323/663-0608; www.pullmydaisystore.com); and Squaresville, 1800 N. Vermont Ave. (south of Franklin Ave.; tel. 323/669-8464).

For those in the know, the Circle is that hidden jewel of a place where samples and overstock items including designer tops, pants, skirts and, on occasion, accessories can be found. You'll score items from independent designers including Rachel Pally, Magpie Rita, Harvey's, Mon Petit Oiseau, Alicia Lawhon, and Lockets at unbelievable prices. It's located at 2395 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake, within a minimall between Silver Lake Boulevard and Dean Street (tel. 323/665-5336; www.thecircleoutlet.com). It's open 7 days a week from noon to 7pm.

Rubbish, 1627 Silver Lake Blvd. (north of Sunset Blvd.; tel. 323/661-5575; www.rubbishinteriors.com), specializes in vintage furnishings. One not-to-be-missed highlight is the wacky and eclectic Soap Plant/Wacko/La Luz de Jesus Art Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd. (west of Hillhurst Ave.; tel. 323/666-7667), a three-in-one business with candles, art books, erotic toys, soap and bathing items, and a large selection of lava lamps. Local fixture Y-Que, 1770 N. Vermont Ave. (tel. 323/664-0021; www.yque.com), almost defies description, selling a variety of stuff ranging from a knockoff Austin Powers penis pump to psychedelic lava lamps to L.A. neighborhood T-shirts.

With a focus on small-production, high-quality, affordable wine from around the world, and a large selection of microbrew beer and sake, Silverlake Wine, 2395 Glendale Blvd. (tel. 323/662-9024; www.silverlakewine.com), is a great place to visit. Get your friends together and check out any one of their weekly tastings: Sunday at 3pm, Blue Monday from 5 to 9pm, and Thursday Night Flights from 5 to 9pm (call ahead to confirm times). Located in Sunset Junction (at the southeast corner of Sanborn Ave. and Sunset Blvd.), the Cheese Store of Silverlake, 3926-28 W. Sunset Blvd. (tel. 323/644-7511; www.cheesestoresl.com), sells fine cheeses, wines, and gourmet products such as Revival confections, Latini pastas, Agrumato flavored oils, and McQuade's chutneys. Next door is the West Coast's first Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, 3922 W Sunset Blvd. (tel. 323/663-6173; www.intelligentsiacoffee.com), where Mac-using hipsters convene for artfully poured lattes and Chemex-brewed, single-origin coffee.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.