LAist's "Neighborhood Project" feature included a report this past week on a part of Northeast LA that I'm not at all familiar with - I always assumed that was Highland Park - and found extremely interesting:
Once the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement in Los Angeles and a bohemian artists' colony, Garvanza is today one of Northeast LA's hidden treasures seeking to retain its turn of the century identity while creating a liveable neighborhood for the twenty-first century. Although many consider Garvanza to be just a part of Highland Park, this small and hilly area brimming with historic buildings has more than enough charm and character needed to stand out on its own. Named for the wild sweet peas (garbanzo beans) that used to grow on the hillsides, Garvanza itself is much like a hearty wildflower, blooming stubbornly amidst the dominant concreted landscape, unabashedly colorful and pleasantly surprising to discover.
Check out the whole story for plenty of photographs and maps and a reasonably complete history of the region.