The soft lilt of a saxophone purrs from a storefront. Excited chatter streams from a coffee house. The savory aroma of barbecue wafts into the steamy noontime air. Welcome to Leimert (luh-MERT) Park, the cultural hub of LA’s African-American community.
About 2.5 miles west of Exposition Park, the mostly residential neighborhood was designed by the Olmsted brothers of New York Central Park fame, and was nicknamed ‘the black Greenwich Village’ by filmmaker and local resident John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood). Here, bongo freaks gather in the park for Sunday-afternoon drum circles. Nearby, the World Stage is a destination for jazz aficionados. Check out the Sankofa Passage (Leimert Park’s walk of fame), paying homage to local figures such as LA jazz legends Horace Tapscott, Dexter Gordon and Buddy Collette.