Magazine article Sunset

Village Life: Posh Pacific Palisades Is a Small Town with Some Big Attractions

Magazine article Sunset

Village Life: Posh Pacific Palisades Is a Small Town with Some Big Attractions

Article excerpt

ALTHOUGH THEIR COMMUNITY sits snugly between Santa Monica and Malibu and is famous as a home to movie stars, what many residents in Pacific Palisades value most are its small-town ways.

That said, the Palisades isn't likely to be confused with Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. Main Street here is the fabled Sunset Boulevard, and this small town boasts a landmark built by one of the world's wealthiest men.

Much to the consternation of some, the Palisades's most famous destination, the Getty Villa, is typically described as being in Malibu--by a Google landslide. Once knocked for strangely dark spaces and odd flow patterns, the Villa has been reinvented after a $288 million renovation. Natural light now fills its galleries, washing over Venetian plaster walls painted in a brilliant, classical palette. As for the collection, with pieces dating back to 6500 B.C., the Getty Villa brings ancient worlds and cultures alive.

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Local life in the Palisades centers on a commercial area known as the Village. And it's here you get the feeling that for all its celebs and hillside estates with commanding ocean views, the Palisades is a bit of an anachronism, in the best sense of the word. People do seem to know one another, and they frequent the kinds of businesses that once anchored traditional neighborhoods: a sporting-goods store, a classic hardware store, and a small bookstore owned by someone who actually lives in the area.

In fact, it was the sense of community that first drew the owner of Village Books, Katie O'Laughlin, to the Palisades. …

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