Creative Director of Modern Vintage Today (MVT), Danna Takako, shows our beautiful city through her eyes. Whether you are looking for a family arcade or a nice place for a coffee and a book, Danna knows the best spots in town. Her knack for the city’s culture is eclectic and we enjoyed getting her unique take on our home city.
Family Arcade: www.yelp.com/biz/family-amusement-arcade-los-angeles
From the outside, you’d never expect the wonderlands that hide inside Family Arcade. Hands down, one of the best ways to spend a night and a lot of quarters in LA. The atmosphere is always amazing here with its awesome 80s decor and retro games. It’s also a good place to work out any pent up aggression - hence why I headed straight for the guns.
Cafe Dulce: www.cafedulce.co
Anytime I’m in Little Tokyo, Dulce is a must. Their menu is a lot to take in though, with concoctions like Green Tea Donuts, Fruity Pebbles Donut Holes, Spirulina Rotis, Spicy Korean Cheesesteak Baguettes. The cafe sits in the heart of Japanese Village Plaza, which is a world of its own, between the people watching, the live music (there’s occasionally a Japanese one-man-band performing), the little stores, the mochi ice cream and the gadgets. So much stimulus and randomness packed into a few city streets. It's lovely to sit at one of Dulce's tables with a Jasmine Tea Latte, and watch the Plaza unfold.
Skylight Books: www.skylightbooks.com
As a whole, I tend to prefer analogue formats to digital - but especially when it comes to literature and editorial. There’s nothing quite like being able to turn a page or touch a beautiful photo. I’m always on the lookout for interesting bookstores, and Skylight Books in Los Feliz is some kind of paradise. I could spend days flicking through their international magazine racks (one of my fave selections in the city) and shelves of rad graphic novels.
The Punchbowl: lapunchbowl.com
After spending more than I should at Skylight, I like to head to Punch Bowl to read and get my health on. All of their juices and smoothies are perfection, but I have a soft spot for their Ardent Greens juice and the glass bottle it comes in. The owners of this spot are fountains of knowledge about nutrients, supplements and crazy health secrets. As a new vegan, I could use any advice I can get about how to survive in a world full of temptations (ie. Spicy Korean Cheesesteaks and Fruity Pebble Donuts).
Flower District: www.laflowerdistrict.com
I head to the Fashion District as often as I can for inspiration and materials, and I love walking through the Flower District afterwards. It’s a feast for the senses, with floral art lining each storefront and wafts of scent with each step. You can buy just about anything flower or plant related here, ranging from elegant orchid arrangements to exotic indoor trees to flowers arranged in the shape of a dog. It’s an especially interesting place to me, because the neighborhood around it is pretty rough around the edges. It’s like this beautiful sanctuary dropped in the middle of raw chaos.
Shameless plug alert...but sitting behind the MVT counter is one of my favorites places to be. I work as Creative Director alongside my partner, Mary O. Everyday is an adventure at MVT. There are always interesting people and conversations floating in and out of our glass doors. And we’re lucky to be in good company - our Hel-Mel (Heliotrope & Melrose) neighborhood is bustling with likeminded independent businesses.
We sell custom vintage and modern fashion, as well as reconstructed furniture. People often say the store itself feels like a daydream, which I think has a lot to do with the magic of vintage; each item has its own story. I love imagining where some of our extravagant pieces have been before, and where they’ll end up next.