We'll be blunt: MacArthur Park looks like a scary place. The Westlake park has found itself in the middle of turf wars for decades now—a temporary drain of its lake in the '70s famously unearthed a trove of discarded knives and guns. Conditions have improved in recent years, as the renamed Levitt Pavilion now hosts summertime concerts while areas to the east have rapidly gentrified. It's the kind of place that every Angeleno should visit at least once—maybe not at night—to appreciate a sense of history so rarely found in LA. A haunting beauty pervades the park; the prominent Westlake Theatre marquee stands as a ghost of the neighborhood's glamorous past, when it was home to Art Deco mansions, luxury high rises and a Manhattan-esque atmosphere. At the very least, make a stop across the street at Langer's and take in the park's surroundings from the Wilshire Boulevard overpass that drives through it.
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