Festival of Lights

Fairfax Avenue, which is referenced in the title of "Wilfair," is one of the great Los Angeles thoroughfares, long and busy and full of robust forward motion. And at its bustling heart, near Beverly Boulevard? A dozen delicious kosher bakeries and delis and stores that sell everything from candles to dreidels and fanciful menorahs.

The Fairfax District was the home of many of the city's early Jewish settlers, and it remains a vibrant neighborhood full of family-run shops and eateries. Pair this with a recent influx of skateboarder style-focused shops -- think sneakers and clothing and tomorrow's fashion -- and you have a truly remarkable couple of blocks between Beverly and Melrose Avenue.

Where is this area in relation to the oft-mentioned Wilshire and Fairfax (at least oft-mentioned here)? It's about a 20-minute walk north, or a much quicker drive. One of Monty Overbove's favorite indie movie theaters, the Silent Movie Theatre, is right in the heart of the Fairfax District.

Hanukkah is celebrated is many ways around the district, from famous Canter's Deli, which makes dee-lic-ious latkes (I have to go with both apple sauce and sour cream every single time, never just one or the other) to Farmers Market, which is visited in the first (and fourth) "Wilfair" books.

The large public market hosts one of LA's biggest Festival of Lights gatherings. The building of a giant, oh-so-colorful LEGO menorah -- that happens every year from scratch -- and Hanukkah bingo are two highlights.

If you wanted to swing by, we could meet at Canter's for a heaping dish of potato pancakes and some cheer this holiday week. Then over to Eilat Bakery for scrumptious challah or mousse cake, and down to Farmers Market to join the festival and add a LEGO or two.

Happy Hanukkah!

cr: Canter's Deli


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