Sorry, Pacific: Silver Lake Could Be LA's Next Hot Beach

A sandy plan for the reservoir has people talking (and buying suntan oil).

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014  |  Updated 8:26 PM PDT
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As the DWP phases out above-ground reservoirs, some residents in Silver Lake have a plan to transform the one in their neighborhood. Kim Baldonado reports from Silver Lake for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.

Kim Baldonado

As the DWP phases out above-ground reservoirs, some residents in Silver Lake have a plan to transform the one in their neighborhood. Kim Baldonado reports from Silver Lake for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.

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Disaster movies have long played with the location of our city's set-in-sand beachfront, from moving water a little inland (hello, "Sharknado") to basically sinking a large swath of the Golden State in one fell swoop (we're looking at you, "2012").

But local residents living outside of the movie universe, say in Silver Lake, have never actually believed that they could walk out their front doors and step into warm sand, sand that fronts a beachy-type shoreline.

That might all change if an enthusiastic collective called Swim Silver Lake has its way. Curbed LA reports that the group is proposing that a "mini-beach" be built at the Silver Lake Reservoir, and that swimmers may be free to backstroke to their damp content.

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Swim Silver Lake "is a coalition of neighborhood residents, business owners, friends and Angelenos who all dream of swimming in the Silver Lake Reservoir!" We love a good neighborhood coalition, don't you? Get things done.

It's being called, with much cheek, "Hipster Beach." Are you surprised that a merry moniker has already been applied to the not-yet-realized dream? Nope. You are not.

What's to happen with the bodies of water, which consist of the cheek-by-jowl Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs, has been under much community discussion, with the people behind Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy serving as some of the more proactive advocates on the topic. An underground reservoir at Griffith Park is set to take over for Silver Lake, which translates into many people asking "what's next?" for the historic stretch of wet sandwiched between Silver Lake Drive and Silver Lake Boulevard.

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Silver Lake 2020 is campaign for positive change at the reservoir, and many ideas are afoot, including the attractive and pedestrian-friendly Ivanhoe Esplanade. Ways to "enhance wildlife" in the area are also on the table.

While movie disaster scenarios are fine big-screen fantasy, changing up our beachfront and nature experience at the Silver Lake Reservoir is something that must be done in the real world. It looks like community groups and neighborhood-loving dreamers are doing just fine as they figure out what's ahead for one of the east side's favorite peaceful places.

Whether we'll all be rocking our bikinis there, down the road, remains to be seen.

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