The Name Game: Inside the Movement to Name 90048 “Beverly Village”
Los Angeles has 272 neighborhoods. If Tara Riceberg has her way, it’s about to get one more. Riceberg, the owner of Tweak gift shop on Beverly Boulevard (a Best of LA 2013 Winner) has started a movement, along with Natalie Compagno, who owns the nearby store Traveler’s Bookcase, to rebrand the 90048 zip code—which sits south of West Hollywood and north of Carthay Circle between La Cienega Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue—as Beverly Village.
Riceberg says the idea to come up with a name for the area, which is part of Beverly Grove according to the Los Angeles Times’ map project, came to her when the KTLA Morning News profiled her shop and mislabeled its location as West Hollywood. “When people who live in this area are asked where they live, they give the closest intersection, because there isn’t another good way to describe it,” she says. “But why would you want to be that specific? Not having a neighborhood name makes it hard to feel a connection to the community.”
After hitting the records and learning that the area was described in old phone books as Central Los Angeles, Riceberg decided a brand new name was in order, and, inspired by Greenwich Village in New York, settled on Beverly Village. “The people who live here are creative types, and the shops and restaurants are small and independent, “ she says, “it’s a village around here. That’s the vibe—and that’s what this community is all about. Giving this neighborhood a name will increase home values, give businesses a better way to market themselves, and bring residents together.”
To get things moving, Riceberg has connected with her city councilman, spoken with the Los Angeles County commissioners, and set up a petition (which residents of 90048 can sign by stopping into Tweak or Traveler’s Bookcase). “We have about 100 signatures and just started gathering them this week,” she says. “The response has been: ‘Finally!’”