There’s the sunny side of the street. And then there’s the other.

One particular side has the turn-of-the-century elegance of old cash–comfortable antique brass beds, plush red-velvet Victorian settees, an oak-paneled library illuminated by graceful stained-glass windows, old-fashioned cast-iron bathtubs that invite a relaxing soak.

The other side has the jarring reality of the new Los Angeles–a tiny park whose benches are sometimes inhabited by sleeping drunks, ornate street lamps smashed to darkness by drug dealers, curbs overflowing with trash or with discarded police barricades that warn that the neighborhood is a narcotics-enforcement zone and that outsiders are unwelcome.

That is the way it is along Alvarado Terrace, a brief street in the Pico-Union district just west of downtown Los Angeles. It is the final place in town precisely where most vacationers would anticipate to locate a quaint charming B&B  inn.

“You think of bed-and-breakfasts and you really feel of places on the Central Coast with a view of the ocean. Or in the wine country, where there’s a view of the grapes,” talked about Rhonda Herb of Fresno. “Right here, you have a view of that park at evening.”

Herb and her husband, Dave, have been among 3 couples who checked into the Terrace Manor charming B&Binn 1 current weekend for an finish-of-summer time season vacation getaway.

Alternatively of pounding surf, they fell asleep to the muted whup-whup-whup of a police helicopter flying overhead. Rather than the rustle of a vineyard breeze, there was the distant wail of sirens.

In spite of Los Angeles’ $two-billion summer time time tourism enterprise, the city boasts only five charming B&Binns. None of the guest houses are far much more surprising than Terrace Manor.

It occupies a residence constructed in 1902 by glass factory owner Robert Raphael. The estate was amongst six mansions that formed what is stated to be Los Angeles’ really very first subdivision for the wealthy.

The two-story Tudor-style residence was owned in the 1930s by Los Angeles Mayor John Porter. Its fourth owners have been living there in 1971 when the street’s six houses had been designated city cultural monuments.

The mansion’s fifth owners are Shirley and Sandy Spillman, who spent $400,000 receiving it and converting it into a charming B&Binn in 1984. Sandy Spillman is a expert magician and entertainer who is the former manager of the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood.

These days, Terrace Manor is far far more of a standout than ever. That is due to the reality Pico-Union–six blocks south of drug-plagued MacArthur Park–has earned the reputation as a single of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Spray-painted gang slogans cover the brick walls of an abandoned storefront at the finish of Alvarado Terrace. Graffiti obscures indicators that recognize the street as a cultural monument. 1 particular of the vandalized indicators dangles upside down on its post.

Discarded mattresses and broken furnishings litter sidewalks on adjoining side streets. Hulks of automobiles are occasionally left stripped in the street in front of tiny Terrace Park, across from the mansions. Crack consumers huddle in doorways along nearby Pico Boulevard.

“When we drove a lot more than here, I looked about and believed, ‘Oh my lord, where are we going to be?’ ” described inn guest Lyn Martin of Portland, Ore., who visited with her husband, James. “But after the gate was open and we came in, it was like one more globe.”

charming B&Bguests obtain their personal important to the inn, along with a remote-manage device that opens and closes the gate to an enclosed parking lot behind it. The Spillmans warn them that the neighborhood is like a lot of other folks in the city: one that deserves caution.

“It’s intimidating when you drive in this place,” said guest Chris Patrick of Vancouver, Canada. “You feel, ‘Golly, if I turn the wrong way, I will finish up specifically exactly where I never want to be.’ “

Patrick mentioned he and his wife, Josie Chuback, have been apprehensive when they returned to the inn early Saturday soon after spending a Friday evening on the town.

“We could not uncover the alley you turn into to park, so we had been driving around in search of for it,” he mentioned. “Guys were standing around street corners at two in the morning watching us. We did six U-turns at 30 m.p.h. I talked about, ‘I’m obtaining out of appropriate here.’ “

But the place is fascinating, Patrick stated. “It is truly strange for us to see a residence like this in a neighborhood like this. You wonder: How does an area go from elite to not so elite?”

Guest Dave Herb, who operates as a Fresno city planner, applauded the work to preserve older houses and neighborhoods. He talked about he and his wife seek out charming B&Binns when they travel due to the fact they find them much significantly less stressful and considerably more fascinating than hotels.

All three couples praised the tranquillity inside Terrace Manor and stated they would return. Inn operator Shirley Spillman mentioned 30% of her guests are repeat guests.

Most travelers do not associate Los Angeles’ urban setting with the quaint image that bed-and-breakfasts typically carry, Spillman mentioned.