Interview: Silver Lake Resident Betsy Hall

Betsy Hall is a long-time Silver Lake resident, neighborhood businesswoman and the owner of www.silverlakestar.com

Fresh water gushed into the Silver Lake reservoir, as Betsy pointed out the window waving her hands in front of her face as if she were a magician. She playfully told me a story of how as a child she swung from the avocado tree. I knew this was going to be a good interview before I pressed play on my recorder.

Glenn
It sure is a breathtaking view from the back of your house. Tell me, how long have you lived here?

Betsy
I moved here in 1967.

G
You were born here?

B
I was born in Glendale and raised in Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

G
This is the house you’ve been in since you were a little girl.

B
Yes, I also lived in Redlands, Texas and Europe. My husband and I raised our three sons in my grandparents’ home in Los Feliz. Grandpa Cleminshaw was the Director of the Observatory. He retired when man when to the moon.

G
Why did you decide to stay in the area?

B
No place else I’d rather live.

G
Yeah, there’s no place else I’d rather live either. I moved here twelve years ago and haven’t left.

B
Where did you move from?

G
South Florida.  So, I did notice you’re involved in several community blogs and websites. Before we dive into that, what is it you do for yourself professionally?

B
I help organizations and individuals with marketing. I work mostly with the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce, Realtors and healthcare professionals, and I helped start a new worshipping movement in Los Feliz called Beautiful Gate.

G
That’s right. I saw the newsletter about the church.  That’s very exciting. What’s happening there? What’s new?

B
They are culture shifters. One of the things they did recently is have what we would call a breakdancing contest. Pastor Sam Theophylus shared how God is the creator and we’re all creators. We’re all here to change culture. This was a very positive experience for about 100 people from the B-boy culture, from multiple countries, who usually don’t hang out with churchgoers.

G
How cool is that. Tell me where do you like to have dinner in Silver Lake or wander to when you’re in the village.

B
When I’m not entertaining people here at this view, I generally meet friends for drinks at El Caserio. It’s a South American restaurant, gallery and garden patios at the 101 exit on Silver Lake Blvd. Most people tell me they didn’t even know it was here. It has a lot of different flavors. The owners are a lot of fun and they have a great sense of humor and it comes across in the way they decorate.

G
What are your thoughts on the community, and how it’s changed over the last fifteen years?

B
I don’t think I notice the change very much, maybe because I’m here day to day. What I’m grateful for is that as new business is coming into town, they do tend to be small franchises or mom and pop. They aren’t large cooperate and I think, at least in part, it’s very intentional. Take Gareth Kantner who owns Café Stella. Starbucks wanted to move into a space he owns, and he said no and leased the spot to Intelligentsia.

G
That’s interesting I didn’t know that.

B
I think it’s a high value in this community to be an individual and be creative. And that carries out in the way people do business, the way people have relationships, and the way people create community groups.