The local's Guide for events,
places to go, and things to do.
EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
Michele Hunter
Mark Share
Matt Share
Josh Herz

By Eye Spy LA Editor


Downtown L.A. is an endlessly fasinating place to explore and it is easy to get to and get around thanks to improvements in public transportation over the last several years. You can get there via Metro Rail (Red, Blue, Gold and Purple all go there) and then get around on DASH (Note: DASH runs different routes week days and weekends) for 25 cents per ride. Even driving and parking there isn't too bad on a Sunday or a holiday. Once you're there hoof it (gasp! walk in L.A.?) YES! It is the best way to discover the things you'd never know about otherwise. Below you'll find some video clips from recent Eye Spy LA ventures downtown. Just click on the photos to play the videos.

For those of you who'd like to learn about particular aspects of L.A.'s history, architecture and development or would just prefer to take a guided exploration, you'll find some very unique and unusual tours on the Eye Spy LA Tours & Excursions page. These are not your typical "touristy" tours.

EYE SPY LA VIDEOS - get a preview of where you're going (click the images below to view the video)

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN L.A. - Grand Central Market, Angels Flight & the Bradbury Building. Take the Metro Red Line subway to Pershing Square and head to the 4th St. exit. You'll find Grand Central Market (I love this place) where you can enjoy a really big $2 taco or any other type of food you can think of. Plus Angels Flight - reopened as of March 15, 2010. And the Bradbury building, not much to look at from the outside, but inside... enjoy the video.

Union Station & El Pueblo Metro Trip - El Pueblo draws a crowd on a fine Sunday any time of the year. This is prime people watching whether from a bench in La Plaza, a cafe on Olvera Street or one of the wonderful (and original) waiting room seats in Union Station. You can get there from almost anywhere in L.A. via the Metro Red/Purple Line and Gold Line (both have stations within Union Station.) Then just walk across the street to El Pueblo where you'll find a raft of museums, street entertainment, colorful shopping and places to eat. Riding the Metro Red Line subway or Gold Line rail to get there is part of the fun and makes this trip an inexpensive day long outing.

Chinatown was relocated to its present day site (just a few blocks away) to make way for Union Station in 1939. The Chinese American Museum is located in the El Pueblo Historic Monument across the plaza from Olvera St. The new Chinatown is a short walk from La Plaza.

GOOD EATS in the area: Philippe The Original - serving up their famous dip sandwiches with 9 cent coffee since 1908. Located at 1001 N. Alameda Street, it is a short walk from Union Station, the Gold Line Chinatown station or El Pueblo. This historic eatery gets crowded at lunch, but the lines move fast and the sandwiches are worth it.

South Park Metro Trip - we had to check out LA Live! the pop culture sibling to the cultural arts Grand Ave. experience. LA Live, adjacent to Staples Center and the L.A. Convention Center, is the ultimate in product placement technology, think Blade Runner meets Downtown Disney. But there's lots of cool stuff to see strolling down Fig(ueroa) and riding the subway to get there is always fun.

Coming out of the 7th Street Metro Red Line station, head to the Figueroa exit - notice the mural above as you ascend the escalator. "Corporate Head" greets visitors to the office building at the corner across the street at what is now Ernst & Young Plaza (formerly Citicorp Plaza.) Look carefully this is part of the Poet's Walk and you'll find other art & poetry around this corner and inside on the plaza level. Then just keep on walking and looking ..... it's only about three blocks to Olympic & Fig where you'll find the new LA Live! entertainment complex and Nokia Plaza serving up high tech razzle dazzle.

Photos & video by Andrea Kirk

Current Events & Activities in Downtown Los Angeles.

More Information about Downtown Los Angeles:
Angels Walk - a self guided tour of Downtown L.A. -some of the information is slightly outdated, but overall a great tour of downtown.
ExperienceLA.com - transportation, maps and other information.
Map - google map of the area
downtownlawalks.com another good source of walking info, if a bit dated.
publicartinla.com - photos and details about public art projects.
You'll find Angels Walk stanchions around downtown with information about some of the historic places you are passing. Also find comprehensive stories about area landmarks from Floyd Bariscale who blogs one local landmark at a time on Big Orange Landmarks.

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