I have just returned from one of my frequent visits to my home way from home, Los Angeles, California and was pleasantly surprised to discover Downtown Los Angeles, or as it is commonly known out there, DTLA. As a New Yorker, I see it as a combo of a little bit of Tribeca, Soho, the Lower East Side and Long Island City all mixed up together but with that spread out feeling that pervades in LA, i.e., lots of walking/ driving to get to the different sections.
I had traipsed downtown to have a meeting with my new website guru, Edwin Hermawan, of Alto Labs via Uber…yes, that is the latest and greatest way to scoot around LA when sans wheels! He has a really cool office in a quasi-industrial looking contemporary structure in the Arts District of DTLA. After a fruitful discussion about my new business, The Curated Manse...to be revealed to one and all in a future post…we hightailed it over to a coffee joint called Blue Bottle Coffee, a LA spot well known for it’s excellent coffee.
After a quick espresso, I joined my husband in search of a cool place to eat before we did the walk around the Arts District. We ended up at a delicious place called the Bread Lounge and, yes, they had outrageous bread to eat! Very low key in atmosphere with scrumptious fresh food, we both scraped our plates and then proceeded to purchase goodies to take home with us.
Unfortunately, I have to report there is also a MacDonalds downtown, but then where isn’t there one? Although this one is an architectural classic in appearance, with time perhaps this Mickey D’s will also upscale it’s menu and exterior to match what is going on in DTLA! What a fabulous thought that is…hmmmm.
DTLA is composed of many different areas, all which have been under gentrification for many years now. However, it is only within recent times that the area has become quite chic and in vogue. For years, abandoned buildings were retrofitted to provide inexpensive live/work studios for artists. There was always a large population of homeless and street people hanging out. And, needless to say, there were no destination restaurants.
Today, so many buildings have been converted into expensive lofts for sale or into new businesses and restaurants that it is hard to remember the old, rundown, lackluster downtown area. There are still several large buildings, but the majority of the area is packed with low rise converted factories and dwellings so that you do not get the density issue so commonplace here in NYC.
AND street art abounds! I tried to take pictures of some of my favorites as we drove around as I thought they were so interesting and inspiring.
There was a recent issue of Los Angeles Magazine that had a terrific rundown of 5 distinct areas of DTLA: The Historic Core, The Food Haven, The Arts District, The Financial District and The Dog Run. This is a great guide to checking out all of the hot spots and interesting sites as well as where to dine & wine and, obviously to walk your dog! If you are considering a jaunt downtown, I greatly suggest you should look up this issue on line.
I’ve only hit the Arts District in DTLA but trust me, I will be back for more!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!