Los Angeles was surprisingly urbane, despite its reputation as a monstrosity consisting of nothing but endless mind-numbing expressways. Sure, the omnipresent highways did dominate the landscape and we did spend much time on the road during our Los Angeles Trip in last July; however, the metropolis turned out to be surprisingly sophisticated and even inviting, and hopefully the trend would continue.
Even when we were on the road, we enjoyed some wonderful views of the urbane Los Angeles, near downtown and beyond.
Convention Center, Downtown
in Los Angeles, mass transit was coming into its own, slowly perhaps.
We even spotted Metro stations along the expressway, near the main
airport - LAX.
drawback of the system was that it didn't cover enough areas; in order
to experience the LA Metro system, we had to walk or ride bus to cover a
long distance from Silverlake District, where we stayed, to catch the
nearest Metro train to downtown Los Angeles, getting off at the station
close to Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Metro Station near Walt Disney Concert Hall
After we toured Walt Disney Concert Hall and visited MOCA, we passed by a large public space, centering on a dancing water fountain:
At the edge of the square, there were funicular cars running along the hill. My recent ride of a funicular car was in Graz and it gave me joy to be able to do it again. An unexpected wonderful experience.
the funicular ride, we headed towards the Old Bank District, still in
downtown. There were many old buildings and one of them, Homer Laughlin Building, had a huge covered market - Grand Central Market, and in which I saw for the first time in my life a "Chop Suey" shop sign:
Chop Suey Sign in Grand Central Market, Homer Laughlin Building, 317 South Broadway, Downtown
Once exited from the market, we saw more classy buildings nearby, such as these two landmarks below:
Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway, Downtown
Bradbury Building, 304 South Broadway, Downtown
The brown brick building above turned out to be the famous Bradbury Building
- "an architectural landmark in downtown Los Angeles, California. Built
in 1893, the building was commissioned by LA mining millionaire Lewis
L. Bradbury and designed by local draftsman George Wyman. It is located at 304 South Broadway and 3rd Street, and has been the
site of many movie and television shoots, rock videos, and works of
fiction." [source: wikipedia]
simple, low key exterior above, did not prepare us for the magnificent
details housed inside - its ornate staircases, its wonderfully
harmonized and contrasting colors of black and brown, and materials of
stone, wood and iron, and its the gentle, suffused skylight - all
contributed to form a cacophony of joy.
it had a history in the film industry, and since the building today is
the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department's Internal
Affairs division and other government agencies, the sad-looking and
weary Charlie Chaplin's statue was quite appropriate in the side lobby:
Charlie Chaplin Statue in Bradbury Building
Then we arrived at the magnificent Old Bank District itself, lined with many more enchanting old buildings.
One of those old banks was converted into a book store - The Last Bookstore - the most beautiful bookstore I'd ever seen:
the Old Bank District, we went to see another landmark - the Union
Station of the railroad. It was graceful in the outside and lovely
inside but it lacked grandeur I had prepared myself for, such as that in
the Grand Central Station in New York City. There was only one New
York City. Even so, Union Station was a wonder in its own right.
Union Station, Los Angeles
also saw some other engaging interiors in downtown Los Angeles, not as
grand as the Union Station, but was equally delightful, such the
downtown restaurant, and the coffee house, Tierra Mia Coffee, in Silverlake District below:
A Restaurant in Downtown
Tierra Mia Coffee, Silverlake District, Los Angeles
somewhat funky Silverlake district had a lot of characters and I
enjoyed the neighborhood very much. Nice neighborhood to stay.
Further afield, we went to a beach for a wedding. The sight had gorgeous view of the ocean:
Further still, we visited friends in Santa Monica and below are several snapshots taken there:
A Cemetery in Santa Monica
Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
- Walt Disney Concert Hall Tour
- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles
- LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Revisiting Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena
- Getty Villa in Los Angeles (Malibu)
- Urs Fischer Exhibit at MOCA, Los Angeles
- "Prague", St. Stephen's Day, Richard Diebenkorn and James Turrell
- "Renoir in the 20th Century" - Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Label: Los Angeles, Los Angeles Trip 2013