There are a few reasons why I’ve never been a big fan of downtown Los Angeles: 1) driving downtown is a huge hassle because of all the confusing, one way streets, 2) parking downtown is even worse because of all of the ridiculously priced lots and parking garages, and 3) our downtown isn’t quite on the level of NYC’s or Chicago’s downtown areas which are major, central city hubs. These are just a few reasons why I’ve never felt 100% comfortable whenever I’m downtown.
Because of my general discomfort with downtown, I try to avoid it at all possible costs. I mean, there has to be a really compelling reason for me to venture downtown, and past job opportunities, occasional performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the time I’ve spent volunteering on Skid Row have been the only reasons to fit the bill.
With that said, I realize that there’s no shortage of things to do in downtown L.A. and that the area has changed and is continuing to change for the better. More and more people are starting to move downtown (which still perplexes me in all honesty), more noteworthy restaurants and bars are opening downtown, and major improvements to the metro have made downtown L.A. a lot more accessible to Angelenos like me who get flustered when driving there.
As I dig deeper and deeper into my own backyard here in L.A., I’ve realized that I can no longer put exploring downtown L.A. on the backburner. Over the years, I’ve witnessed the evolution of our downtown from a mere corporate business district into a center of art, culture, entertainment, and fine dining. And I’m not going to let my discomfort keep me stranded on the sidelines as a bystander – I’m ready to get in the game and get better acquainted with downtown L.A.
So a few months back, I joined Outdoor Afro for a tour of downtown that was led by a guide from the L.A. Conservancy. You may recall my post about Biddy Mason Park which we discovered during that tour, but in this post, I’m sharing some images of the other places and spaces we visited downtown.
Downtown L.A., I’m officially putting you on notice: I’m coming back for more of you…
Is there an area of your city that you’ve been reluctant to explore? Share in the comments.