Expose Los Angeles, Part 1

by Jason on May 26, 2012

One of the things I was most excited to do upon returning home to Los Angeles after my first year in graduate school is to take a walk through the city. I was yearning to see the City of Angels since nearing the end of the semester, even changing my facebook profile’s cover page highlighting the sprawling metropolis of the west coast.

My love for LA is not subtle. I have already wrote about how beautiful Los Angeles is through my fascination with the movie (500) Days of Summer. Well, I am going to continue with my love for this city with my two-part expose as I walk through downtown Los Angeles with my camera and sketch pad, through Little Tokyo, Civic Center, and Bunker Hill areas.

I was looking forward to this walk the night before, thinking about places that I’ve read about but actually never been to, even though I’ve walked through downtown LA before. Maybe it’s different walking to a destination to walking as the destination act. Or maybe because after a year of being submerged in cities, I am taking a more careful look at it.

However, most likely, is that I find this city beautiful, and I wanted to take it in as is, on the ground, with a camera, or on paper. On Friday, May 25th – with overcast, hot, sunny, shifting weather, I became an urbanist to my own city.

Drove to Little Toyko, parked, and then walked the city.

City Hall was one of my first stops. It wasn’t originally on the agenda until I realized I’ve never been before. Drew this on the CalTrans steps. Now, both these buildings hold more significance to me now.

Seemless shift from public to private space, declared by this plaque on the ground. It was another tall bank building, and would probably tell me to move if I stood around too long.

Walking down Broadway away from City Hall. LA is full of well framed shots of the skyline with trees. This is Bunker Hill.

I love the murals in LA, somehow trying to beautify the parking lots throughout.

This is my first time to the Bradbury Building, which is a shame because is this such a gorgeous looking structure. It is definitely as large as how movies portray it to be, but the detailing is exquisite. The bare exposure of the architecture, the fine carvings in the wood and metal, the glowing light that peaks through the sky, all make the experience of being in this building stunning. I can almost ignore the Subway and the Sprint store that brace the entrance of the building.






A bit blurry – Bradbury steps.

Walked into Grand Central Market across from the Bradbury Building to grab some lunch. This is a historic open air market that is just as bustling as ever. Many choices of a variety of cuisine, as well as produce and specialty items for sale. Think of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, and then make it much grittier, more affordable, and less pretentious.

I had three tacos: chicharon (pork grinds), buche (cheek), and fish. They were all massive and extremely delicious. The chef also gave me barbacoa (slow-cooked cheek) as I was eating on the bar by the serving counter. You eat where you order, watch it get prepped, standing only.

If you enjoyed this and look forward to part two, click the Like button!