A Day in Downtown LA

Yesterday morning, I honestly wasn’t feeling very happy and I needed to do something to get me out of that rut. I just wanted to sleep the whole day, but I knew it wouldn’t help. It was almost four when I decided that I would get out of the house and go on an adventure. Exploring solo can be therapeutic.

This was taken during a different trip, but I didn’t have any pictures of Pershing Square from this adventure!

I wanted to do something that wouldn’t cost me a lot of money, so I chose to walk around Downtown LA and see what I could find. I’ve been Downtown multiple times already, but there are still so many things that I haven’t seen or done. After taking the Metro orange and red lines to the Pershing Square stop, I decided to start at Angels Knoll and figure things out from there.

The bottom part of the Angels Flight railway that leads to the California Plaza.

One of the things that I have wanted to do for a while now was ride the rail cars at Angels Flight. It was closed the last time I was there so I never got around to doing it. The original Angels Flight railway was created in 1901, but it closed and was dismantled. It was ultimately rebuilt in its current location in 1996, but closed in 2001 after an accident and was only reopened in 2010. There are two carts in use, Sinai and Olivet, named for the mountains featured in texts of various religions. It’s really just a two or three minute ride up or down the hill, but it’s such a historical landmark and at 50 cents going one-way, it’s not an expensive way to get a glimpse of the past. I thought it was fun and the details, including its orange color, are just incredibly charming.

There's always seems to be a couple sitting together on this bench.

When I got to the top, I actually had to go back down another way to get to the entrance of the Angels Knoll park, where the famous 500 Days of Summer bench stands. I’ve seen it many times and there is often already a couple sitting together on the bench, which you can identify because of a plaque attached to the back. There are a few other landmarks featured in the movie throughout Downtown LA, but I haven’t seen them all yet. One day, I’ll do one of the tours that people created for the movie because it’s nice recognizing that some of the great locations actually come from my city.

This place is also known as the Richard Riordan Central Library.

I ended up just walking around aimlessly for a while after that. I stopped by the Bank of America building to withdraw some cash and then found my way to the Los Angeles Central Library which was unfortunately closed. I’ve only been inside once when I visited with my mentor, but I didn’t really know its significance until afterwards so I hope to go again and take a closer look at the architecture. The constant walking got me hungry, so I stopped by a Mexican fast food restaurant, very similar to Chipotle, called Ocho. I ordered a shredded beef bowl and got free tortilla chips on the side because of a Yelp deal they were having.

One of the many Grand Performances performances of the summer.

The sky was getting darker, so I considered heading back home but wound up discovering the Grand Performances series at the California Plaza. Grand Performances is a program in which various artists perform throughout the summer on the California Plaza stage. Today’s performers were Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, a hula group that drew a big crowd and were definitely interesting to see. I stayed to watch a few dances before deciding that I should really start heading back to my house as the sky was already dark and I still needed to hop on board the red line and orange line to get back to where I started in the Valley. All in all, it was a fun experience and I did get to do new things. There’s still more out there in Downtown LA, but at least I am making steps to uncovering this city.

Another shot of Angels Knoll, this time at night.

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