Growing up, downtown LA was mostly a forgotten place. Back then that small, lonely cluster of skyscrapers never signified action or excitement or what the heart of the city was supposed to be. Instead there were mostly images of dilapidated old warehouse buildings, dealers for cheap toys from Mexico, and tent cities for the poor and homeless. I have memories of venturing down there in high school only to go this old bohemian hangout called Gorky's, but even that was shuttered that because people were too afraid to be down there after dark.
Luckily much of that is no longer the case. Ever since the Lakers moved their stadium there in 1999, Downtown has been clawing its way back. Now it's become a place not only to see great underground and established art, to enjoy a night out in any of the bars refurbushed from the early 1900s. It's also a place to eat very well, and be imbued with Chinese culture on one block to Salvadorian on the next. Apparently Whole Foods is opening a store down there, although some would argue that's a bad thing.
We headed down there to see the Urs Fischer show at MOCA, and ended up staying the whole afternoon. Walking from lunch at Bottega Louie to ride the Angel's Flight rail car, to eating ice cream mochi in Koreatown.
It's a great afternoon in the city.