|Vendor Just Blocks Away From LA's Financial District|
I went back up to our room with our Universal Studios tickets and information that my husband should not take the subway to LAX at night to pick up our rental car, advice that he fortunately heeded. He said that taking the subway through South Central Los Angeles reminded him of riding the RER through the northern and eastern suburbs of Paris where there are endless low-rent highrise apartments and seemingly nothing else. He also said that there were a few unpredictable commuters who exhibited signs of questionable sanity.
|Entrance to the Million Dollar Theater|
I walked as quickly as I could down Fifth Street to Broadway, but as the people and scenery changed I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach--yes, apprehension. It had been over 12 years since I had traveled anywhere alone, and as I looked north down Broadway, I thought of the many places I had to forego in Latin America because of this very feeling. There were two tall dirty men dancing erratically on the sidewalk about 10 feet away, and even the hipsters in this part of town suddenly appeared grimy and tough. It would be hard to explain to my husband that on a quick trip to buy band aids and tacos, I got roughed up on Broadway, blocks away from our hotel. I decided against walking anywhere further north and headed south where there were fewer people on the sidewalk.
|China Café at Grand Central Market|
When I got back an hour later with lunch, I showed my husband my pictures, and he was instantly jealous. "I wish I had gone too," he said.
Of all the things we would see in California, historic Downtown LA was the biggest surprise. The "birthplace of vaudeville and cinematic entertainment" did not figure in any of our guide books, nor had I ever seen pictures or heard of these nine blocks on Broadway housing 12 historic theaters. When we think of LA, we rarely think of history, and we really should.
I highly recommend this area. Just dress down and go with someone else during the day. If you go a few years from now, these precautions might not be necessary. Something tells me that Broadway might be completely transformed in the near future.
For further reading on historic LA
Pictures and history of the 12 theaters (A must-see)
Million Dollar Theater
Other posts about LA
Disney Theatre W/ the Kids
Unexpected Beauty of Historic Los Angeles