LOS ANGELES – Day 1 of your visit to La La Land will no doubt include the beaches, Hollywood and Rodeo Drive.
With those out of the way, now head downtown for culture (the architectural masterpieces Walt Disney Concert Hall and the new Broad museum), history (the century-old Bradbury Building, seen in the original “Blade Runner” film), sports (the L.A. Lakers, Clippers and Kings all play at Staples Center) and a wide array of food, from the Grand Central Market to out-of-the-way taco stands.
It’s DTLA, as hipsters call the area, and even if you think of L.A. as Hollywood, you know downtown.
The Los Angeles City Hall was the location where Clark Kent changed into his Superman uniform back in the 1950s TV show, and was seen in the opening of “Dragnet,” when Jack Webb would say “This is the city.”
Sebastian and Mia rode the short railroad Angel’s Flight in the “La La Land” film, the historic Bradbury Building and Union Station were in Amazon’s “Bosch” TV series, and if you’re willing to go back in time to Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, many of their silent classics were produced in downtown L.A.
For years, DTLA was considered run-down and grubby, a place to come see theater at the Music Center, report for jury duty at the courthouse, do business at City Hall or indulge in nostalgia by braving the crowds for two of the oldest restaurants in L.A. –Philippe the Original, where the French dip sandwich is said to have been invented, and the Original Pantry, owned by a former mayor, and best known for all-day breakfasts and a door with no locks. The establishment never closes.
Now, young people are moving into the neighborhood’s fancy new buildings; an up-and-coming Arts District with hip galleries, murals and craft breweries is just around the bend; the L.A. Live entertainment complex now adjoins Staples with trendy restaurants; and investors have taken notice.
The $140 million Broad museum opened in 2015; the Skyspace, a new tower offering views of Los Angeles from 1,000 feet in the air started selling tickets in 2016; Nordstrom just opened a big new downtown store in 2018; and next year, look for the first DTLA Apple Store in the 100-year-old Palace theater, which the iPhone maker is renovating.
Yes, Apple is bringing Hollywood to downtown. La La Land indeed.
Take a look around by joining us on a DTLA photo tour by clicking through the gallery above.
And if you missed it, see our recent piece about how to see the top L.A. sights if you only have one day.
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News