I live in one of the most touristy destinations in America, where the Hollywood dream allures people of all sorts and kinds. Meanwhile, I’m stuck on the 110 headed into Downtown L.A. wondering when will I ever get used to L.A. traffic.
Ten years ago, my family and I piled in our car and took a road trip to Los Angeles (really, my dad and my now step-mom, who had just gotten engaged, thought what better way for all of us siblings to get to know one another than by taking us to Disneyland. They actually had a good point. And, I think it worked. We are all friends now.) Anyways, during that trip, we stopped in DTLA and toured Hollywood. I absolutely hated it. I also made it clear that I would never want to live in Los Angeles, not ever. God has a funny humor sometimes.
The thing is, during my first experience of Los Angeles, I was overwhelmed by the smog, the dirty streets, the freaky people dressed up in “superhero” costumes on the streets of Hollywood Blvd, and a culture that was vastly different from the one I had grown up in.
Now, after nearly six years of living in the Greater Los Angeles area, I have discovered that there is a great charm to L.A. and what better way to share it than with all of you. I think so often in life, we can be quick to judge a city, a people, an organization, etc, when the fact is that there is so much more than what first meets the eye. That is what living in L.A. has taught me. There is charm in Los Angeles, after all.
While I am still not very fond of Downtown, there are particular buildings and places that are rich in history, which always makes it a fun place to explore. This past weekend, we went to the Arts District to celebrate a friend’s birthday and afterwards stopped by for a coffee at one of my favourite coffee shoppes, which originated in the Bay Area.
Blue Bottle Coffee first started in the early 2000s in Oakland, California. The founder of Blue Bottle stated that, “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor.” It’s not only fresh and delicious, and every shoppe is quite Instagrammable (is that even a word?), but offers a friendly experience that keeps you coming back for more. I recommend the Iced New Orleans Coffee.
Blue Bottle is located across from Grand Central Market and right next to the Bradbury Building. What makes this place unique is that it is the oldest commercial building in Downtown. Built in 1893, a quick walk through this architect’s dream makes you feel as though you’ve been transported back in time.
If you feel like walking around in the area, The Last Bookstore, California’s largest used bookstore, is only a few blocks away from the Bradbury Building Even if you aren’t a book lover, this bookstore feels more like a museum which makes it worth visiting. Check out their website to see upcoming events of interest. Last year, I went to a cello concert at the Last Bookstore, which was splendid fun, especially considering the acoustics here are absolutely brilliant.
There really is #CharmInLosAngeles after all.
Cheers until next time, friends!