LA Trip: Downtown Los Angeles

On our second day in LA, we woke up early to explore Downtown LA (DTLA) before the Lakers vs. Celtics game – which took place later that day. We contemplated about going to Universal Studio, Warner Brothers Studio, Hollywood, etc. – but we wanted to experience the city of LA on foot. We also didn’t want to stray too far from the Staple Center (since traffic is sometimes unpredictable here). Here is what we had planned for our DTLA adventure!

Sunday

  • 8:10 am – Arrive at Union Station
  • 8:40 am – Explore and eat breakfast at Olvera Street
  • 9:50 am – City Hall Observatory Deck (27th Floor)
  • 10:30 am – Grand Park
  • 11:05 am – Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • 12:00 pm – Broad Museum
  • 2:00 pm – Eat a light lunch at the Grand Central Market
  • 2:35 pm – Bradbury Building (First Floor)
  • 3:00 pm – Staple Center
  • 6:00 pm – Lakers vs. Celtic Game begins!
  • 9:50 pm – Arrive at the apartment

Since we went to Olvera Street early in the morning, most of the restaurants and shops were still closed – but it was still pretty cool to walk down LA’s first street! Olvera Street_7.JPGOlvera Street_8.JPG

Such a historic street! We’ve seen a lot of firsts on this street…first house in LA, first brick edifice, first dinner house/inn and more.

Olvera Street_4.JPG Olvera Street_5.JPGOlvera Street_9.JPGOlvera Street_11.JPGOlvera Street_12.JPGOlvera Street_13.JPGOlvera Street_14.JPGWe stopped for a quick breakfast at a little place called Juanita’s Cafe…one of the few places that were open early in the morning. We ordered their breakfast combo and they cooked it right away. I could imagine Olvera Street getting super crowded and busy…a lot of the food stands had small seating areas – so I was glad we came early.Olvera Street_19Olvera Street_17.JPGOlvera Street_16.JPGOlvera Street_20Olvera Street_15.JPGOlvera Street_22

We learned that in 1921, Charlie Chaplin filmed the classic silent film “The Kid” on Olvera Street. Below is a photo of the exact location where they filmed the tearful reunion scene in the movie.Olvera Street_25Olvera Street_24Olvera Street_26

Before leaving, a couple of the shops started opening up and Olvera Street starting coming to life!Olvera Street_27Olvera Street_28Olvera Street_30Olvera Street_31

After Olvera Street, we made a short walk toward the Los Angeles City Hall. Little did I know, the building was closed and we couldn’t go up to the observatory deck as planned – so we snapped a few photos and walked across Grand Central Park to get to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

LA City Hall_2.JPG

Before reaching the Walt Disney Concert Hall, we saw Wee Man from Jack Ass preparing for a skateboarding stunt! I walked right passed him, but we stopped to see him attempt an ollie over some stairs.Walt Disney Concert Hall_1.JPGWalt Disney Concert Hall_2.JPGWalt Disney Concert Hall_7.JPG Walt Disney Concert Hall_4.JPG

The architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall was beautiful and unique! The building was also closed, so we only took a few photos and headed down the street to the Broad Museum where there was a long entrance line.Broad Museum_1.JPG Broad Museum_2.JPG Broad Museum_3.JPGBroad Museum_45Broad Museum_46We arrived about 30 minutes before the Broad Museum opened and had to wait at least an hour in line to get in after it opened. People working at the museum said that the line would eventually wrap around the building! Wow! When we arrived, I thought we would immediately get in considering where we were in line…but that wasn’t the case. We didn’t make reservation, but I believe there was another line for those who did. Although the wait was long and hot…the wait was worth it and we really enjoyed our time at the Broad Museum. Here is a ton of photos of our time there! Broad Museum_5.JPGBroad Museum_6Broad Museum_7 Broad Museum_8 Broad Museum_10Broad Museum_12Broad Museum_13Broad Museum_14Broad Museum_15Broad Museum_16Broad Museum_18Broad Museum_19Broad Museum_21.JPGBroad Museum_20Broad Museum_35Broad Museum_36Broad Museum_37Broad Museum_38Broad Museum_40Broad Museum_41Broad Museum_42After about 2 hours at the Broad Museum, we headed toward the Grand Central Market to get a drink and bite to eat. We passed by the MOCA museum and the Grand Performance Plaza before reaching the market.MOCA_2 MOCA_1 DTLA_6 DTLA_5Grand Central Market_1Grand Central Market_3Grand Central Market_4Grand Central Market_2We were hoping to eat at Egg Slut, but the line was long and wrapped around the food stand….that’s the thing about this LA trip, there were long lines everywhere! Haha. We decided to get something to eat near the Staple Center, so I bought a ginger lemonade from Bombo before we left…and it was good! The Grand Central Market was crowded and busy…but we loved the atmosphere, diverse foods, and overall energy of the place. We definitely would like to come here if we are ever in LA again. The next thing on our list was to check out the Bradbury Building, which was across the street from the market.Bradbury Building_13 Bradbury Building_11.JPG Bradbury Building_1 Bradbury Building_9Bradbury Building_2 Bradbury Building_4Bradbury Building_8

The iron work in the Bradbury Building was amazing! They kept an old letter box with a mail chute where people used to drop mail in from the upper floors. I really liked the open cage Victorian elevator – this was my first time seeing an elevator of its kind. We also learned that this building was used for many movies in the past! Since we had some time to kill after visiting the Bradbury Building, we walked a couple blocks to check out the Last Book Store!

Last Book Store_16 Last Book Store_8 Last Book Store_4 Last Book Store_10 Last Book Store_9 Last Book Store_11 Last Book Store_7Last Book Store_15Last Book Store_13Last Book Store_12.JPGToni poses in front of the First Edition Room.Last Book Store_6Last Book Store_2Last Book Store_3Last Book Store_1The book sculptures made me feel like I was at a store in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, haha. It was an interesting and very unique place, I’m glad we had time to stop by. Definitely check out the second floor if you get a chance to visit.

After exploring the Last Book Store, we headed back to the apartment to change for the big game…but more on that later.

Here is what we ended up doing on our second day in LA:

Sunday

  • 8:00 am – Arrived at Union Station
  • 8:20 am – Explored and ate breakfast at Olvera Street
  • 8:50 am – City Hall 
  • 9:00 am – Grand Park
  • 9:15 am – Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • 9:30 am – Broad Museum
  • 12:00 pm – Grand Central Market
  • 12:30 pm – Bradbury Building (First Floor)
  • 3:00 pm – Staple Center
  • 6:00 pm – Lakers vs. Celtic Game begins!
  • 10:00 pm – Ralph’s Grocery Store
  • 11:00 pm – Arrived at the apartment

To end this post, here are a few tips for exploring DTLA:

  • Double check the hours of operations for all the places you intend to visit – We didn’t get a chance to visit the observatory deck at the City Hall (which was one of the top things I wanted to do in DTLA)… all because I didn’t realize they were closed on Sunday. Boo!
  • Expect long lines – We did not factor in the 1.5 hour wait to get into the Broad Museum, but because we were ahead of schedule…we were able to do almost everything on our list and more.
  • Walk, walk, walk! – I read that the best way to experience a city is to explore it on foot…and having done that, we couldn’t agree more! Just make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Plan your day ahead if you want to do as much as possible – Since we had planned on walking the entire time, we made a list of the places we wanted to go and figured out the best route for us. I couldn’t imagine how our experience would have gone if we didn’t plan ahead.

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