The Road to Radio Hill – Part One

DSC_0243 radio hill

We were headed to the top of Radio Hill.  And so it begins…

Teri’s Take

The genesis of this adventure took place when I left a Dodger game a few days ago.  Instead of driving out of the big gates, we were directed to exit from a small side gate that dumped out onto a neighborhood I have never seen in all my years driving around the area.

At one point a sign reading Radio Tower Gardens caught my eye.  Mainly because I couldn’t believe there was a radio tower or a garden nearby,  but I knew if I googled it….it would come.

There wasn’t a lot of info on the area except for this great Los Angeles Times piece written in 2012, which recommended the walk start at Chinatown on Broadway in Los Angeles.

Fast forward when Kelli messaged me, asking if I wanted to go on an adventure!  With in a couple of hours we were perched on the highest hill in Echo Park and losing our stomachs as we rolled down in the Prius.  We actually were literally one of the highest hills in Los Angeles. Our objective to get to Radio Hill was completely sidetracked as we prowled around Echo Park, finally stopping for coffee at Fix Coffee.  Fix is a little neighborhood gem that was filled with friendly hipsters.  We filled up and off we went to Chinatown.

Many happy childhood memories at Chinatown, where my parents would take me, fill me up on egg rolls and then buy me a trinket at one of the little shops.  Back scratchers were a favorite!

Chinatown was slowly waking up when we got there, but we managed to see a man doing Tai Chi and we peaked in the windows of some amazing galleries.  A trip at night seems to be in order.

We finally made our way out of Chinatown, headed up Hill street and crossed the on ramp to the 110 freeway.  This adventure was starting to feel a little sketchy (and HOT), but we trudged on.  We were rewarded with walking by a beautiful old Catholic school, which is now fittingly a Chinese Catholic school!  ONLY in America!

We kept up the pace until we saw the tower and the hill to the tower!  Unfortunately we didn’t feel 100% safe because there were a number of homeless men just lumbering about and no one else.  No families or joggers or bikers…etc.  We scratched walking up to the top of the tower until we had our two bodyguards (Ralph and Dave) with us!

After this slight ordeal, we felt we needed to be rewarded with Mexican food, so we drove down to Grand Central Market, split a burrito and marveled at our last-minute, crazy adventure!

Part 2 is on!

Kelli’s Take

Ok, all I heard was Elyisan Park.  I had a skirt on when Teri got to my house and quickly changed to shorts and comfortable shoes when I heard the real description of where we were going.  Teri then read from this  LA Times article.  Come along with us on this true adventure.  We exited from the 5 freeway onto  the 2 freeway to Echo Park, turned left into the hills of Echo Park.  It’s like a bit of San Francisco in LA.  No,  seriously it is, go check this out.

DSC_0156 hill in Echo Park


DSC_0157 la hills

This area of Echo Park is lovely.  Nice well kept homes and trendy restaurants and shops.  I could live here.

DSC_0164 Fix

DSC_0169 2100 echo park

Instuctions for the walk to Radio Hill:

Begin this walk on North Broadway, near the entrance to “Old Chinatown” at 951 N. Broadway.  See interesting characters and cheesy gift shops, old and new.  Art galleries hiding fabulous paintings and “Yarn bombed” posts, and brightly painted doors adorned with beautiful succulent gardens. (You don’t see any of this unless you get out of your car)

DSC_0172 blue chinatown buildings

DSC_0192 chinatown sign

DSC_0175 v new chinatown


DSC_0174 chinese clothing

DSC_0178 Bruce Lee


DSC_0179 (1) orange door 2

DSC_0182 chinatown shopDSC_0183 louieDSC_0184 teri lanterns

DSC_0187 lanterns 2DSC_0188 lanterns sky

DSC_0197Woos Gift Shop


DSC_0189 fake spong bob

DSC_0199 coca cola

DSC_0200 cocoa cola 2

DSC_0202 gallery walk 2

DSC_0203 gallery

DSC_0206 hockney like painting

Teri and I both want this painting.  Guess we might have to flip a coin.  Teri has taught me to just get out a paint brush and try my hand at artwork.  Maybe we’ll have to paint something like it on our own.  See Teri’s artwork on her Queen Bee Vintage Site.

  • DSC_0208 tai chi guy

DSC_0212 The Jade  Tree

DSC_0210 jade tree hours

DSC_0211 orange lamp

I REALLY want these orange lamps hanging in the shop window of The Jade Tree, but as you can see they are only open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, so a plan must be made.  They were featured on KCET sharing their fascinating history.

  • DSC_0214 doors of LA radio hill

DSC_0195 yarn bomb

DSC_0215 plants at the door

DSC_0218 mural

DSC_0221 LA stones and gifts

DSC_0220 statue

DSC_0222 chinese lion

DSC_0226 crepe myrtle

DSC_0224 chinese catholoc

Walk past the Chinese Catholic church…

DSC_0227 cathedral high

DSC_0230 cathedral high 2

Cross the street at Cathedral High School by the entrance to the 110 freeway, you’re almost there.

DSC_0232 getting closer

DSC_0237 110 freeway

All of this bright and intriguing sights on our way to our destination.  We almost made it.  Let’s just say “To be continued”…

DSC_0248 fence and daisy

DSC_0251 Hop Louie

Back to the car after the aborted hike.  The cute Hispanic parking lot attendant in Chinatown was still there.  We told him we’d see him again soon.

No Chinese restaurants were open, except one with a “B” rating, so we hopped in the car and headed to our favorite Grand Central Market.  An adjacent parking ramp is free for an hour if you buy food at one of the vendors.  Parking tickets validated at the information counter.

DSC_0260 grand central

It was just voted one of the 10 Best new Restaurants in the U.S. by Bon Appetit,

They have  added many new vendors since our last visit.

Here are a few of the new additions.

DSC_0261 DTLA cheese DSC_0262 (1) cheese

DSC_0264 Olio

DSC_0267 (1) Mc Connels

DSC_0271 egg slut

DSC_0273 currywurst

DSC_0277 valerie

DSC_0281 american woman

DSC_0283 belcampo

DSC_0285 organic meat

DSC_0291 chinese cafe

We should have had Chinese food…but we ended up splitting a burrito.  So 3 bucks a piece and free parking, not so bad for lunch.

DSC_0293 burrito making

DSC_0294 burrito guy

DSC_0295 taco place

american lofts

DSC_0299 tunnel

Leaving DTLA.  We’ll be back.  Back to scale Radio Hill to get a glimpse of the eucalyptus trees and butterflies and the “Cornfields” LA Historic Park and of course our beloved LA skyline, this time with more people with us (and maybe some pepper spray).

The Road to Radio Hill – Part Two…To Be Continued.


One thought on “The Road to Radio Hill – Part One

  1. Pingback: Mist & Iron — Visiting Radio Hill | Eric Brightwell

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