The Arts District – DTLA

Arts district DTLA - 3

“I Was a Botox Junkie LA” by Tristian Eaton Locate at 3rd and Traction St Los Angeles

Teri’s Take

OH Los Angeles, how I have missed you!  It’s been over seven months since I moved up a county to Ventura and believe it or not it has been over five months since I have even been south of Calabasas!   Although I do not for a minute regret my move, there were a few moments of wistfulness as we I drove the 110 freeway. As I approached the bend and saw the beautiful Downtown LA skyline I really missed the city. (This was all erased however when I drove home through rush hour, but that’s a another story!)

Our adventure was not really planned, but more of an organic, “lets go downtown” kind of thing

For this adventure my daughter Calli accompanied us and we met Kelli’s husband, David at his new job at the beautiful Metro building. We drove around and followed signs to the “Arts District”, parked in a very colorful parking lot and decided to look around.

I can say without a doubt the colorful, vibrant murals on the many of the buildings is by far the best part of the district  I realize there are plenty of amazing galleries and shops, but if you want to go walk the streets you’ll be in an open air gallery. Art is everywhere! The above image is a mural on the side of a building by LA artist Tristan Eaton  Check out his gorgeous murals on his website, Tristan Eaton

We had a nice lunch at Americano, then walked over to Pie Hole where we watched Calli have a piece of Earl Grey Cream pie that she said was absolutely as good as it looked.

We wandered around snapping pics, people watching and dog watching while looking in doorways. It was a very laid back adventure this time, but very fitting for my LA re-entry.

A chandelier made of wine bottles at Americano

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DSC_0133 arts district office chairDSC_0135 arts district dumpsterDSC_0225 old woman muralDSC_0229 old woman mural plusDSC_0226 artDSC_0197 pink wolvesDSC_0200 lofts

The show “New Girl” on Fox uses the exterior of the Binford Lofts as the location of the loft the characters live in. The interior is a set at the studios of course.

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I really wanted to walk in with an alpaca, since it’s not mentioned here!

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My friends have eaten here.  Love it! I hear they have incredible fries to go along with the sausage. Wurstkuche. I have a lot of German friends.

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Earl Grey Tea Cream pie from The Pie Hole.

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Kelli’s Take

What a treat to go on an adventure with Teri. Actually her daughter Calli and my husband tagged along. Truly we’ve only scratched the surface of the multi-dimensional LA Arts District. For now, we’ll just show you the little corner we discovered. The Arts District encompasses the eastern edge of DTLA, with the boundaries being East of Little Tokyo, the LA River on the west, Alameda Street on the west, First Street on the north, LA River on the west.

Every time we go on an adventure I love figuring out what is going on under the surface, especially what has happened before I got here. Let’s go way back. In the 1800’s grape vines were planted here.  The San Antonio Winery is a left over reminder of the vineyards. The grapes gave way to citrus groves. Hard to imagine with all of the concrete of today. The loads of citrus created a need for a new business that started a commercial arts business. A print shop on 3rd and Alameda employed artists to create those gorgeous orange crate labels I love.

10347643_10204260951867438_5890210652390179142_n orange crate

Warehouses and freight depots were built to fill the needs of distribution, but gave way to factories during WWII. The following years the warehouses were swallowed up by big business and the area became run down which led to it becoming a crime ridden area (understatement) Fast forward to the 70’s when artists began moving into the abandoned buildings. In 1981 the city of Los Angeles passed an ordinance making it legal for artists to live in their working studios.

Ok, NOW the area is drawing fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and theater.  The affordable lofts are a thing of the past. There is a struggle to keep the character of the area.Can you say “gentrification”, the good, the bad of it all. Lots of construction of new lofts and apartments. The famous Tartine Bakery of San Francisco fame is even rumored to be going into this neighborhood.

 A lot of filming going on here.Music videos, tv and films. Average of 900 per year. That’s what I read, don’t  quote me. But you can quote me that the best baguette in town are made in this area at The Bread Lounge. We ate lunch at Americano and my sandwich was made on this wonderful bread.

For the love of all that is urban and trendy, get yourself to the LA Arts District. I’m looking forward to next time.You won’t want to miss the Brewery Art Walk. Twice a year in the Fall and Spring in one of the largest art colonies in the world, The Los Angeles Brewery Lofts. These artists make their home here in their studios. I also think a stop at Angel City Brewery will be in order, but I can’t wait until Spring for an Angel City IPA.

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