Trip to LA – Quick walk around downtown Los Angeles

Trip to LA

As a I was telling you in the preview post, a couple weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Los Angeles for a workshop with my lovely mentor Sue Bryce, which was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my entire photography career. And I had the opportunity to spend a few days in LA.

Since my plane arrived early, I decided to walk around the downtown Los Angeles.

Downtown Los Angeles

Unlike other large cities, many people visit Los Angeles without ever setting foot Downtown. That’s a shame, since Downtown LA is rich with historic architecture and cultural attractions.  Not to mention all the sports and entertainment complexes around the city.

Downtown Los Angeles today is composed of different areas ranging from a fashion district to banks, department stores and movie palaces.

From what the locals were telling me, the called “downtown” declined economically and suffered a downturn for decades.  But in the early 2000s some old buildings started being modified for new uses, and skyscrapers have been built.

Downtown LA is known for its government buildings, parks, museums, churches, theaters and other public places.

Quick walk around downtown Los Angeles

These are some of the places and buildings I visited:

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

This plaza is California Plaza, where Grand Performances takes place.  A beautiful area where you can enjoy concerts and performing arts, located in 300 & 350 S. Grand Ave, between Olive streets and the 4th.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography
Grand Performances’ mission is to inspire community, celebrate diversity, and unite Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts.   Hailed as the “Best Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series” by Los Angeles Magazine and called “a grand gift to the public… democracy in musical action” by the Los Angeles Times, Grand Performances presents high-quality music, dance, theater, and more at the breathtaking California Plaza in the heart of Downtown. For 30 years, Grand Performances has delivered the best of global culture to inspire community among the diverse peoples of Los Angeles, and reflect the many cultural interests across the region.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

The plaza also includes little cafeterias and cute restaurants.
And since I needed some fuel to continue walking around Los Angeles downtown, I grab some delicious Chinese food.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

There are several plazas like this one with beautiful little restaurants to enjoy good food

Stunning architecture

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography
“The Board”, pronounced Brode, is a new contemporary art museum opening September 20, 2015 on Grand Avenue, next to the Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. Built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the 120,000 square foot museum will house their personal and Foundation art collections of over 2,000 works by more than 200 artists.

 

The Broad, California

(detail)

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

This stunning and impressive building is the “Los Angeles Music Center”.  It consists of the three original theaters that are home to the city’s drama, dance and opera companies, as well as the more recently added Disney Concert Hall, which is the home of the LA Philharmonic. There are self-guided audio tours of the Disney Concert Hall, as well as daily guided tours of the Music Center.

The best way to see the theatres is to see a show, from the LA Philharmonic at the Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Ballet or Los Angeles Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion or live theatre at the Mark Taper Forum or Ahmanson Theatre.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography
The Ahmanson Theatre opened in 1967 and has staged a wide variety of dramas, musicals, comedies, classic revivals, and World premieres (including six by Neil Simon, who has had 13 plays presented here).

In the spring of 1967, Founding Artistic Director Gordon Davidson opened the Mark Taper Forum with The Devils, a play that was controversial and thought-provoking and set the tone for the work to come at the Taper.

Under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, the Ahmanson has been home to a number of musicals that moved to Broadway, including The Drowsy Chaperone (13 Tony Award nominations), Curtains (eight Tony nominations), and 9 to 5: The Musical as well as blockbusters including God of Carnage, Mary Poppins, and Jersey Boys.

Beautiful green areas

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

While you walk around the city, you will find gorgeous little oasis like this one.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

The MOCA

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

This is the outside area of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). They were open until 6pm and I was around the area at 5pm. So I didn’t have the opportunity to enter to see the amazing art this place homes 🙁

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

The MOCA established in 1979.  Its the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles, fully dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art.

This museum houses one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world.  Comprising roughly 7000 objects, and have a diverse history of ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions.

This is one of the many pieces of art located at the MOCA.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

More places I visited in Downtown Los Angeles:

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Built in 1928, the 32-story Los Angeles City Hall was the tallest building in the city until modern building methods allowed taller high rise buildings to appear in the 1960s. The building is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. It is still home to the mayor and city council office and council chambers. It is part of the Civic Center district, which also includes county, state and federal buildings.

The iconic City Hall tower has appeared as itself and stood in for other locations in dozens of TV shows and movies.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

View of the City Hall Los Angeles from the Grand Park.

Grand Park opened in July 2012, expanding green space 12 acres over the three blocks between the Los Angeles Music Center on Grand Avenue and Los Angeles City Hall on Spring Street.
The park is a dynamic, inclusive environment for community events, cultural experiences, festivals, holiday celebrations and many other activities that engage and attract visitors from all communities in Los Angeles County.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography
Another view of the City Hall Los Angeles from the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain.

The restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain includes a spouted wading area that is a popular place to cool off on hot summer days.

At night, a light show draws romantic strolling couples and photo enthusiasts.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography
“Grand Park” includes 24 botanic gardens inspired by the six Floristic Kingdoms of the world; and plenty of green lawn for playing and relaxing.

The only vendor in the park is a Starbucks near the fountain; which is in the same facility as the public restrooms.

Smart and cute, this little library was located just outside of that Starbucks.

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina Photography

Downtown Los Angeles at Night

Downtown Los Angeles - Cristina PhotographyThe city looks as beautiful at night, with many chic restaurants and events happening during the warm nights.

The end of the day

After a long walk around downtown Los Angeles, I had to head to the AirBNB where I was staying.  It was a nice and productive day knowing more about this city.

But now, I just needed to rest because the next day was going to be an exciting one. I was going to be part of the first generation of graduates from Sue Bryce’s amazing portrait workshop 🙂