|Southern California Edison Company Building|
|Edison Building. That's our tour docent.|
|Edison Building portico|
All of the buildings we saw are in use today as either commercial buildings or residential structures. The Los Angeles Conservancy's mission statement states "preservation and reuse strategies" for these historical buildings to save them from demolition. Pretty awesome. Here are some more Art Deco examples I saw:
|William Fox Building|
|L.A. Central Library|
|Sun Realty Building|
|Sun Realty Building|
After the tour ended, I walked to Little Tokyo for lunch. I wanted to check out Orochon, a ramen joint in the Weller Court shopping center about which my guidebook raved.
Orochon's main gimmick is the various levels of spiciness one can order--I think ranging from #1 to #8--with #1 being the most spicy. I ordered the salt ramen at heat level #3, which was definitely spicy but not explosively so. The ramen as a whole was good, but it's not the best I've had. After lunch, I explored Little Tokyo for a little while and did some shopping.
From Little Tokyo, I headed over to L.A. City Hall. It was only mentioned on the conservancy tour and wasn't included in the route. However, the city hall building was also built during the Art Deco era, and at the time, it was the tallest building in L.A. As I approached city hall, I noticed the news vans and realized that I was witnessing the Occupy L.A. encampment. I took some pictures.
|L.A. City Hall. News vans monitoring Occupy L.A.|
I finally headed back to Pershing Square where I had parked my car. Along the way, I dropped into The Last Bookstore where I bought some books. When I finally made it back to Pershing Square, I took a break to eat my
In all, it was a satisfyingly full day. I thought it appropriate that I focus my inaugural post on an exploration of downtown L.A. More than any part of L.A., I always felt both a challenge and an annoyance of downtown, with its cramped scuzziness and confusing one-way streets. It was a part of town best to be avoided, as far as I was concerned. Anyway, I've by no means seen all of it, but it was a successful first date, and I look forward to more exploration.