Sunday Continued.

It was quite surprising to find a large body of people kneeling, praying and chanting on the road of one of the busiest districts in LA. At first it seemed that bystanders were just plain interested but as the crowd grew larger, negative comments were being shouted from the crowd and I could see that the situation could turn rather quickly, Keith and I moved quickly from the crowd and continued further down the street.
The black robed. quietly praying participants were a stark contrast to the glitzy shops, blatant advertising and blaring music.
Walking further down broadway we came to the Market.
The Grand Central Market unites two adjacent buildings: one on Broadway (1897) and one on Hill Street (1905). Together, they have been operating continuously since 1917. The older building was LA’s first fireproofed and steel-reinforced structure while the newer building was the first reinforced concrete building in Southern California. It housed the Ville de Paris department store, which was one of the city’s largest and finest, until 1917. When the market was renovated in the ’90s, the vintage neon signs were restored and new ones created for the 50+ vending stalls.
It was busy, bustling, the smells were tantalizing and families were enjoying a meal at the bright red coca cola tables., although we had a huge breakfast we couldn’t resist the Tai street food stall and we perched on red bar stools and shared crispy chicken and sticky rice. It was genuine and delicious.

It was an exciting environment… once again the camera opened up conversation with numerous people and the owner of the small cafe was telling us of the new life being breathed into the Market. It was very different to the time I visited a few years ago.
We loved the food and embraced the ambience.
The Bradbury building was just across the road and a passerby suggested we should visit.The Bradbury Building was constructed in 1893 as a Victorian office building. A skylight allows sunlight to pour down and fill the lobby, which would otherwise be quite dark with all the brick and wrought iron inside. One of the original Victorian elevators still functions. The Bradbury Building was featured in many films, including Blade Runner, 500 Days of Summer and The Artist. It is the oldest commercial building remaining in LA’s center it was well worth a visit.

LA’s theater district is concentrated on Broadway and its famous Million Dollar Theater was built in 1917 at the northernmost edge of the theater district. It was constructed as a movie theater and a stage theater, since at the time they weren’t sure the movies were going to take off. William Mulholland, who oversaw the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, had his office inside.  Now it appears empty, I would have loved to have seen inside it.
Our destination was Little Tokyo, but we had to walk through skid row.
It was confronting to see so many homeless people their street homes constructed with cardboard and plastic.

It’s  a battleground where the poor fight merciless drug addiction and alcoholism.
On Skid Row they’re offered a place to sleep, food, counseling and even spiritual support. Some win the battle and turn their miseries into testimonies. Others don’t. It’s not a rare scene on Skid Row to spot addicts doing drugs in the open even when police patrol the area.
Temptation lurks on every corner of the grid — but so do helping hands.
The fight continues today. The warm afternoon sunlight shines on those who sleep on the sidewalk.

Just a short distance further on, is Little Tokyo and we planned to visit the Japanese American national Museum.The museum contains over 130 years of Japanese American history, dating back to the first Issei generation. 

This is another fabulous wall art image… I had a field day photographing and documenting this interesting area of Los Angeles.

We had a wonderful dinner with friends and it was a great end to a fabulous day.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandi Nichols says:

    Hi Pam,
    MANY years ago when I left the protective wings of my familyin southern Florida I moved to LA. I worked at a newspaper on Spring Street downtown and and everyday was a new and exciting adventure. Downtown LA is a cacophony of experiences rolled into one. I remember I had a journalism teacher at UCLA that said, “People who live on the cultural fringes make the best copy.” and I thought, ……… well I think you probably just know what I thought. Because aren’t we all just a bit on the fringe? Sorry I missed oyu in Houston this year.

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