it's been an adventure-filled day in Los Angeles. Or rather El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles. I have lived in LA for a decade and I love discovering new places and revisiting others. Today, we went downtown to the Fashion District off Olympic. There is lots to see downtown. Fantastic deco-era buildings, bustling streets and all types of faces. Mainly bargain hunters and buyers for boutiques. As the sun reached high noon, we were walking through the heart of the area, Santee Alley. It was jammed with people and felt like a third world bazaar. I've been to the Fashion District a handful of times, but today, I came up empty. But not for lack of looking. My favorite bit of window shopping came on Los Angeles St. where I found a men's clothing store selling the "Steve Harvey Collection." It recalled an episode of SNL where Bernie Mac did a biting fake advertisement for Steve Harvey's flamboyant, hepcat suits.
From there we hopped in the car and headed back up Main Street, but instead of getting on the freeway, we wound up at Olvera Street. Olvera is the oldest area of LA dating to the very late 18th century. It's currently celebrating it's 75th anniversary as a designated historical center. It's the home of the Avila Adobe house (ca. 1814), the oldest building in the city. This was El Pueblo's commercial heart. We got in a brief look at the Avila house. It was closing time, but since it was free we had to take a peak. It is fun learning new things about this town. Within a few blocks there's also the LA Mission (where I said a prayer for all of you), a large gazebo for live folklorico performances, and a marketplace with parallel rows of souvenir shops and authentic Mexican restaurants. We had lunch at El Pueblo Inn and my taquitos were savory. The shops, many of which deal in trinkets, also have some neat folk art and useful items. Today, I felt like I could truly call myself an Angeleno. No self-respecting citizen should go without visiting the true heart of city: downtown. Not Hollywood.
Union Station is only a hundred yards away from Olvera, so we walked through there, too. The train station is a triumph of interior design. Lots of vaulted ceilings and deco decor. It played the police station in one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner. Of course, as soon as I got home, I had to put on Blade Runner and check out the setting on film.
What a great day of sight seeing right here at home. Yesterday, I spent the evening with friends at the historic Hotel Figueroa, also downtown (two blocks from Staples Center). What a great town. And the full moon was a bright peachy orange, did you see it? It led us all the way into the heart of the city.
Oh, I have to tell you this. Last night I wrote my first Letter To The Editor. This week's new Rolling Stone came in the mail. There's a great multi-page article on rock & roll legend, Bo Diddley. That is one fascinating cat. Bo is still performing, writing & recording. He's apparently an electronics whiz and as eccentric as Chuck and Richard. But then I realized, Bo is not on the cover. Anywhere. They gave the cover photo to Coldplay. They namecheck the Rolling Stones, R. Kelly, the crappy Dukes Of Hazzard movie, Death Cab For Cutie and (?) Fall Out Boy. But NO BO!?!?!? That's not right. Bo is directly responsible for the Rolling Stones, at least. So I wrote Rolling Stone to say, "What's up widdat?" I recommend that everyone else who cares do the same.
Here's their e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and here's what I wrote, feel free to cut and paste or paraphrase:
Subject line: Who Do You Love?
Dear Rolling Stone,
Thanks for giving us the latest on Bo Diddley. But why didn't Bo get any love on your front cover? In fact, how about a cover featuring Bo, Chuck Berry & Little Richard while these rock & roll titans still walk amongst us mortals?
Alright, that's it for tonight. Adios.
Love, Power, Peace