Here is an excerpt from the Lonely Planet - USA chapter ‘Los Angeles’:
Things are finally looking up in Downtown LA. An entire entertainment district is springing up around the Staples Centre, while on Grand Ave. Frank Gehry has masterminded a snazzy retail and residential strip. But the real changes are more subtle. Thousands of young professionals, college kids and artists have moved into newly created lofts. Bas, restaurants, a big supermarket and a movie theatre have followed in their wake.
The growing gallery district along Main and Spring Streets draws scores to its monthly art walks. For Adventurous urbanites, now is an exciting place to be Downtown.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles is a compact, colourful, car-free historic district which protects the city’s oldest buildings, most notably the 1818 Avila Adobe. LA’s original Chinatown was razed to make way for the majestic 1939 Union Station, the last of America’s grand railway stations whose glamorous art deco interior can be seen in ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Bugsy Malone’ and many other movies.
Until 1966 no other LA building stood taller that the 1928 City Hall which cameoed in the ‘Superman’ TV series and in the sci-fi thriller ‘War of the Worlds’. Architect Frank Gehry pulled out all the stops for his landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall, a gravity-defying sculpture of curving and billowing stainless-steel walls that’s the home base of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We had arranged for Anil’s younger brother and his wife, who are visiting the US and Canada for the very first time, to travel by bus from Fresno to Los Angeles and meet us at the bus station in downtown LA. I expected to find the bus station in a rather seedy area, but was pleasantly surprised after reading about the on-going changes to the downtown.
It sounded so impressive, and being that it was a quiet Sunday afternoon, I made plans for us to explore the district on foot. I was pretty sure that Ajay and Neeta would want to stretch their legs after several hours on an inter-city bus.
The excitement mounted as we waited for the bus to arrive, and after a short delay, we were able to greet them on North American soil for the first time. We have visited them so very many times in India, it was great to be able to host them for a change.
They were real troopers and followed in my footsteps as I led our small group from one street to another. We enjoyed our explorations but found we were all getting a little weary after three hours on our feet. None of us could quite believe that we had walked for so long, but we had seen some interesting sights and had a chance to chat together as we walked, catching up on recent news from our family members in India.