Larry and I have had a few previous downtown days, with some being harmless fun exploring the sights….
…in which we looked at some potential apartments as well as the MOCA and Union Station; and then a trip in which it was pretty much a pub crawl….
….it did start out educational as we saw the Space Shuttle, but then it became pretty much an exercise in drinking around downtown LA. It was awesome.
So today was a bit random, as I just proposed going downtown to the Skyspace experience on a whim. I didn’t want to sit home and there were no good movies out, and after proposing it, Larry agreed, and off we went.
The OUE Skyspace LA attraction is basically the long-awaited Observation Deck that Downtown LA should have had since the U.S. Bank building was built in 1990. But DTLA wasn’t really a tourist destination for the longest time, but now with the Staples Center, LA Live, and a whole host of people living down there now, DTLA is much different. And I think finally it made sense to keep expanding what there was to do, so last year the top deck of the building was built to make this observation deck a reality. Not content to be just a view, they also built a glass slide that drops you from the 69th floor to the 68th – outside of the building. It’s a very short ride, but it is quite a thrill nonetheless.
Anyway, I get ahead of myself. You first make your way into the lobby of the building, process through, and then go up to the 58th floor. Up there are a few neat interactive exhibits like giant video screens showing various LA cityscapes at different times of day, a very cool peak down a very deep hole lit up like a disco, and some other random stuff. I guess it’s to justify the cost of the ticket?
About to head up to the top
Independence Day, anyone
At the entry point
Inside there is a cool large video of LA scenery
There’s apparently a disco infinity pit here
Jump on the steps and interact with the wall
Fun random stuff to do on the 58th floor
As you can see, the magic chasm was pretty fun to play around with in pictures. After you walk through all this excitement, you take another elevator up to the observation deck on 69 – and it’s pretty damn awesome. A nice job has been done making a very clean, open space with quite clean windows to look out and take pictures through. I do hate when observation platforms don’t bother to keep the windows clean as you’re kind of beholden to them for pictures. Anyway, I digress – we did take a lap around the enclosed 69th floor to get a sense of what the views were, but held off on taking too many pictures as I wanted to be outside to get those.
Up on the 69th floor – the Skyslide awaits
Here’s a view of the slide from inside
Unfortunately I’m not the greatest at getting my camera to cooperate
Out that way is Glendale
Here you can see up Brand Blvd
And there’s Central
There’s an open air terrace the next floor down
The entrance to the slide
I’m sure nothing will ever go wrong
But you don’t take the stairs to go down to the level below…you take the SKYSLIDE.
Yeah, it’s kind of awesome. Brief, but awesome. Some more from the Skyslide experience:
Larry caught me as I made it down the slide
Alright, the remaining pictures are a lot. I couldn’t help myself though as there’s just so much to take in.
Looking up at the top of the US Bank building
And now down and east
The end point of the slide
It’s a comfy scene up top
Handsome Larry with a Pacific Ocean in the distance
View of the Oviatt Penthouse!
Our wedding place – the Oviatt Penthouse
It looks almost small – but man, what a great time it was
Clearly the tent is up with the way our weather has been lately
Alright, a whole lot of pictures of DTLA:
Panorama east and down
Looking into the City Center
Where I’m at
The new Grand Wilshire – only the spire makes it taller than U.S. Bank
A long way down – but what a view
For quite a while, the Aon (formerly First Interstate) building was the tallest in LA
We almost moved into one of the penthouses here
In fact, it was the one on the far left corner here where those people are sitting
We think this is where Redbird restaurant is
Pershing Square in its basicness
Getting some selfies in
Wondering what’s in the fin of the new Grand Wilshire
These terraces are going to be lounges
Looking down into the Standard’s rooftop
Comfy and modern
Lots of great modern furniture arranged around the perimeter
I was just having lunch down in the City National plaza there
Staples Center is visible in the distance
LA Center Studios – who knew something like that was so close to downtown
I’m sure a clearer day would have a nicer shot
The wondrous Eastern building
110 freeway – busy as usual
Can see the side of the US Bank sign
LA City Hall
With LA Metro and Union Station behind it
LA Union Station closeup
The Music Hall stretch
Still need to go into the Walt Disney Hall
It’s kind of hard to see the stadium as the parking conceals it, and apparently it’s also kinda sunken
The Bradbury Building from above – more on that later
Okay, I then tried to capture LAX in the distance…
Wanted to see if LAX was visible
LAX and the ocean
Effort to capture DTLA and LAX together
And some last pics before we went back to the ground:
Interactive touch screen to help identify what’s what
Alright, so that was quite a cool experience. I’d like the opportunity to go up closer to a sunset and get those kinds of colors too, but that can be for another time.
Once we got on the ground, we were right outside the Central Library of Los Angeles, which is itself quite a stunning building. So we went in to take a look, and also we both got a library card. It’s my first one in what feels like forever.
Central Library, Inside and Out
The Central Library is across the street
We went over and got library cards!
It’s an impressive building – and has been the tallest this side of the Mississippi for a long time
The hall inside the library
Very cool chandelier
We didn’t check out any books today, but maybe one day soon? I was getting hangry, so we then started walking towards Bottega Louie but a block before getting there, we ran across Karl Strauss Brewery. Love the place from its Citywalk location, and that felt a little more relaxed than going to Bottega Louie. So that’s what we did – perfect fit, getting beer and grub. After that, we then walked our way over to the Bradbury Building. Why? Well, Larry had figured out where it was while we were up top and we figured if we’re down here, let’s go take a look. It’s well known for having quite the dramatic and unique interior and also for having quite iconic films set within it – notably Blade Runner. My pictures here didn’t come out quite as clear as I’d hoped, but you get the gist.
Food, Broadway, and the Bradbury Building
A late lunch at Karl Strauss Brewery in DTLA
Then we walked to the Bradbury Building
Looking back along Broadway – quite a lively street
Marty in VR
Inside this striking and unique building
Inside has been used for many films, but Blade Runner is the most notable
Million Dollar Theater across the street
Then it was a walk back to where we parked, and along the way, caught one last glimpse of the US Bank building and the Skyslide:
We were up there
There’s the slide from way down below
And now we’re back home after a fun afternoon. Still figuring out where to eat having had a fairly late lunch.