Tag Archives: downtown

Downtown Day 2017: Skyspace, Central Library, and Bradbury Building

Larry and I have had a few previous downtown days, with some being harmless fun exploring the sights….

http://www.hobiebarnes.com/?p=3354

…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….

http://www.hobiebarnes.com/?p=6420

….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?

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.

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:

Alright, the remaining pictures are a lot.   I couldn’t help myself though as there’s just so much to take in.

Initial Looks:

View of the Oviatt Penthouse!

Alright, a whole lot of pictures of DTLA:

Okay, I then tried to capture LAX in the distance…

And some last pics before we went back to the ground:

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

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

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:

And now we’re back home after a  fun afternoon.  Still figuring out where to eat having had a fairly late lunch.

Our New Neighbor

When I say “our”, I of course mean the royal “our” with regards to PwC.  You can just see our petite building behind this new upstart, the Grand Wilshire.  Pretty glassy, eh?  Also LA’s tallest structure with the spire factored in.  LA is going crazy with all the construction, let me tell ya.

Anyway, off to Vegas for the weekend – don’t let the world get destroyed while we’re away.  I’m kind of fond of it.  It’ll be wonderful to see Fran and Joel, as well as Michancy.  Haven’t been to Vegas in quite a while, so I’m excited to get back to the tables!!!!!!!  🙂

Visiting the Twin Peaks Pop-Up in DTLA

I had been reading about the David Lynch “Festival of Disruption” that had been held this past weekend in Downtown Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel’s United Artists Theater.  It was a musical event with various interesting acts hand-picked by David Lynch…

It sounds like it could have been a cool event (see here: link to the festival’s website) to attend, but I didn’t really pay attention or know about it beforehand.  Tickets went fast.  But the good news was that my social media feed let me know that the pop-up shop situated in what would have been the ticket booth was going to be around for the following week (which is now this week).  And it was in DTLA, just a brisk walk away from where I work.  So YEAH, I was making my way there…as long as jury duty and/or work didn’t get in the way.  Happily, I wasn’t summoned to attend jury duty this week but still may have to go next week; and work is in a small in-between phase, so today during lunch, I did the walk over there.  It was so great, and happily not many people around at that time.   And of course, I got SWAG.  Here are the pics I took:

Still so excited for the return of this amazing show next year.  I honestly have no idea what to expect, and fully realize it could be a crazy-ass trainwreck.  But with David Lynch and Mark Frost both involved, I’m excited whether the results are good or bad.

Arts District Drinking & Griffith Park Runnin’

With last week being my return to a regular work schedule (and with no company holidays in sight until Memorial Day), it ended up feeling like a very long week.  This weekend ended up being a lot of fun, although I think I drank more beer than I should have?  This morning was certainly rougher than expected.

As for yesterday, we drove down into the Downtown LA Arts District, which is certainly a very “hip” neighborhood, with it having a ton of hipster bars and restaurants while also nestled up against one of the worst parts of town, Skid Row.  So edgy!  🙂  Anyway, we drove in over the Fourth St bridge and luckily found a parking spot in the lot, and proceeded to enjoy the Brewery offerings.  Of course I drank the beer while Larry just had to deal with me.  It was awesome to get to see the old crew all together again (sans Nicki & Brian though) and it just reminded both Larry & me that we have some fantastic friends – it’s just that we don’t get to see them daily.  🙁  Welcome to the 30s, Tawny!!!

Jan 9, 2016 – Tawny’s Birthday at Arts District Brewery

Driving across one of the awesome LA River bridgesDriving across one of the awesome LA River bridges
Driving across one of the awesome LA River bridges09-Jan-2016 15:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
This is the Fourth Street BridgeThis is the Fourth Street Bridge
This is the Fourth Street Bridge09-Jan-2016 15:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
There's DTLA!There's DTLA!
There's DTLA!09-Jan-2016 15:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 
09-Jan-2016 15:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.2, 7.6mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
09-Jan-2016 15:28, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.0, 14.9mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
09-Jan-2016 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 
09-Jan-2016 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
Not sure what that all isNot sure what that all is
Not sure what that all is09-Jan-2016 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.5, 10.7mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 125
09-Jan-2016 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
 
The very long Arts District apartmentsThe very long Arts District apartments
The very long Arts District apartments09-Jan-2016 15:29, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 125
Inside the BreweryInside the Brewery
Inside the Brewery09-Jan-2016 15:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 800
09-Jan-2016 15:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 400
 
09-Jan-2016 15:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 500
Our selfieOur selfie
Our selfie09-Jan-2016 15:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 500
Carey & ParasCarey & Paras
Carey & Paras09-Jan-2016 15:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 4.0, 6.4mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 400
 

This get-together had been an afternoon affair, so Larry & I ended up getting dinner back close to home at Jax.  The jazz was still fun to listen to, although it had vocals so I think Michancy would have hated it.  There was an amusing woman in front of us at the host desk who was absolutely PISSED that her wishes to be near the music were not conveyed in the reservation.  She demanded to know when she’d get a table and when the host finally guessed an hour after getting badgered by her for that answer, she immediately demanded to know why it would be an hour.  Bitch, STFU.  Anyway, Larry & I didn’t care about being next to the music and got her table.  Food wasn’t all that much to write home about, but it was good enough.

Finally, this morning, we did another Griffith Park run!  I explored a little and ran west initially and discovered the bike path doesn’t go that much further west just yet.  I do know that there are plans to make the path go the entire length of the river, but we’re not there yet.  Thanks again to Fitbit guilt for getting me out on that run.  Here’s hoping to continuing that trend and getting my health in check.

GRiffithRun-10Jan16

Getting My Gold Line On

I love that Los Angeles is getting subways and light rails.  I write about it occasionally, especially when I get to use it on a daily basis, like when I lived in Santa Monica and took the Expo Line & Red Line to Universal, or now that I live in Glendale and can take the Metrolink and Red Line into DTLA, or my obsession with the fact that eventually LAX will get connected into the Metro ecosystem.  It’s awesome.

One part of the Metro system that I haven’t experienced though, and one I’ve wanted to at least try, was the Gold Line.

GoldLine_2015It’s a Light Rail system that reaches from DTLA into Pasadena.  It extended a few years back further into East LA.  Next year in 2016, the Gold Line will be getting a further extension in the San Gabriel valley, getting stops in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte and finally terminating in Azusa.  There’s hope that one day it’ll go even farther, but I think at that point, you’d be better off taking a Metrolink if you’re really interested in coming into DTLA from way out in Montclair or Ontario Airport.

So I have been seeing the Gold Line whenever we drove the 210 out to visit mom or when you drive the Pasadena Freeway, and I always see it while doing my Metrolink thing at Union Station.  Since I had today off and needed to get out of the house for the housekeeper to do her thing, I decided this was the day.  And it was pretty great – I rode it out to Pasadena of course, enjoying the route it takes through Chinatown and then through the Highland Park area.  It’s a very peaceful route and it really trucks along as there seems to be a bit more bridges and track superiority there.  I got out at the end (Sierra Madre Villa station), took some pictures, did a brief walk (FitBit guilt), and then got back on and headed back to Union Station.  I didn’t explore the East LA extension this time, because I was more interested in riding the Gold Line as it was before next year’s extension.  I’m very curious how that’ll be when it opens.

Upon my return into DTLA, I ended up saying to myself that Phillipe’s would be a great lunch idea, so I made it so.  YUM.  Even at 11:15am on a Wednesday, it’s crowded.  Did get lucky when I got back to Union Station as a train that passed through Glendale was leaving within 5 minutes.  AWESOMESAUCE.

Alright, picture time!

Dec 30, 2015 – Gold Line Groovin’

30-Dec-2015 09:21, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 09:22, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
View of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line stationView of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line station
View of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line station30-Dec-2015 09:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
Where Union Station tracks have to goWhere Union Station tracks have to go
Where Union Station tracks have to go30-Dec-2015 09:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
DTLA view from the Gold Line stationDTLA view from the Gold Line station
DTLA view from the Gold Line station30-Dec-2015 09:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
View from the Gold Line bridge over the LA RiverView from the Gold Line bridge over the LA River
View from the Gold Line bridge over the LA River30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Emerging onto the 210 FreewayEmerging onto the 210 Freeway
Emerging onto the 210 Freeway30-Dec-2015 10:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
30-Dec-2015 10:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 10:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 10:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
End of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa StationEnd of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa Station
End of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa Station30-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Bridge over the 210 FreewayBridge over the 210 Freeway
Bridge over the 210 Freeway30-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
Westbound 210Westbound 210
Westbound 21030-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125