How awesome is it when you live in a neighborhood that people are learning to love and yet it is still underappreciated. It means that you enjoy the growing number of restaurants that have sprouted throughout downtown’s micro-neighborhoods without reservations (except for that darn delicious Church and State – you always have to call a few days in advance unless you want dinner at 10:30 at night), there is always something to do whether it is visiting one of our many museums, a movie at the new Regal Live, or Pee Wee Herman at the Nokia, AND you get to enjoy nice runs on Bunker Hill without any car congestion on the weekends.
I could go on and on about why I love downtown. The truth is that I have loved it for years- it was love at first sight when my mother brought me as a little kid to shop at the callejones (Santee Alley) for affordable wares. For years I looked up at the then empty buildings (or full of sweat shops) and yearned to live there. In high school I used to skip school (which is not a good idea kids!) and take the Metro 68 to downtown to stroll along Broadway, Spring St., and study at Central Library (I could spend hours reading books I would never find at the local library). It feels like it has been a long distance crush relationship; as I got older and started working at City Hall I used to drive home to Boyle Heights over the 7th St Bridge and sigh as I left downtown behind me.
Now I live here with M, a four-year old and a five-year old and my life is in a completely different place that I envisioned. A lot has happened in my relatively short life making me feel far older and hopefully wiser in the process. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that I love downtown and now I am incredibly lucky enough to live here with the three best companions I could ever dream up of having (at least after two of them were potty-trained).
Downtown is changing just like its inhabitants (myself included) and as I explore it further my love grows.
It makes life so much easier when you can walk to a dinner date or to meet friends for drinks after work. When your kids can go to a preschool that is a few blocks away from work, and when you can get home in less than an hour (by walking!).
So whether you are a downtown cheerleader or a naysayer you have to admit that downtown Los Angeles sucks you in once you live here. Whether you are having dinner in Little Tokyo at Spitz with a sangria – or two, or indulging in Rivera’s late night happy hour you have to admit that we are all incredibly lucky to live here. 🙂