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Downtown’s heritage as a mercantile center can still be experienced in its historic shopping districts, popular with bargain hunters.

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sleek Japanese American National Museum. The Geffen Contemporary, a branch of MOCA, is next door. At 2nd and Main streets is the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, former home of the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

L.A. Live

Spring Street from 4th to 7th streets is a rapidly awakening area once referred to as the “Wall Street of the West.” Steps from this historic district is a row of trendy bars on 6th Street (between Main and Los Angeles streets) that includes The Varnish.

Shopping Districts

Downtown’s heritage as a mercantile center can still be experienced in its historic shopping districts. The Jewelry District draws shoppers to markets such as St. Vincent Jewelry Center (650 S. Hill St.), while in the neighboring Fashion District, centered around the California Market Center, you can find designer clothing items. At Santee Alley, an open-air bargain bazaar, designer trends breed low-priced knockoffs. The Flower District offers blooms at wholesale prices. For an awesome mix of old-school produce vendors and lunch counters and new, upscale specialty stalls, Grand Central Market, near the foot of Angels Flight, is the place to go. And the

G R E AT F I N D

refreshed FIGat7th shopping center boasts trendy new boutiques and eateries.

Chinatown

Chinatown remains a great destination for sampling dim sum or browsing for authentic clothing, tea or home goods. Cultural highlights include the ornate Thien Hau Temple (750 Yale St.) and the Chinese American Museum. Pedestrian-oriented Chung King Road and Gin Ling Way are home to galleries, while Broadway boasts boutiques. Dodger Stadium is a short drive away, as is San Antonio Winery, which offers tours and tastings.

Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo is still a proud ethnic enclave, but it, too, is emerging as an up-and-coming hipster ’hood. The dining scene is popping, led by newer restaurants such as Lazy Ox Canteen, and you can nibble on traditional sushi prepared by veteran chefs at Japanese Village Plaza. Just a few steps down 1st Street is the

/ swede dreams

➺Scandinavian design is enjoying the spotlight shining on downtown L.A. Steps from Acne Studios’ flagship is Austere, a showroom, retail and event space founded by Fredrik Carlström to bring the well-designed environment of his Stockholm youth to life. In a former parking structure and automobile showroom, pieces by such modern masters as Alvar Aalto (see a wooden mold from one of his vases, at right) mingle with contemporary designs, deliberately arranged to underscore the heritage and innovation behind each piece. The offerings come from diverse disciplines: Swedish barbershop Roy & Son operates two chairs, and, harking back to the building’s roots, Austere founding partner Volvo has a model on display. How do you say “vroom” in Swedish? 912 S. Hill St., downtown, 323.977.9280, austere.co

Exposition Park

Just south of downtown is Exposition Park, whose grounds hold major museums and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The California African American Museum touches on African American history, and the BeauxArts-style Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County offers insight into prehistoric giants. The California Science Center has a 3-D IMAX theater and exhibits the retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour. For bold items, see listings in the where guide. For a detailed map of downtown, see page 101.

FROM TOP: MATT HARTMAN; MELISSA DI MEGLIO

The retired NASA space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center in Exposition Park

The $2.5 billion L.A. Live project has been called the epicenter of the downtown renaissance. Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings, hosts top pop acts, as does Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, which boasts state-of-the-art acoustics. The Grammy Museum honors myriad music genres with videos, artifacts and interactive exhibits. A dozen restaurants and nightlife venues—WP24, Rock’n Fish and Lucky Strike Lanes, to name a few—face a massive urban plaza lined with LED screens. The Los Angeles Convention Center, encompassing 16-plus acres of exhibition space, is also here.

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3rdStre

Profile for SoCalMedia

WHERE Los Angeles Magazine September 2014  

Where Los Angeles Magazine gives visitors and locals a portal for essential, immediate and accurate information on the best things to do in...

WHERE Los Angeles Magazine September 2014  

Where Los Angeles Magazine gives visitors and locals a portal for essential, immediate and accurate information on the best things to do in...