Where are the most interesting places in Downtown Los Angeles?
March 14, 2014 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I recently moved to Downtown Los Angeles, and am getting a kick out of exploring the neighborhood--it's changed a lot since I last visited in the early 2000s, has amazing architecture, and a fascinating mix of people and different communities. But I'm new to Los Angeles and unfamiliar with the neighborhood... what are the gems of downtown that are worth checking out?
posted by huskerdont to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (12 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Clifton's Cafeteria for a David Lynch-style lunch. The Varnish at Cole's for cocktails.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:30 AM on March 14, 2014

The Bradbury Building and Angels Flight Railway.
posted by usonian at 10:34 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Last Bookstore. Make sure you go upstairs and check out the art and $1 books!
posted by lakemarie at 10:35 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Keep an eye out for the Brewery Open Studios (at the end of April).
posted by Erasmouse at 10:40 AM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 on the Last Bookstore!

This time of year the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising has a display of costumes from Academy Award nominated films. We've gone every year since 2002. These are the actual costumes worn in front of the cameras; we found that out in 2003 when we missed the costumes from "The Two Towers" because they'd been sent back to New Zealand for additional shooting. 8-(

posted by quackamoe at 11:13 AM on March 14, 2014

The Central Library is gorgeous and lots of fun to browse in. They also have a great used book sale on the third Saturday of every month from 10 - noon.

Santee Alley is always entertaining, and you might find a good deal there.

The FIDM Museum is currently having their annual exhibition of movie costumes, including the Academy Award nominees for Costume Design. This year's costumes include Jaeger suits from Pacific Rim, costumes from Catching Fire, and Star Trek Into Darkness. FIDM also has a Scholarship Store, where you can find designer merchandise for very reasonable prices.

In the summertime, you can go to free concerts at California Plaza - keep an eye on the Grand Performances site for more info.
posted by mogget at 11:16 AM on March 14, 2014

posted by rhizome at 11:31 AM on March 14, 2014

The Triforium sculpture is amusingly weird. I'd also recommend the Los Angeles Conservancy walking tours, or even just check out what they feature, especially the Art Deco tour and the Broadway Theater district tour.
posted by dreamyshade at 12:10 PM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Clifton's cafeteria is closed until May for renovations.
posted by holyrood at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2014

grand park is new and an awesome resource

check out this urban hiking app once it launches: http://gizmodo.com/los-angeles-launches-an-interactive-urban-trail-system-1541248828

have you walked over 1st st bridge and up to mariachi plaza?

it is my firm belief that every angeleno should visit the observation deck at the top of city hall (open during weekday business hours)

lots of tasty street food along olympic near central ave on weekends
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:40 PM on March 14, 2014

I'm in the fashion district at least once a month. The fabric stores are like heaven. Also, Phillipe's.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:46 PM on March 14, 2014

City Hall has a free observation deck. Go up for some spectacular views. Also, check out the Library Bar.
posted by signondiego at 12:20 AM on March 16, 2014

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