On our fifth day in California, it rained. And rained. And rained. Downtown LA isn’t the most fun or convenient place to be in the pouring rain; I think it’s fair to make that claim of any large downtown. But I had a mission that hadn’t been fulfilled yet, and this was our last day in LA.
What was my mission? Trying out Los Angeles’s subway system. I am inexplicably fascinated with public transit systems (I own socks with the London Underground map on them), and I’d never tried LA’s. So I bought a far-too-expensive umbrella at Macy’s across the street from the hotel, and I hopped on at the 7th Avenue station, taking the blue and gold lines to the Chinatown station. The stop is really cute with an escalator covering designed to mimic Chinatown’s architecture.
View of Chinatown from the subway stop.
It’s only a block west toward Broadway and then a block north to the main Chinatown plaza from the stop, but in the rain, it’s not the best few blocks. And it turns out that Chinatown is virtually abandoned in the rain—or maybe that’s just a weekday thing. It’s still pretty nifty to look at, though.
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It’d been a good long time since I made it home to Los Angeles for Christmas. Most of the extended Gomez family lives in the area, including my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, and those removed by a degree or two or five whom I’ll just refer to as whatever relation suits me. I’d heard good things about the annual Gomez family Christmas Eve dinner last year, which I hadn’t made it to since I was around 12 or so, and decided this was the time to swing it.
Swinging it involved getting cheap tickets that made us fly from Durham to O’Hare to Seattle to LA, making a normally 7-8 hour trip take 12 instead. Also, O’Hare is a pain to fly through as all our flights to or from it were delayed or canceled. So we actually had to fly into Orange County instead when we missed our Seattle to LA flight and my sister was nice enough to drive the extra distance to get us.
We slept at Christa’s house in Culver City that night and the next. Christa took on tour guide duties, something we both do well, and took us to Olvera Street in downtown LA on my request. Olvera Street, also known as El Pueblo Monument, is the oldest part of Los Angeles and a nicely remodeled Mexican marketplace with small taquerias and stands.
View from the end of Olvera Street
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