a walk about: dtla arts district + little tokyo

on weekends i do the north end of dtla, å la grand avenue and broadway. i go on and on about that actually. but during the week, you can often find me on the other side of town, meandering little tokyo + arts district. and lemme tell you, this area is happening. a new storefront, gallery or resident makes itself at home here everyday. this borough is doing good... maybe too good? that depends on who you ask. 

but i just work down here, and feel lucky to roam these streets five days a week. there really is a lot to see but here's what a thirty-minute lunch break gets you...

>> i start on temple street and make a right onto alameda. pass the little tokyo metro station heading toward the arts district first. no one really walks here unless they live here or are lost. but it's my preferred route. this section is just at the cusp of all the change, right where the new meets the past. streets are still gritty and businesses that i can't figure what they sell or how they stay open are occupants. and then, bam. a bermuda triangle of hip restaurants and retail shops. also one the best horchata lattes you will ever have. 

>> yea it's a bit of a ghost town over here. but get outta here with that brick. love!

>> another block and you start to see more people. and some pretty great boutiques. a stop into poketo is a must. nothing short of adorableness here. a great place for cards, soaps and everything a hipster with a baby or an IG account needs.

>> they were just ok...


>> not to beat a dead horse, but the horchata latte at the pie hole is where IT'S AT.

>> bubbles! maxwell would lose his shit over this.

>> and to little tokyo i go...

>> leola lace is a great place for retail therapy without breaking the bank. and the owner is a real sweetheart.


... and through the village... maybe a stop in the market for a cucumber or avocado roll... then pop into popkiller and a few of the other toy stores for some fun gift ideas. browse the random cuteness at monkey pants if i have time. you should really see this place around christmas. it is bananas.

and time's up. but i am left with a few thoughts and something else to say. it has been a treat to watch this neighborhood grow. see people move in. progress being made. this microcosm of los angeles is continuously changing. evolving. and i've always wanted in on that. i love to imagine i live in one of the abandoned warehouses given new life... browse its unique retailers selling one-of-kind objects. drink a million of those horchata lattes... but i hope it stays humble. and true. not selling out to million dollar housing projects no artist or meandering passerby like me can afford. the next gentrified cliche. i'm keeping my fingers crossed this 'hood finds that balance between sustainability and integrity. but feel free to add a trader joe's, please.

and that is my arts district + little tokyo report. happy weekend! i'm out.

Sonia Cheek3 Comments