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sight-seeing downtown

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, October 04, 2004, at 01:01PM

My cousin Brent and his wife were in town from New York this weekend, and yesterday afternoon I brought them downtown to take a little walk around and see the sights.

We started out from my apartment in Premiere Towers. Standing in the hallway I was telling them how the two buildings were joined together in the apartment conversion process. Brent noticed that even the windows were different in the two. A few minutes later, standing in my apartment, the lightbulb finally came on: that's why my apartment has two styles of windows. The windows in the living room and my bedroom swing out, while the window in the other bedroom opens vertically. I hadn't put the pieces together before that this is because the two were historically in separate structures.

From my apartment we walked over to Broadway and then headed north. Well, actually first we swung through the Arcade Building so that I could tell them about the old chocolate shop and talk a little about the renovation going on there. Outside, standing in front of what was the Arcade Theatre, I was telling them about how if you walked back through the electronics shop currently occupying the storefront you'd find a theatre largely intact and used for storage. This story was made more difficult by the homeless guy who came up, asked for money, and then sort of laughingly continued to ask while sticking his finger under his shirt and pretending it was a gun. We ignored him and he went away.

Further up Broadway our little tour came to Grand Central Market, but what we really wanted to see was the Bradbury Building: plain on the outside, but absolutely amazing on the inside. Unbelievably the security guard took us up the elevator to the top floor, a place that you normally never get to see (on account of LAPD and Internal Affairs having offices in the building). I don't really have words for how unique this building is.

A block or two more up Broadway, and then we walked a couple blocks east to the Caltrans Building. Brent was more a fan of the building than I am, though I will say that the Main St. side looks much better now that the plaza is open and the fencing removed. We also saw the building in the late afternoon sun, when windows could actually be spied through the omninous sheathing.

Next we headed the other direction on 1st and made our way to Disney Hall. After admiring the building from the front we walked through the park on the structure's rear, hidden up above the street.

From there we walked south and crossed Grand to make our way through the Watercourt. South another block, across Pershing Square, and soon enough we were right back where we started.

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