Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Short eco-tour of Los Angeles

Siel of Green Los Angeles Girl asked what to tell a ecological Finish visitor who had one Sunday evening and one Monday morning in Los Angeles. So below is my answer.

Dear Finnish Visitor to Los Angeles,
Let's pretend you are staying in Hollywood.

For a Sunday evening, I'd buy an all-day metro pass. Take either the Metro Rapid 704 bus or Metro 4 bus down Santa Monica Boulevard all the way to the beach and get off at the final stop. If you are in Hollywood, Santa Monica Boulevard is usually a short walk. Then I'd walk the palisades, walk down to the beach, say hello to the ocean, go back up, walk around 3rd Street Promenade and downtown Santa Monica. By the way, if you want to hop off the bus at Beverly Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills and walk two blocks south to Wilshire Boulevard and back north to Santa Monica Boulevard you will see the heart of Beverly Hill's shopping district.

For Monday morning, I'd get an all-day metro pass, and take the Red line subway to Union Station, get off and tour the station. Then I'd walk across the street, walk through Olvera Street and look at the zanja madre ditch/fountain right in front of the Avila Adobe and walk through the Avila Adobe.The city started as a small farming town irrigated my zanjas or irrigation ditches where water was brought down the the Los Angeles River just north of here to the fields circling Olvera city.

Then I'd walk across the street and walk around La Placita Church, Los Angele's oldest church. Then I'd walk south to La Placita, the little plaza and hub of the city. All the city's celebrations and political rallies for the first 100 years were held here. There's a fine Chinese-American museum just south of the plaza telling Chinese history of Los Angeles as this area was the city's first Chinatown.

If there's time, walk about 4 blocks south to Little Tokyo and walk through the plaza there between the Japanese-American museum and the Democracy museum.

Of course, there are many fine restaurants along the way in Santa Monica, Union Station, Olvera Street, and Little Tokyo. But at least the visitor gets to see both the city's historical beginnings in Olvera Street, the mighty Pacific and one beach city, and even perhaps a glimpse of Little Tokyo, the historical home of Japanese-Americans in the city.

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