The last of my personal tour of Los Angeles for Beymen Club.
Beyond the classic palm trees and the eternally radiant sunshine, the beautiful city of Los Angeles offers history, culture, and charm in a multitude of gems around the city.
Some of the earliest history can be found in Historic Downtown LA, where architecture and fragments of landmarks date back to the city’s founding in the late 1700’s. Early mornings are worth it when you’re making a trip to Grand Central Market, a communal ground floor that houses the city’s largest and oldest public market. A recent renaissance in the market’s vendors and ambiance with new gourmet ventures has heightened the crowds and flavors of culture. If you don’t get there before 10AM, be prepared to wait in hour-long lines for a famous egg sandwich or one of the best burgers on the West Coast.
When you’re done sampling pupusas and sticky rice, hop straight across the street to the unassuming brick façade of the Bradbury Building and behold its grand interior that takes you back a full century. The detailed filigree of iron and the flood of natural light from the open skylight welcome your eyes as they adjust to scan further details such as the smooth marble steps and open cage elevators. Standing in the atrium turns into feeling like a speck of dust in a lofty arena of architectural history. An hour easily passes as you silently take in the beauty of the warm, golden surroundings.
Mid-way across Los Angeles, a tucked-away street of mom-and-pop shops makes up the neighborly community of Larchmont Village. It’s a slice of beautiful and homely suburbia that make for a charming afternoon walk up and down the block. I’d tell you to come here for the best ice cream in the city at Salt & Straw, a Portland-based ice creamery known for its monthly turnover of specialty flavors and farm-to-cone ingredients. Just on the opposite side of the street is a boutique wine and cheese market that is my go-to for fresh deli sandwiches and ingredients for a French-inspired spread. And every other week I stop by the newsstand to pick up my next monograph of creative inspiration.
The best thing about LA is that there is always something cool and modern in the art world coming into town, and recently, famed book publisher Taschen opened its first gallery space right on Beverly Blvd. The gallery’s bright, rosy pink signage is a can’t-miss in traffic. Their first exhibition was dedicated to The Rolling Stones, arguably the most photogenic band in history, with historic photographs curated from a dozen or so photographers, but those most notably by the legendary David Bailey. Following this show, Taschen will exhibit shows based around its publishing program.
Other notable gems of LA to visit include the galleries that line La Brea Avenue, such as massive street art gallery Lab Art; to grab a unique view of the city, schedule private tours in mid-century architectural masterpieces lying in the Hollywood Hills, like the Stahl House, which offers floor-to-ceiling glass windows and almost a 360º view of Los Angeles.