Los Angeles is a city that confounds me completely. For whatever reason, I never really know what to think about it. I always have a good time in LA, and I love spending time there, but somehow it’s still really hard to grasp the city’s persona. Maybe that’s because it – much like myself – has so many of them.
One neighborhood in particular remains a huge mystery to me. DTLA is one of my favorite spots in the city, but I still don’t quite understand what it is or what it’s trying to be.
Much of Downtown LA is filled with freeways on freeways, multi-laned bridges built on bridges, all twirling in an endless dance around each other like concrete spaghetti. Every hour is rush hour in DTLA.
Some parts of the neighborhood look like the LA I remember from 90s cop movies, with alleys that I could swear I’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis running down while chasing menacing villains.
Some streets are decidedly urban and full of frenzy while others feel completely deserted. One street might seem ultra-modern while the next one will look like something out of a Mexican movie from 1956. In general the Mexican influence is very strong in the Downtown area.
DTLA seems like a mixture of things that weren’t meant be mixed, but somehow it all builds up to a satisfying whole
Downtown LA is one of the only spots in the city with tall buildings
And some of them are hiding great pool parties on their rooftops!
Just a few steps away from the luxury hotels and their rooftop pool parties is Skid Row, an area infamous for so many illegal things… and an area you don’t want to get lost in when it’s getting dark out. And I’m speaking from a place of knowledge here.
Hectic, alluring, deserted, dangerous, electric, ever changing. DTLA is confusing… and beautiful.