Friday, January 25, 2008

Parks, Sitting, Walking, & Coffee in the Financial District

I spent much of the day on Monday wandering downtown mostly on foot. I took the Dash to Grand Hope Park, which sits behind FIDM, then ambled the however-many blocks up to Central Library. I knew that the library was closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, and the point of going there was just to have a sit in the Maguire Gardens which face Flower Street.

Not very many people were sitting on the half-dozen benches available in the gardens, and I was the only gal. I suppose not many people would venture into the park in January to just hang out, and even less so in Los Angeles, where young people tend to make a mass exodus to the mountains for weekend snowboarding. Somewhere in me there is a crotchety old man whining about "kids these days."

It was lovely to sit and watch the pigeons flutter about frantically for food, hear the skater-kids riding down the stairway leading up to the library, see the clouds drift behind the buildings and trade places with patches of blue sky. There were actually a few people milling about and talking, which was refreshing after the near-desolation of Grand Hope Park. (In a month or two I will hopefully have found a good and affordable digital camera so that I'll be able to post photos of these lovely things I see.)

I walked over to Figueroa and avoided the semi-monstrosity of 7th+Fig, ducking into the Wilshire Promenade food court. I got a coffee from Tierra Cafe, whose menu proclaims "Vegetarian cuisine, Organic Coffee and Tea House." I think they were just glad to have another customer on what was surely a desolate business day. The coffee was hot, though, which was the most important thing at the moment anyway.

Somehow-- blame it on the caffeine, maybe-- instead of hopping on the Dash F at Flower & 7th to get home, I decided to walk toward the Dash D stop at Olympic and Hill. The next thing I knew, I'd forgone transit entirely and instead found myself walking south on Broadway, determined to walk through the Dead Zone that starts at about Olympic or 11th Avenue, where there is nothing.

I did not see much as I walked down Broadway or Main south of Olympic. A few scattered little hole-in-the-wall taquerias, and the outskirts of the Fashion District along Main mostly offered socks and sports-enthusiast apparel.

I had timed it so that I wouldn't be walking past dusk, and I made it through the 2.5-mile trek just fine, though I did have a somewhat confusing exchange with a man at an intersection who babbled something and then offered me money. I just smiled and proceeded across the street. I've since decided that he was just seeing if I needed bus fare.

Tierra Cafe
818 Wilshire Blvd. #D

Central Library
630 W. Fifth St.

Dash D from Olive & Washington to 9th, then much aimless wandering northward, followed by more purposeful walking southward

Cost Summary:
Dash: $0.25
Coffee: $1.50
Total: $1.75

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