Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Downtown Ain't What It Used to Be

Many people look at having kids as the death of world exploration. While I do know a couple that hiked through Nepal with their 3 year old, for most people these types of trips become great slideshow memories of a by-gone era after baby is born. I don't see any trips to Morocco in my near future, but we still try to visit something new when we can, even when that something is very close to home.

Last weekend, we made a day of downtown. For me Downtown Los Angeles has always seemed a bit like a barren wasteland. Former architectural glories turned into bodegas and tchotchke shops. This is still an accurate description of some areas, but I was surprised to see how much has changed. It's actually becoming an interesting place to be.

One of those places is The Last Bookstore. The name sounds post-apocalyptic and given the state of the bookstore industry, it's probably not far off from the truth. Walking through the doors is a little like I would imagine walking into Diagon Alley feels. It's a total secret hideaway that makes you feel pretty special for finding it. Rooms and rooms of books for $1, true crime section located in an old bank vault and people who actually seem to care about books.

Being the avid reader that she is, Em loved it just as much as my husband and I did.

But it may have been her second favorite stop that day - top honors going to the fountain at Grand Park. This is another thing that amazes me about Los Angeles. Maybe it's because there are so many parks to choose from, but it always seems to me like the best ones are the least busy. Grand Park is kind of amazing. For one, it has its own Starbucks. But better yet, there is a great fountain where barefoot toddlers and their parents can pretend to walk on water. 

Em is a very analytical child, so it took a little while for her to warm up to the concept. But it wasn't that long before she tried to hug the small geysers shooting up around her. Although next time I really need to remember to pack a change of clothes. 


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