To get away from the boredom, I would get in my car and drive downtown to the Fashion District. I would pretend that I was in Mexico on one street. Guatemala on another. Paris on another.
I didn't care where I was on my travels - I just felt as though as I was transported to someplace else. A foreign land where people spoke a foreign language, with vendors who wore vibrant colors and hocked their vibrant wears, and children ran up and down the streets with new toys in their tiny hands.
Heaven, sheer heaven.
What most of you don't know about me is that for years prior to my downtown adventures, I was a travel journalist. It was my way of earning a living, having some fun, and GETTING AWAY FROM LA.
But once I found downtown about five years ago - after a friend recommended the Fashion District, which I didn't even know existed - I was hooked. And if I needed my "travel fix," I just got in my car and drove downtown.
Soon I expanded my adventures.
One day I would go to Chinatown, where I would walk Chung King Road - the charming windy street with many galleries - and pretend I was a Chinese maiden looking for my long lost artist lover. Or, I would go to Little Tokyo, and have tea in the Japanese American National Museum, and write in my journal. Or one night when I was really feeling restless, I even had the courage to go to The Hive Gallery on Spring - a street I had never been to - for my first Art Walk.
To me, downtown was my trip. My whole enchilada. My adventure of surprises.
So, when I finally took the leap and moved downtown my surprise was that there were still so many more surprises.
The teller at the bank, who always smiled (they don't do that on the Westside - they are very serious). How the same guy slept on the same corner every night. The fact that when you moved here, the first thing you asked when you rented a loft was, "Does it come with a parking space?" A ridiculous question in most parts of LA.
And...I realized very quickly that in between the nooks and crannies were stories. And the windows only a very small reflection.
Yes, an ADVENTURE. One that you don't need to purchase a ticket for...all you have to do is step on for the ride.