Posts Tagged ‘Chinatown’
Celebrate the Year of the Monkey on a Private Tour to Chinatown
Los Angeles is quite proud of its Chinatown neighborhood on the northeast corner of downtown (DTLA). This is really New Chinatown which was constructed in the late 1930’s. Our original Chinatown began not very far away in the 1880’s and flourished as Los Angeles became a major American city. However, urban growth, shifting business interests and significant racism meant the decline of the once vibrant neighborhood until it eventually was condemned and redeveloped into what is today Union Station. Happily there was sufficient political will and a more tolerant population for Chinatown to begin anew adjacent to our Little Italy. A beautiful gate was constructed and New Chinatown was open for business. And business was soon booming as it continues to do today. Everything a visitor expects in such a neighborhood is here: great restaurants, shops and services. The Gold Line trolley runs on elevated tracks through a wonderfully designed Chinese-themed station. Civic events are regularly scheduled which attract Los Angelenos from all corners of the city. Hollywood, too, loves the photographic possibilities and features the neighborhood regularly in television and movie productions. We love to take our private Los Angeles tour guests to Chinatown whenever we explore downtown because it is very fine place to stop for a snack at a bakery or quick meal at one of our favorite restaurants, Yang Chow. Happy Year of the Monkey to you!
Sculpture Impresses Our Private Tour Guests
The impressive Rupert Mok sculpture of two golden dragons rises over the roadway leading into the downtown side of Chinatown, the Golden Dragon Gateway. Dedicated in 2001 the location draws visitors from the nearby Olvera Street historic district over and into a district itself historic. While Olvera Street dates back to the earliest days of Los Angeles and its founding, Chinatown only goes back to the the era of the California Gold Rush and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Chinatown was originally located where Union Station stands today and it was the construction of that beautiful train station that forced the relocation of Chinatown to its present location where it has prospered. Vibrant with Asian culture, exotic shops and restaurants and a healthy art community, Chinatown is a destination for all visitors interested in Los Angeles and its multi-cultural origins and development. A walking tour from 2003 is still a good way to learn about Chinatown and the immediate vicinity either alone or with us on a private Los Angeles tour.
Our Private Los Angeles Tour Downtown Visits Chinatown
The history of Chinatown in Los Angeles is both heartbreaking and inspiring. We find it well worth a walk through the district and and a stop at one of the outstanding bakeries for a timely snack as we talk with our private tour guests about Los Angeles in the mid-19th century when California was just becoming a state and a new Chinese population was taking root where Union Station stands today. The small population, mostly men, provided labor for building and rail projects in the booming city. Over time the group flourished but were dislocated when the great train station was constructed. It took creativity and effort by supporters in the business community to envision, finance and build a New Chinatown along Broadway just north of the city. Today this community is robust and vital, a major part of the cultural heritage of a city even more connected to China than ever before.
Every Station Has Its Own Aesthetic in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles the above-ground light rail stations as well as the underground subway stations are all individually designed. Each time a train stops you can know where you are before reading the station sign. In fact, there are art tours provided by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (“MTA“) that visit different stations each month with a docent to explain the art and design of the Red Line (underground) stations. The station shown, one of the few elevated stations for the MTA light rail system, is the Chinatown Gold Line Station. But you knew that just by looking. This station is just north of downtown Los Angeles so you can walk into Chinatown for lunch and shopping and then walk over the freeway to the courthouses and government buildings, the Music Center or the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. The Gold Line stretches from Pasadena to East Los Angeles serving 21 stations along almost 20 miles with an extension east from Pasadena currently under construction and further eastern expansion scheduled from East L.A. We have had private Los Angeles tours interested in exploring our local train system before and there is much to see.
From Chinatown to Downtown — Los Angeles
The lovely decorative arch separates Chinatown in Los Angeles from the Civic Center and City Hall. We took the photograph above for our guests on a private Los Angeles tour sightseeing through downtown. As we departed Chinatown we found ourselves in the area where Los Angeles was first settled, Olvera Street. The Year of the Snake has just begun so plan on visiting Chinatown (with us, we hope) when you are here.
Come to Chinatown near downtown Los Angeles for some great food, and lots of music and culture for this year’s Chinatown Summer Nights event. There are three Saturday nights that Chinatown will be partying hard: July 28, August 11 and August 25. Show up at 5pm when the bands kick off and stay until midnight to enjoy everything offered.
This will be a huge outdoor summer party with restaurants open late, gourmet food trucks as only Los Angeles knows, music and dancing, large scale video projections and lots of happy Angelenos enjoying Chinatown.
We have seen many changes over the years as we have taken our private luxury tour guests through this historic neighborhood to shop and eat and truly love the opportunity to visit. We expect to be dropping by Chinatown Summer Nights while on our Saturday evening tours this summer.