Downtown LA Art Walk

For so long, I’d been dying to make it to the Art Walk downtown. It’s the second Thursday of every month, so you kind of have to plan for it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—I love going downtown. There’s culture, there’s great restaurants and I find it a refreshing change of scenery. It’s especially fun to do something you wouldn’t normally do on a weeknight, a bit naughty even (in a staying up late on a school night kind of way). Though some of the art might suggest otherwise (you’ll see what I mean).

The Art Walk is a self-guided event that mostly takes place on Spring and Main Streets between 2nd and 9th. You park your car and just wonder in and out of galleries and pop up art exhibits. Aren’t the strings of  lights so charming!

I love the old buildings downtown, especially the Hotel Barclay’s sign and lamppost. Built in 1896, the Beaux-Arts style building is downtown L.A.’s oldest continuously operating hotel. The interior actually served as Café 24 Heures in the film “As Good As It Gets.”

I recommend arriving in time for an early dinner. We tried Bäco Mercat, which is Chef Josef Centeno’s (Lazy Ox) new place. I’m not giving this my full review because I wasn’t feeling well that night and  it wouldn’t be fair.  Everyone I was with loved everything they ordered though, so I’d like to go back for lunch and actually order what they are known for—the bäco, their signature flatbread sandwich. If you are looking for a great non-alcoholic beverage alternative, you must try one of their homemade sweet & sour sodas—a bright burst of refreshing flavor.

Beautiful Day in the Park by JT Burke

After dinner, we mosied down the way to the LA Center for Digital Media, where many pieces from JT Burke were on display. I loved his use of color and what they represent—most show scenes of  a certain kind of paradise.

There’s a reason you “don’t touch the art.” This photo was captured mid moment as I put my hand to lean on what looked like a very heavy skull. Not so, as I soon discovered! It was as light as styrafoam and almost tumbled over. Note the “paper mache” sign above. #Icantread

From the Everything is Wonderful exhibit

My favorite gallery was the Robert Reynolds Gallery and Studio. His exhibit was a series of paintings, sculptures and installations.

From the Everything is Wonderful exhibit
From the Everything is Wonderful exhibit

This building held a really cool installation with sheets of music. It also had a little personal, historical  significance as it was the building where my  sister-in-law had an office the year she lived in L.A. Working with her was the kickstart I needed to become an entrepreneur. Isn’t it great when you look back on a challenging time and say…so THAT’S why that happened!  You may not see it at the time, but how great when you finally do.

While we had to see a lot of really awful art to get to the good (next time I would map out my trip ahead of time), it was a cultural experience, so I tried to keep an open mind. As we rounded a corner, I saw a really cute home decor shop called (Sub)Urban. From the outside, it looked like my kind of place!…which is why I was so shocked when I made it thru the store to find THIS hanging in all its glory over a darling dresser with really great accessories (oh, the contradiction)!

The “X” is for your benefit, so if you think it’s shocking now, you should have been there in person!  S/he made quite a statement amongst the modern lamps, colorful pillows and designery bric-a-brac. And they call this art?! Well, I never!

Night fell and the streets were still full of people. I tend to turn into a pumpkin early on weeknights (ok, really, any night), so we made our last rounds, hopped in the car and headed west.

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