Good evening from The Perfect LA Saturday!
June 17, 2017
Downtown Los Angeles: Olvera Street & Chinatown
This Saturday, we will be experiencing the diversity of Los Angeles by exploring a few of the cultural districts around downtown. We will be walking through the bustling Olvera Street and Chinatown before ending our day at the beautiful Italian San Antonio Winery across the river.
Olvera Street – $ (Optional)
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument
845 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Olvera Street is a historical district that was founded in 1781 and is currently a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. This brick-lined Mexican market houses some of the most authentic Mexican food in Los Angeles as well as many vendors selling colorful trinkets. We will be meeting at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and eating lunch here before heading over to Chinatown.
Here’s a quick background about my history with Olvera Street. The last time I visited Olvera Street was in elementary school. During this trip, I went through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I was given $20 to buy any souvenir I wanted from the vendors. I was faced with an extremely difficult decision – do I spend this money on a ukulele like all of my friends or do I buy a pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards? In case you couldn’t guess, I chose the Yu-Gi-Oh cards, which turned out to be a fake. It was heartbreaking watching all of my friends happily play their ukuleles and form little ukulele bands while I sat there, crying into my fake Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Olvera Street still gives me painful flashbacks of this experience. This is going to be the first time going back since the incident. I promise I will make it out of there with a ukulele. I hope you’ll be there to witness this historic moment.
Chinese American Museum – FREE
425 North Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
After we eat lunch (and some amazing churros) and I purchase a ukulele, we will head over to the Chinese American Museum across the street. While the museum is not located right by Olvera Street, it is actually one of the last remnants from the Old Chinatown. The museum has many exhibits about the Chinese American community in Los Angeles and will be a good way to learn a little more about the history before heading over to Chinatown.
Chinatown – $ (Optional)
Cesar Chavez and North Broadway Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Velveteria: The Museum of Velvet Art: http://velveteria.com/
Melody Lounge: https://www.instagram.com/melodylounge/?hl=en
Bruce Lee Statue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lee_statue_in_Los_Angeles
From the Chinese American Museum, we will head to the Chinatown gate at the corner of Cesar Chavez and North Broadway. Chinatown became a center for Chinese and other Asian American businesses in the late 1930s. There are many restaurants, shops and museums in Chinatown that showcase and sell all sorts of unique items. Chinatown is also the home of the famous Bruce Lee statue, which is the only statue of Bruce Lee in the United States. The key places we will be visiting during our walk-through of Chinatown are the Far East Plaza (a large shopping mall), Velveteria: The Museum of Velvet Art (a museum filled with nearly 3,000 velvet paintings and a black-light room with some trippy paintings), Melody Lounge (for a break with a nice cold beer) and the Bruce Lee Statue.
San Antonio Winery – $ (Optional)
737 Lamar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
From the Bruce Lee statue, we will Uber to San Antonio Winery across the river. Founded 100 years ago in 1917, San Antonio Winery is the last remaining winery in downtown Los Angeles that can cater to both a complete Italian dining experience and a casual afternoon of wine tasting. If you’re looking to spend the day enjoying an authentic Italian meal over one of the several wines they bottle themselves, the restaurant in the winery, Maddalena Restaurant, is an incredible place to go. We will be erring towards the side of casualness during our trip to San Antonio Winery and will be indulging in some of their artisan wines. If we’re dedicated enough, we can try every wine on the menu.
Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday and making it The Perfect LA Saturday.