I got off my lazy butt the other day and headed down town to catch some christmas decor maybe around town and just to see if anything interesting was happening.
First stop, TOY DISTRICT.
Yes, from the sounds of it, it's ruddy interesting isn't it? A whole 12 blocks of nothing but toy shops! For an overgrown child like me, toys simply bring a certain joy that nothing else can. I love walking in and out of toy shops, never buying anything (ok, occasionally buying stuff) but checking out all the old school toys around. (And by the way, you should watch James May's Toy Stories while it's still up on youtube)
Everything from the toy robots to remote controlled cars, to action figures, to toy guns and weapons, to collectibles of all sorts. If I had all the money in the world, I'd buy every single Hotwheels car that exists. And build a mega track. And then I'd buy all the NERF guns. And then I'd buy a mountain of all those toy soldiers and make a war room.
Ok enough about that. Yes, toy district. We must get there. Like I said, it does sound incredibly nice doesn't it? For a person like me, it was a must see. So I hiked onto the train to downtown, to discover the longest escalator you have ever seen in your life.
It's so tall that it literally expands into the darkness. You can barely see the bottom clearly from my picture.
With a bit of walking, we arrive at Toy District.
The weather was overall crappy for taking pictures. It was gloomy. But that didn't dampen my spirits. Armed with lunch and my bearings, I was ready to hike all day long.
And it was an utter disaster. It was a total disappointment. Majority of the shops there weren't toy shops, they were just 'wholesale' shops. There were these mega bazaar areas that held shops of all kinds, selling everything from smoking equipment to christmas lights to body oils and lingerie. Toy District? Where are the toy shops?
I discovered them. But all of them were the same. They all sold the general 'made in china' toys. You know, those ridiculously plasticy train sets, those random dolls, those noisy cheap toy guns, those robots that walk and play stupid music, the toy cars that break when you drop them. It was a nightmare. There weren't quality toys in sight. Not one shop. I expected something better. Perhaps a store or two that held some more interesting and unique collections. This was just one mess of bargain goods. A collection of dull and tasteless toys. I was devastated.
Toy District had failed me. My hopes to find a place to see and admire designer toys and classic creations were dashed, replaced by a world of vulgar plastic and electronic lights.
Disappointed I continued my adventure. I ventured into City Hall, which boasted a huge tree. I suspect this could be the biggest one in Downtown, it being city hall and all.
The people you saw in the earlier shot don't give it perspective. Here's me, up close next to the tree. It's humongous.
See me there? I'm tiny.
I might want to venture back there at night just to see the lights, but we'll see.
Next up was the famous Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels. Supposedly the 'people's cathedral'.
It was a monstrous structure. And a tourist spot too. It boasted a grill. And a gift shop. How many cathedrals do you see with that now?
Some traditional bells that actually sounded - or they were fake and the sound came from elsewhere...
A traditional manger scene... but aren't these just the most beautifully Christmassy flowers you have ever seen???
Next stop was the Music Center, which houses then Walt Disney Hall and some other venues.
On the way though I passed this memorial fountain, commemorating someone that I read about on the plaque in front of it and then promptly forgot 5 minutes later.
I liked the fountain though. I call it, the Jell-O fountain.
The music center boasts this gorgeous sculpture and fountain.
The wall design of one of the halls which I just found fascinating.
... and the world's most anorexic reindeer.
And it boasted quite a pretty tree.
I spontaneously decided to take an upclose shot of some Baubles.
And this gave me an idea....
Presenting... The 'KJ in Bauble' Christmas Collection.
...or would you rather have red?...
..or simply gold?
Pictures are available as post cards for a dollar each, or purchase the entire 'KJ in Baubles' collection for a mere 5 dollars.
Next stop, the LADWP christmas lights festival. Let's hope I make it.
Ho ho ho!