Ok y’all confession time. I LOVE DOWNTOWN LA. Like, really really love it.
Is it sketchy as heck? Absolutely. Is there something beautiful & something disgusting on every corner? Definitely. Knowing this do I still continue to not only venture all the way downtown, but also spend entire days wishing I could live there? You got it dude.
Admittedly, downtown is not the place most people choose to go while in LA… But I’m not most people 😉 Maybe it’s the history of it all or maybe its the reminiscent (brief) New Yorker in me, but I just love love LOVE downtown LA.
Before I officially moved to LA, I spent a summer living in a friends apartment near USC, but I never really explored downtown (except for the accidental wrong turn and late night taco cravings) and now I wish I had been more adventurous. But it was after moving to New York City for a short period in my life, that I began to not only love a life surrounded by tall buildings and strange people yelling at hotdog stands, but I could wholeheartedly picture my future in a place like that. However I can picture my future in a lot of different places, but honestly that’s one of the many reasons LA suites me so well right now. So whenever I get that NYC nostalgia and empty New York back-lot sets just won’t cut it, I make my way downtown to do some exploring.
First stop? FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOOOOOOOD.
While driving around looking for parking (ughhhh the parking…NYC you’ve definitely got us there) my wonderful exploring companion, Alyson, saw a random pub and immediately we both craved a burger. And oh my goodness y’all, LET ME TELL YOU, Beelman’s Pub did not disappoint. Don’t let the fact that neither of us had eaten anything all day and it was about 2:30 in the afternoon fool you, this might be the best burger I’ve ever had (excluding my dad’s hamburgers, obviously). First of all, seating wise you can’t go wrong. Either sit in a booth How I Met Your Mother style and look at the ginormous gallery wall or sit outside because, hey, it’s LA and the weather never fails ya. But guyssss, those fries? Straight. up. perfection. The bun? I could eat that bread 7 days a week and never get tired of it. And that bacon? I have had dreams (that’s right dreams with a “s”) about that bacon and I’m not the least bit ashamed to say it out loud. So so so good.
Next stop? Possibly my favorite place in all of LA. The one, the only, The Last Bookstore.
This place y’all…. oh my sweet gracious. I could spend hours here. Oh wait, I HAVE. Multiple times. I just can’t express how much joy and whimsy this place brings me. Back in Texas, Half Price Books was my happy place that no trouble in the world could bother me in, and I wish I could tell you how thrilled I am to find an equally happy little place in the city. The Last Bookstore is in an old downtown bank (how cool is that?!) that’s been converted into a bookstore that makes every single Barnes & Noble green with envy. So basically it’s Kathleen Kelly’s spirit store ;). From the wave of books on the wall to the labyrinth upstairs, this place gets more magical with every turn. Literally! There are vintage books stored in an old bank vault, an entire room of $1 books that’s probably twice the size of my bedroom, oh yeah and a SWEET tunnel of books because, why the heck not? If you live in LA and have never been, you’re crazy missing out. And if you don’t live here, you have my deepest sympathies.
Last stop? Ice cream. To celebrate National Ice Cream day, duhhhhh!
Mmmmmk friends, remember when I said downtown is sketchy? Well this place is nestled between some not so friendly places, but no worries!! That just means you need to bring a buddy along, because Peddler’s Creamery is just too stinkin’ cute to miss! First of all, it’s tiny so you might miss it if you didn’t know to look for it, unless you’re like me and pretty much have your ice cream radar on high alert 24/7. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in sheer coolness (baha, no pun intended). Not only is the ice cream really good (any place that can make vanilla ice cream taste better than mint chocolate is LEGIT in my book) but they make the waffle cones right in front of your sugar-hungry eyes. Think the fun stops there? WRONG-O! This ice cream is bicycle-churned (….didn’t even know that was a thing)!!! That means you can peddle on a stationary bike and actually MAKE the ice cream! Or burn off the calories as you gobble them up, whatever floats your boat. Plus they were playing some sweet jams when we walked in, so basically it gets all the cool points ever made in existence.
Also, peddling and eating your ice cream before it melts is harder than it looks… But it’s also as fun as it looks 😉
Hope you liked this mini tour of an easy afternoon walk-able adventure!! Stay tuned for more mini tours of various neighborhoods all throughout LA!!! Click below for a map and more info on each of these three AWESOME places!!!!!