Friday, July 31, 2009

Children on the street

As I sat on the bus, I thought about that woman on the corner of 6th and Broadway streets. She has a news stand at the edge of the sidewalk, a few inches from the curb.

Click image to enlarge

The woman sat by her merchandise cuddling her baby. And among her stacks of newspapers and magazines was a small niche where her other child - about 2 years old - is confined to playing in that small area. Nearby is the baby's stroller tucked close to her other merchandise. Around her are people waiting for the bus, or for the signal to cross the street.

It saddened my heart to see these children right there exposed to the elements; to contagious diseases floating in the air. These kids should be playing in a yard, or at least in the confines of their home.

Perhaps she can't find someone she can trust to care for her children while she ekes out a living. With a meager earning,
to hire a baby sitter would be out of the question.

The bus turned a corner and Union Station is in sight.

Monday, July 27, 2009

And we walked...

...some more.

(Enlarge images by clicking.)

Broadway street had changed so much from the last time I've seen it. This portion of it where we were walking--between the 7th and 5th streets--has deteriorated. The demographic had changed. There was a stench in some areas. The sidewalk is patched up unevenly, and covered with chewing gum. Most of the buildings have been neglected, abandoned.

As I look at them, I can still see the beauty in them despite the grime and the graffiti.

These buildings have seen better days, perhaps, in the 1930's or 1940's. During those days this must have been the place to watch the latest movie and see plays on stage. This street is the theater district or was the theater district. Nowadays movie houses are in malls and other areas of the city. And the latest stage plays and musical shows are held at the Music Center which is only a few blocks away.

This movie house has been spruced up. It must be one of those buildings bought for a song and brought to life by the new owner.

Close up of building above.

This building has some intricate lattice work.

At the corner of 5th street on Broadway, we made a right turn--going east.

We made it to the corner of Main where we were to catch another bus. This street doesn't look good. There's a man in a wheelchair and seems to me he is asleep. He has been that way the whole time we were there.

We waited for about 15 minutes or so, but the bus never came. We crossed the street going north to try the other bus stop.

At this block the place is cleaner and business is brisk. There is a cafe with outdoor dining. Right across the cafe a building is being renovated, a developer bought it for a paltry $100,000.00 in 1988. It was built in the 1930's. This is the old bank district, the area that is now being revitalized.

No bus still. The route must have been changed. At this point we were already tired and decided to take the bus that goes back to the Union Station.

We crossed the street...again...heading west toward those two buildings (above). That was about 4 or 5 city blocks.

When I took the picture above, a guy offered himself for a model, but my husband readily said, "No." The guy, about late 30s, wearing a leather vest, leather gloves with finger tips cut off, giggled and walked on. Ha! Take his picture and then he would charge me a fee for that. I'm not that gullible.

We passed this square across the street. Little did we know that there is a subway station down under that leads to the station where we were headed. Ah, we are not city slickers. We are suburbanites...we didn't know where we were heading. Mga tanga sa siudad.

We continued walking, this time uphill. Gasp...hingal...hingal...whew... Finally, we got to the bus stop and the bus came in a few minutes. We hopped on, and in a few the Union Station is right there. We can rest our tired souls before our train pulls in...then we board and we're home....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Downtown L. A. revisited

My husband and I like watching California's Gold TV show which is hosted by Huell Howser. In one of his recent shows he visited Clifton's Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. The place looked interesting and we thought of taking a visit to the place. Downtown LA was my stumping ground many years ago when I lived a few blocks from it. Everyone within a short bus ride would go there to shop. May Company and Sears have their stores there. My former landlady worked at May Co. until she retired. May Co. is now Macy's.

I now live with my husband about 40 miles from the heart of Los Angeles. Embarking on a mini-adventure would also let us take a peek at the old place. We decided on a week day on the second Thursday of this month. We took the most convenient way to travel there nowadays -- the
Metrolink (train), then a bus that goes around the city.

Enlarge images by clicking.

We were on the landing level--right at the top of the first steps--as the upper deck was already full. At this level there were only a few seats, about 18. We sat across a family headed to one of the towns before it reached downtown. In 50 minutes the train pulled in at the Union Station, it's final destination.

We boarded a bus, and we found the place in no time at all.

The sign at the window before the entrance.

The steps leading to the second floor balcony.

A moose head at the second floor railing.

Another stairs leading to the second floor dining room.

A stuffed deer right above a water fall.

The view from the second floor looking down.

A cabin with a small water fall beneath.

Clifton's was built in the 1930s and the forest theme is still the same to this day. The interior was kind of dark because of the woodsy decor.

We had lunch there and I had roast beef and mashed potato with gravy and green beans. My husband had fried chicken wings and some kind of veggies. The food was okay. After lunch we stepped out to the sidewalk and planned our next stop. Then we turned to our right and walked northward. And we walked, and walked...and walked...and walked...and w...a...l...k...e...d...