As my neighborhood changes, I am reminded why I originally moved here. In 1993 through 2005, the Arts District was like a twisted Mayberry R.F.D. or a f#$ked-up version of the bar on “Cheers” … everybody knew your name, but nobody gave a s&*t. By day, I could do the corporate thang (i.e, wear my suits AND hang out with suits to earn a decent living), and by night, I could be as original as I wanted to be and no one seemed to care. At the time, I recall rarely seeing anyone walking along 3rd St. from Santa Fe to Flower St. who wasn’t panhandling. I walked everywhere, day and night, and mostly saw 10-15 homeless men each day who asked me for cash.
I liked the quiet; the solitude; the starkness of the streets. I discovered secret places to surprisingly commune in nature among the high rises; where other Angelenos who domiciled elsewhere could or would never know about or find even if they took a wrong turn, heading into the heart of Skid Row instead of westward when leaving a concert at the Music Center.
There’s a reason why I still keep most of those places secret … now more than ever, with a DTLA population that has increased nearly fivefold since 2005, I need them to escape – I crave “alone” time. So, while I’m always delighted to share my wealth of knowledge of what to do and where to go in Downtown Los Angeles, there are still a few places I keep close to my chest.
Do you have secret places to go in DTLA?