DTLA in Black-and-White
Every time I return to LA, my sister and I make a list of everywhere we want to go together. It’s usually a mix of locations old and new. I was eager to return to Downtown LA, a place that surprised and delighted me last time; we intended to visit the Broad but were put off by the line that first day. (We returned the next.)
Instead, we went next door to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, an epic swoop of lines and reflective silver that was designed by Frank Gehry in his usual playful style. When it was first built in 2003, residents protested that the intense reflectiveness of the building was melting cars and killing dogs (no joke), but some of the surfaces were modified and now it’s a beacon of modernity in the heart of DTLA. We were mostly interested in taking pictures, curving ourselves into the shape of the building.
We wandered around the tall brick buildings and ornate theaters in the December sunshine, pausing at the Bradbury Building and buying presents at The Last Bookstore. I’ve written about the complexity of DTLA and my fascination with its history both cinematic and otherwise; this visit was just about spending time there, and less about chasing sights. And monochrome lets me remember that sunshiny LA is truly a city of noir.