“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” Chinatown, 1974. The movie was filmed all over Los Angeles (I have to Netflix it to revisit the locations) but “The uncompromisingly bleak climax… was filmed in Los Angeles’ real Chinatown, on Spring Street, just south of Ord Street, which has since been largely redeveloped.” – www.movie-locations.com.
I haven’t visited Chinatown in well over ten years so participating in a Sierra Club walk a few weeks ago seemed like the ideal way to re-aquaint myself and take some photos.
We rode the Gold Line from Union Station, just one stop and walkable, but I had not actually gotten out at the Chinatown station before.
View of downtown Los Angeles from the platform.
The I Ching was written over 3,000 years ago and describes 64 states of human situations such as “Inexperience,” “Creative Power,” “Conflict.” I wonder if we have added any since then!
Stairs or escalator, take your pick!
These pedestals are found in various areas around the city with information about the history of that particular neighborhood. As you can see, we are multi-cultural with a box containing copies of “Hoy,” the Spanish-language newspaper in Chinatown.
The story of LA’s Chinatown is a sad one. In a nutshell, it was the sweat of Chinese laborers (with other ethnic groups too, of course) that brought the railroads to southern California. But when the railroad magnates and the city fathers decided to build a new railway station to centralize the different train companies rolling through Los Angeles, they decided that the old Chinatown area was the ideal spot.
Members of the Chinese community were thrown out of their neighborhood lock, stock and barrel and moved to the location where Chinatown sits today. In excavations for expanding Union Station in the 90s, numerous artifacts were discovered that had been left behind in the hurry to move out. But that is a blog post for another day.
Look up or you’ll miss the best parts.
On that note I will end Part One of the Chinatown post. More coming (including the snake) another day.
Please click on all the photos for a larger view.
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