RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Chinatown – Year of the Snake – part one


chinatown los angeles“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.

los-angeles-chinatownArtwork at the station: the I Ching,  The Wheels of Change, 2003, Chusien Chang, artist

los-angeles-chinatown-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.

los-angeles-chinatownlos-angeles-chinatownlos-angeles-chinatownGateway to the “touristy” area of Chinatown with shops and restaurants.

los-angeles-chinatown-062913-022-C-850pxCreative way to designate the pedestrian crosswalk.


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.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

5 thoughts on “Chinatown – Year of the Snake – part one

  1. I am messing around with different templates for this blog so if things don’t look quite right, you know why.


  2. The Wheels of Change is quite unique! Wonderful post!


  3. Pingback: Chinatown – Year of the Snake – Part Two | One Good Life in Los Angeles

  4. very nice portfolio, brings back childhood memories growing up in L.A. ty


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