RMW: the blog

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


9 Comments

Deck the Halls of DTLA again – with views from the Wilshire Grand Hotel

christmas downtown los angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Two days before Christmas I repeated the Downtown Los Angeles Christmas Tree & Decorations Tour. Click on this link for last week’s walk. This time there were five of us. I know there were other people who wanted to come but due to illnesses, injuries and other commitments, could not make it.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Don’t know what kind of tree this is but the red berries made it very festive. At California Plaza.

So I’m thinking maybe I should do this again in 2018! I’m also thinking about a Christmas Decorations walk through Beverly Hills. I did a photo walk a couple of years ago, see the post here.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Another view of the red berry tree

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

California Plaza includes two skyscrapers, both of which are shown in the above photo.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

My four companions on the walk at California Plaza

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Lobby of the US Bank Building with the Central Library in the background.

In February or March I’m hoping to put together a tour of the Central Library and then use the 50% off coupons I have to visit Skyspace, the open air observation deck at the top of the US Bank Building.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

A view of the Central Library with the new Wilshire Grand Hotel (with the mast) peeking up behind it.

The US Bank building (also known as Library Tower) was able to build to 72 floors by trading air space with the Central Library. So the library can never build higher than its present height.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Millenium Biltmore Hotel lobby

Yup, you saw the above tree in my previous post. But it’s so gorgeous it’s worth seeing again! Do you recognize that ceiling? It was used in The Poseidon Adventure.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations  

Hands-on dad assisting his daughter with the Penguin helper at Pershing Square

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

There’s construction going on everywhere these days. More people, more traffic.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Hotel Clark as seen from Pershing Square

The Hotel Clark was built sometime around 1912-ish. It was a transient hotel for many years and in pretty bad shape. It’s really good to see its new life as a boutique hotel with a rooftop restaurant/bar. I have to see if I can get up there at some point.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Tree on 70th floor of Wilshire Grand

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

View from the 70th floor of the new Wilshire Grand Hotel

If you read my previous blog post, the first time I made it to the 70th floor lobby of the Wilshire Grand Hotel I had a terrible case of vertigo that crippled me, so I couldn’t take any photos. This time I was still a little queazy but I was able to wrap my brain around the fact that I was up so high and it was okay. The above view looks out to the Santa Monica Mountains and towards Malibu.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

The main part of LA is known as the Los Angeles Basin. You can see how the name originated as we are surrounded by mountain ranges. On the other side of the mountains is The Valley… still a part of the City of Angels.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

And then there are the freeways. Pretty light traffic for a Saturday. Everybody has parked their cars at the shopping malls for Christmas shopping!

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

The ocean on the horizon… from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica. The ocean is about 15 miles (24 km) from the Wilshire Grand.

I know the color is awful on these photos. I’m still having problems with color calibration and Lightroom… and reflections through the windows didn’t help. A triple whammy.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

You might notice the heli-pad on the building next door. Until recently there was a requirement to have a helicopter landing place on every building in downtown for emergencies. Since that ruling has been lifted we are seeing some more architecturally interesting rooftops.

Downtown Los Angeles decorations

This last photo is a zoomed-in look at Echo Park Lake, approximately two miles (3.2 km) from the hotel. That white object sticking up in the center of the lake is the Olympic Fountain installed for the 1984 Olympics. You can see photos of the lake on my blog post here.

Be sure to see my post about the previous week’s walk-through of downtown decorations at Deck the Halls of DTLA.

 

Advertisements


14 Comments

Deck the halls of DTLA

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Los Angeles City Hall at right mirrored with Christmas tree

Thanks to my friend SB for walking around Downtown Los Angeles (otherwise known as DTLA) with me today. It’s no secret I love downtown and I especially love it at Christmas… otherwise know as “The Holidays.” As anybody who knows me is aware, I embrace all religions and follow none. But I was brought up with Christmas, so that’s the way it is!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The above photo advertises El Dia de Los Muertos which is celebrated at Grand Park with installations honoring the dead, a Mexican tradition. The N.Y.E.L.A. poster is for the New Years Eve party hosted at Grand Park. At right is the reflection of the fountain.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A reflection in a window of the fountain with Christmas decoration on the left half. I always love Christmas with palm trees! After being too hot, today the temperature was around 70F (21C), my perfect temperature!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This was the window of the gift shop. We assumed the colorful tubes represent the pipes of the organ in the hall. And you can see the reflection of City Hall peeking up behind the pipes.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations in the window of the gift shop with reflections of clouds and palm trees. How Southern California is this?

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

The exterior of the Broad Museum mirroring a reflection of the building next to it.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We walked over to California Plaza to look at the decorations. The Angels Flight train was coming up the track.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

City Hall in the background.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas trees reflected in the pool at California Plaza.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas tree and wreath inside the building with reflections from outside.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Another tree inside lobby of a building with reflections from outside. Obviously I’m obsessed with reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Decorations inside the lobby, yes, with more reflections!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking upwards from California Plaza

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Next we moved on to Grand Central Market. Loved this neon ad for Frontier Whiskey!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Grand Central Market Christmas Tree

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

One Bunker Hill didn’t disappoint with their decorations. But the coffee bar was closed for the weekend.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
One Bunker Hill is one of my favorite buildings any time of the year.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

A very decent tree at the US Bank Building, the “real” tallest building in LA.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

We then transported ourselves over to the Biltmore Hotel. We had lunch there at Smeraldi’s. We each ordered the mushroom bisque.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Absolute heaven. And we split the prawn sandwich. Equally as good. Just enough food. Would do that again for sure!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

I adore the Biltmore. I could live there!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Now this is what I call a Christmas tree. The photo really doesn’t do it justice. Sorry.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations
They do a really great “tea” in the afternoons.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Christmas in LA cannot be complete without a visit to the skating rink at Pershing Square. The little kids have “penguins” to hold on to. It’s great to see them fall and get up again and still enjoy themselves. A lesson there for all of us!

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Looking up from Pershing Square.

los angeles downtown holiday decorations

Pacific Mutual always has some good decorations. I love all the 1920s buildings in downtown but this one is special to me as when I did my LA Conservancy training this was the building I had to present in order to become a docent. It’s hard for me to believe now but I was so nervous I almost decided to quit the program before I had to give my talk. Glad I didn’t!

After this we visited the brand new Wilshire Grand Hotel. We took the elevator up to the lobby on the 70th floor. I had a bad vertigo attack looking out of the windows as there are no railings to hold on to. Why not??? In any case it was horribly hazy from all the fires so I could not have taken any photos anyway. But it would certainly be an impressive view on a clear day. Some other time, for sure!


10 Comments

Downtown for the holidays

downtown christmas decorations

It was a rather gloomy, hazy day today but I got myself on the train to go downtown anyway. I like to go this time of year to wander around and look at the holiday decorations. Above is one of the Christmas trees at Grand Park with Los Angeles City Hall in the background. I did the best I could to bump up the blue sky but it just wasn’t there.

downtown christmas decorations

The shocking pink color scheme of the tree matches the color of the chairs and tables throughout the park.

downtown christmas decorationsThis is my favorite photo of the day. A selfie with City Hall behind me reflected in the pink ball.

downtown christmas decorations
I always like a cigarette that can tell a good joke!

downtown christmas decorationsTrees at the midpoint of the park adorned with gifts.

downtown christmas decorationsThe Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain at the north end of Grand Park with another Christmas tree.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainIt wouldn’t be Christmas without palm trees.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center hiding behind the tree. The Music Center is north of Grand Park, across Grand Avenue. The Music Center actually just celebrated its 50th birthday. I should do a post on that.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

Another selfie!

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
Looking back at City Hall.

Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain

downtown christmas decorations

I was disappointed there was no tree at the Music Center this year but I guess Grand Park made up for it. However, the area was festively decorated.

Arthur J. Will Memorial FountainAnd a nice bow on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

downtown christmas decorationsMoving south on Grand Avenue I saw these trees inside the lobby at California Plaza. They came out pretty well despite all the reflections on the glass.

downtown christmas decorations

California Plaza really came through in a big Christmassy way. There were some kiddies running around in great excitement at this display.

downtown christmas decorations

 
Note the train running around the base of the display. I love trains whether real or scale model.

downtown christmas decorations
I also love reflections.

los-angeles-downtown-122114-150-C-850px
A beautiful purply tree inside the Wells Fargo Center.

downtown christmas decorations
Purple happens to be my favorite color so if there’s anything better than a purple Christmas tree, it’s two purple Christmas trees!

Wells Fargo Plaza building
And so you don’t think I’m playing favorites with Wells Fargo, the Bank of America Plaza across the street sports these planters with beautiful red, white and gold begonias and poinsettias.

downtown christmas decorations
Red and white begonias seem to be very popular all over the city this year.
downtown christmas decorations
At this point I was about decorated out. But I was happy that I made the effort to capture a little holiday spirit.

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 link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


8 Comments

The sad plight of Olivet and Sinai

angels flight los angeles

Angels Flight on Hill Street in the Bunker Hill area of downtown Los Angeles is famously known as the shortest railway in the world. From 1901 until 1969 it connected the Central Market to the Victorian homes on the hill. In the 1970s Bunker Hill was cleared to make way for the office towers and apartment buildings that exist today.

angels flight los angeles

In 1996 Angels Flight was re-opened a half block to the south. As Bunker Hill was regraded, so the cars, Olivet and Sinai, had to be installed on re-engineered bases to fit the new grade.

angels flight los angeles

Unfortunately, the updated engineering for the railway was faulty. After an accident in 2001 when a passenger was killed, the engineering company went out of business and the owner disappeared, never to be found.

angels flight los angeles

Angels Flight was closed again in 2010.

angels flight los angeles

It was closed again for about a month in 2011.

angels flight los angeles

Then, after another incident, it was closed again in 2013 and as I write this it has yet to re-open. The text on the plaque above reads:

Built in 1901 by Colonel J. W. Eddy, lawyer, engineer and friend of President Lincoln. Angels Flight is said to be the world’s shortest incorporated railway. The counterbalanced cars, controlled by cables, travel a 33 percent grade for 315 feet. It is estimated that Angels Flight has carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world, over a 100 million in its first fifty years. This incline railway is a public utility operating under a franchise granted by the City of Los Angeles. Marked by Beverly Hills Parlor #289 Native Daughters of the Golden West November 1952.

angels flight los angeles

As of this writing Angels Flight still awaits its fate. All I can say is I have ridden this railway many many many times and as soon as it is up and running again I intend to be a passenger!

angels flight los angeles

Now Angels Flight connects Hill Street with California Plaza, an office tower and public space.

angels flight los angeles

I’ll be posting photos of California Plaza in a separate blog.

Angels Flight Los Angeles

Angels Flight Los Angeles

Angels Flight Los Angeles

Angels Flight Los Angeles

Angels Flight Los Angeles

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 link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!