Each week we share a few thoughts and feelings from the desk of Downtown. Here's some from the week of July 29, 2015:
We're sitting at BierBeisl, the Spring Arcade's new casual Austrian eatery, it's 1:15am, they're thankfully open til 2 every day and have free WiFi and coffee, tea, wine & beer, and a full menu. Though almost no one else is here. Downtowners often complain that there aren't enough good late night cafe-esque options. But are we ready to actually utilize one?
8th Street is one massive construction zone, as 8th and Olive gears up to be a shiny new corner complete with apartments, Whole Foods and the Freehand Hotel. Just down the street sits one of our favorite remaining buildings, the Hotel Bristol, with its San Francisco-like Victorian-era facade. Thanks to the Bristol, the trees, and overall vacantness, the block possessed a sleepier quainter charm than the average central Downtown street. But construction is changing that, bringing noise and temporary traffic and new beginnings along 8th.
Saxophone virtuoso Kamasi Washington performed this past weekend at Grand Performances, the annual summer concert series in Bunker Hill's California Plaza. An unforgettable free live musical experience, Washington and his talent-heavy ensemble provided an auditory journey from the 1965 Watts Riots to the 1992 LA Riots to the continued brokenness and fresh hopes for social justice in 2015 (#sandrabland). Los Angeles played a powerful role at the show in uniting jazz and hip hop, in bridging decades of inequalities, and in activating outdoor space with movement and meaning.