Sunday, December 14, 2008

The lights are much brighter there.

As a kid my grandpa used to take us downtown with him to pick up fabric for my grandmother's shop, since she was a seamstress. We were small, probably around my own kid's ages now, and I remember the tall high rises that seemed to touch the sky, the different ethnic areas and seeing the plight of downtown up close. It was a vastly different environment from what I was used to, but it shaped my sense of the city from that early age on.
I missed the Old Bank District's Holiday Block Party which I really wanted to go to. At night it's really difficult to leave the house and I hate to say it, but the Historic Core isn't exactly the safest of places to wrangle two kids. Fifth Street is still Skid Row, no matter how you slice it, but changes are being made and Main Street is really coming into it's own. New Restaurants, renovations, and some great little stores.

I have a soft spot in my heart for kitchen stores AND art stores. Raw Materials - an art and architectural supply store - just opened up on Main. One of the partners is Celia of 5thandspring, who is a lover of L.A. just like me. When I walked in to the store it immediately took me back to memories of architecture school and all the supplies I had to buy. I was so poor back then, my roomate and I had to buy colored pencils and cut them in half just so we could both afford to finish our art assignments.
I wanted to buy the Kid a sketchbook, he is a little mini version of me, and draws and sketches every day. However overly-clean me is a little tired of the scraps of paper strewn about the house. I told him that if he had a sketchbook he could keep all his drawings in one place. Luckily he didn't catch on to my evil-super clean ploy. Raw Materials had a ton of sketchbooks on sale and the Kid picked out the exact one he wanted and it was 50% off, only $5!! I also picked up these tiny (my fave) bristol sheets. I have been thinking of doing thumbnail sketches, and it's not like I can't cut the paper myself, but these little packs were too adorable and affordable at just under $2.
Then we walked a block down the street to The Nickel for lunch. The Nickel. Fifth Street. Skid Row. Get it? Anyway, the wait was a little long, but the food and service were great. The Kid DEVOURED his cinnamon french toast. Yes, that is a donut hole 'ring' in the front window display. Genius. The Baby said, "FWEAKY."

We go Downtown a lot - always to different parts, but this particular trip really took me back to the memories of going there with my Grandpa. I wonder if these trips will shape my kid's views of life in the city. I love Downtown and appreciate all the changes that are being made down there. While some of the old problems of homelessness and drugs still exist, I like to see that residents are really taking strides to make it a new, livable place.

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Blogger Nanette said...

Did you get to meet the fabulous Celia? She was one of the first bloggers I ever read. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger dapotato said...

loving downtown and being there more often. i will have to check that store out, although i get a pretty nice discount at my other place of employment right now.

Monday, December 15, 2008 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Yay Downtown! Do you ever go to the 2nd Thursday Downtown Art Walks? I know it's at night, but if you get a sitter some time, we should go.

Monday, December 15, 2008 10:24:00 AM  

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