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Thursday, September 1, 2016

riding on the metroooooo

with the new gold line extension that opened a few months ago came the easiest, most convenient way to get downtown ever.  it used to come only as far east as pasadena, which we'd already thought wasn't too bad.  but now it comes all the way to azusa, which is a mere 10-minute drive on surface streets.  and so we thought it might be fun to ride it out to union station and then head across the street to do some exploring on olvera street, the oldest street in los angeles.

i had one other destination in mind before we headed over to get our confetti eggs on, though.  i'd seen people post about "liquid shard," a temporary art installation in pershing square that was made of thousands of tiny silver streamers tied to an invisible net that floated up and down with the wind.  it looked pretty cool and it happened to be the very last day for it, so we hopped onto another train and made our way there.

there's some construction in the area where that train stop is located, so it actually took a little time before we turned the corner and caught our first glimpse of it:

i have a frajillion pictures of it, plus video, but i'll try keep them to a minimum.  it really was very cool to watch it float up and across and back over.  i could have spent hours sitting there watching it.

we finally tore ourselves away and headed back to the train station to make our way back to olvera street.

union station is just so pretty inside.

we spent a few minutes peering into all of the holes in this "cabinet of curiosities."  again, i'm not very artsy-fartsy, but it was fun to look inside and see what local artists had put in there.

outside, we followed the signs to olvera street.

 free admission?  sure, why not?

 it wasn't hard to follow this instruction.

back outside, we wandered up and down the aisles of touristy crap - toys, huaraches, backscratchers, what have you.  it was hot, so i gave in and picked up three pretty lace fans.  those things have actually saved my ass quite a few times in the last month or so as we swelter in this late summer soCA heat.

it's always interesting to see the pieces of history left behind.  like if you look closely here, you can make out a bit of what used to be part of chinatown when it was located here.

we had lunch in this old home, one of the first brick buildings built in the area.

the old lady ordered a horchata margarita.  the rest of the food was...well, just fine.

outside, we wandered around the old buildings we'd learned about in the video we'd watched in the avila adobe.  it was after 3, so none of them were open for us to look in.

we walked just past little tokyo into the arts district, but found that angel city brewery was closed.  friends of ours had just been there and had taken some fun pictures with the murals on the walls, but there was some sort of filming going on and we couldn't get in there.  bummer.  we settled for the bit of art we could find as we walked along.

heading into little tokyo, we found some fun snacks at a japanese supermarket and then stumbled across an ice cream shop we'd read about online.

as we continued wandering, we noticed that there were lots of history lessons right at our feet, at most of the entryways to the shops.  it was really interesting to read about all of the stores and businesses that had been there before.

no trip to little tokyo is complete without a stop here for some fresh mochi.

and then it was time to hop onto the train and head home.

i have to say, it was really pretty awesome to just do our thing and not worry about the time or think about what kind of traffic we might get stuck in.  we knew that the trains ran every few minutes and that once we hopped aboard the gold line at union station, we could just sit back and relax all the way back to azusa.  

i'm pretty sure more train rides are in our future.  it's like a whole new world opened up, just for us!

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