Monday, January 16, 2012

Downtown Los Angeles

Saturday we took the metro train downtown, which is also what we did two years ago when we were in Los Angeles. This time, however, we did not spend any time looking at the historic buildings in the Old Plaza area. We instead took more time strolling through the Mexican-style market place, on Olvera street. Even though we had no serious shopping in mind, it still was fun to visit the craft booths and vendors of traditional Mexican wares. Plenty of food booths and restaurants are also available in the market place. We stopped to listen to Mexican music provided by one of the eating places. It was fun just taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the marketplace.
From there we walked over to Chinatown. The main street there is Gin Ling Way, which was named after a famous street in old Beijing. The name means "Street of Golden Treasures". And there are treasures to be found there, one shopping plaza has a long row of jewelry stores! The town is currently quite decorated. We came to find out the the Chinese New Year will be January 23. We were wished "Happy New Year" many times. I also learned that it will be the year of the dragon.
 And this time we had Chinese music for our listening pleasure.. The man pictured below stopped  playing on his two stringed violin to explain the instrument to us. It is called an Erhu. Unfortunately, with his broken English we could not understand most of what he said. However, he was a very sweet guy and after we placed a dollar in his donation pot, he gave us a bamboo backscratcher. 
I have not yet become bored with Los Angeles. It seems that we can drive or walk anywhere and find something fascinating to view. Returning to Union Station to catch our train that afternoon we noticed a large room in the station being readied for a banquet. We learned that a fashion show for charity was to take place in a few hours.. While we stood there a model came out to practice her walk across the stage.

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