The Downtown Scene
Program your GPS, and drive deep into downtown, where the Art Deco skid row is in the process of being converted into luxury condos and the derelicts are panhandling with a verve not seen in New York for years. First stop: the just-opened Crewest (110 Winston St.) for O.C. skater art.
Bert Green (102 W. 5th St.) is the neighborhood Gagosian. Across
the street, there are three fun galleries on the storefront level of the scuzzball Million Dollar Hotel (a.k.a. the Rosslyn; Fifth St. and S. Main St.), still about as sketchy as it was in Wim Wenders’s film.
If you search, you’ll find two of the classiest non-hotel bars
in L.A.: the Golden Gopher (417 W. 8th St.) and Broadway Bar (830 S. Broadway). Just be sure to leave the area by sundown.
If you have time to kill, give
Disney Hall (Grand at First Street) a drive-by on your way to MoCA
(250 S. Grand): Check out the
gift shop (which is almost better than
the museum itself) and the surrounding Little Tokyo. Sushi in the neighborhood is universally good.
Don’t miss the all-pedestrian Chung King Road in Chinatown for “Art Walk.”
On the second Thursday of each month, the galleries throw open their doors,
tap a keg, and stay open till 9 p.m. We especially like
the Black Dragon Society
(961 Chung King Rd.).
End with a drink at the Jorge Pardo–designed Mountain Bar (475 Gin Ling Way). Consider buying that scruffy stranger on the next stool over a few drinks. Get lucky and you’ll go back to the Brewery Art Colony (620 Moulton Ave.), a nearby 300-loft community of artists in the former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. Ask for a postcoital tour. -V.G.