with 'old bank district' tag

ray’s goes double-wide

the old bank district market deli, more commonly referred to as ray’s, has taken over the space adjacent to them, knocked out the wall, and just today were moving the shelves and merchandise into the new space. it was a big change from when i was last there just a couple of days ago.

new life, old theater

the owners of old bank dvd hosted a screening of iraq for sale: the war profiteers at the regent theater in downtown los angeles. banquette was also there with some snacks and drinks for sale, including their magic bars. (not that kind of magic.)

five word movie review: totally superficial, no narrative thread.

but the resurrection of the space is great. it is just stripped bare right now, so the acoustics were pretty bad, but i’m sure that will be addressed when they started using the space more. it would be really killer if a bar opened in one of the adjoining spaces.

sushi ’n sh t

for a while, i have claimed that the best burgers in downtown los angeles came from tony’s (aka burgers ’n sh t). it’s under new management now, and they have taken the burgers off the menu. the new owners have renamed it “tony’s roll & teriyaki.”

i tried the chicken breast teriyaki today, which was quite good. but i will always lament the loss of the burgers (and steak fries).

a blossoming area

sam hall kaplan writes in the downtown news that the streets of the old bank district skid row are not for strolling. while i would take some exception to that (it is much better now than it was several months ago), i know my tolerance for that sort of thing is higher than average. the corner of 5th and main can still be pretty sketchy (particularly because of the persistent drug dealing at the entrance to the rosslyn hotel).

but kaplan and architect wade killefer are going to “map, photograph and document the street's frontage” (or at least killefer’s office will). been there, done that. it’s almost time for me to go out again and take pictures of everything on the same stretches of broadway, spring, and main that i did last year. i had hoped to invest in a wide-angle lens before then, but that doesn’t look likely.

and although the hellman and san fernando are nice, it’s a stretch to call them high-end. i’d save that label for places like metro 417 or the sky lofts.


over at blogdowntown, eric wrote up witnessing a belligerent man getting picked up by the police, and it reminded me of something that my fiancée celia saw the other night. as we were leaving my building, we saw a guy step out from the outside seating at pete’s cafe and bar. this patron of pete’s approached a guy who was walking down the street with some flowers, and then offered him a couple of bucks for taking his picture. as the pete’s patron was taking the picture of the guy on the street, he asked him to “hold up your forty.”

you can guess which of the two of those characters i would like to drop-kick out of the neighborhood. (hint: it’s not the guy who was holding the forty.)

my fictional neighborhood

there may be a hook in this bait, but i can’t let kevin roderick’s crack about the old bank district go unanswered it. he calls it “Tom Gilmore’s fictional creation to trick hipsters into leasing Skid Row lofts: the Old Bank District.”

but thinking about it for a day, i don’t know that he’s entirely wrong — several years ago. but where tom gilmore may have created something fictional, it is rapidly becoming real with new restaurants like blossom, the in-the-works flying tiger speakeasy-style bar (opening below pete’s), and projects like the el dorado and rowan lofts coming online soon (not to mention the nearby santa fe lofts, pacific electric lofts, and the lofts at the security building).

and it’s not skid row — it’s skid row adjacent.

desire makes everything blossom

blossom vietnamese restaurant & teas is a new restaurant that opened recently at winston and main (near 4th and main) in downtown los angeles. my girlfriend celia and i ate there last night, and despite a small mix-up where they tried to serve our appetizer to another table, really enjoyed it. i had the shaking beef, she had the grilled pork chop, and we shared shrimp and pork spring rolls. celia also got the soda canh, which is a fresh lemonade made with perrier that was delicious.

they obviously still have some kinks to work out. there’s an unpainted wall outside the bathroom, the dining area is not really decorated, and the service was a little spotty, but they are a very welcome addition to the neighborhood. it looks like a couple of more businesses are gearing up to open in the canadian building. and with the el dorado lofts and rowan lofts under heavy construction, the old bank district is expanding out from the core at 4th and main.

floating balls of light

floating balls of light

the lights for whatever shoot is happening down on fourth street also lit up the foreground buildings for a shot of the skyline, which i thought was sort of interesting. the pictures aren’t as good as the view, though.

but i have suffered for my art, sort of — my phone rang when i was taking pictures, and when i got up to get it, i smashed my nose on a table. and then got promptly hung up on when i answered. kicked when i’m down.