United States: Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood


As the clock inevitably ticks minute by minute,  signifying my last remaining hours looming closer almost coming to an end, I knew I just had to make the most out of what is left of the remaining hours of my trip. (Did it sound like I was almost dying?) What better way to explore the city by taking a tour downtown, exploring awesome spots and experiencing the richness of the culture all by foot (and public transit)!  My friend Abbie, my very good friend from college took on this very noble duty as she sponsored our whole walking city tour! And oh wow, Los Angeles is indeed beautiful!

My good friend Abbie and I

I experienced the train ride going to downtown LA, my very first (and also my last) subway ride throughout my entire stay in the United States. Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district in the central area of LA. No wonder I got myself super excited and ecstatic upon alighting from the subway towards the city as my eyes feasted on the various sights around me. The towering skyscrapers were complemented by the beautiful landscaping of greens, thus making a visually appealing city. I would call it beautiful, Los Angeles’ very own “concrete jungle”.

Here’s what greeted me straight from the subway!

Angels Knoll

Who would’ve known that on the very same day, I would actually ride the train in the shortest railway in the world, the Angels Flight in Angels Knoll. Imagine how ecstatic I was upon discovering that! Without batting an eyelash, I immediately told Abbie that I would like to use the train in going up the park. In about 10-20 seconds, we reached our destination– Angels Knoll.

To avid moviegoers, Angels Knoll must look very familiar. It should– because it’s the exact location of the park scene in 500 Days of Summer. The very same park endeared to Summer and Tom! Angels Knoll is a relief to the hustle and bustle of city life in LA, where you can laze around on the grass with the view of LA’s skyscrapers!

Insert Tom and Summer here

Pershing Square

Pershing Square was our next destination, another public park in Downtown LA, which was just an arms length from Angels Knoll. We walked around Pershing Square and went to one of the Public Libraries which I adored! The teacher in me finds great appreciation of all kinds of books. And I’m just really happy how public libraries in the US are organized and are open to any eager reader ready to open the doors of knowledge through books. If you can just imagine how I looked like then. With a wide smile on my face, I just gave a happy sigh of relief upon seeing their vast collection of children’s books.  If only I could also give the same kind of service for my fellowmen in my country– with easy access to books and learning!

Los Angeles Union Station

Afterwards, we walked around the Los Angeles Union Station, the main railway station in LA and also the main transportation hub in Southern California. I was surprised that the Union Station was not modern at all! Because of its wooden details, and beautiful preservation, it’s as if you are time traveling (while traveling) because of the atmosphere that the train station gave. I can pretty much imagine the train station looking the same perhaps in the 40’s or 50’s.  It was not old and dilapidated, it’s classic beauty was amazingly preserved!

Avila Adobe and Mexican Bazaar

My friend, Abbie told me that there are lots of Mexicans residing in LA as she told me a little bit of the history of Los Angeles. If you would look a the geographical location of LA, it would make sense if the Mexicans claim the land to be theirs considering its geographical proximity. Well, as history tells it, it was actually theirs for quite a while. Los Angeles was then called “Alta California”. But as history books puts it, towards the end of the Mexican-American war, it was turned over to the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Well, side stories would tell that the Mexicans did not willingly give out their lands, as they claim that the US actually STOLE their lands. It was not only “Alta California”that was stolen from them but also “Santa Fé de Nuevo México” now the modern-day California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. But then again, this happened in the 1800s and is just probably buried in American/ Mexican history books.

Disclaimer: Should this contradict any actual events in history, please enlighten me as this was just narrated to me orally. Like any other teacher, as I am a teacher, I would like to keep the credibility of the real events as much as possible. 

Upon getting off from Union Station, we happened to chance upon Avila Adobe, the oldest existing house in Los Angeles. After which, we walked through a Mexican community bazaar and found ourselves in the oldest house in LA

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard is a name of a street and an icon of the glamorous Hollywood culture. The name of the street has been often included in movies, songs, musicals, and the like because of its close affinity to Hollywood.  We had lunch in Sunset Boulevard (where there were lots of hipster shops) and ate our delicious Vegan meal (because Abbie has turned Vegan!

What caught my attention in Sunset Boulevard is the amazingly beautiful street art that they have around the area!

I don’t want to know what’s inside! (saw this on the way to Hollywood)

Who does not know about Hollywood? Even a hermit still has a grasp as to what Hollywood is. Hollywood possesses the cultural identity depicting the glitz and the glamour of famous celebrities as well as famous movies which gives life to American cinema. And just like any tourist visiting LA, Abbie had to tour me around Hollywood! We strolled around Hollywood Boulevard and marveled at the Hollywood atmosphere and culture.

Ah! Paradise for shows and musicals!

Kodak Theatre and Chinese Theatre (where famous premier nights are held)

Hollywood Walk of Fame

With Michael Jackson’s Star!

People in costume willing to have photo-ops for a fee

Lamill Coffee Silver Lake

During late afternoon, we met up with one of my good high school friends, Sue. We had our short-but-very-much-meaningful-and memorable coffee date and strolled around the shops in Silver Lake.

Castle Korean BBQ and IOTA Bakery Cafe

I thought that Korean invasion was only happening in my home country. Little did I know that in the humble streets of LA, there also exists a Korea Town, where lots of Korean restaurants prosper together with its growing Korean population. Who does not love Korean food? Maybe just the picky ones. But I, for myself, can vouch that Korean food is really good! Together with my family, as our last dinner in LA, we had an unlimited serving of Korean BBQ in Castle with the Geronimo relatives. Unlimited Korean BBQ all for USD 10.00! What a bargain! And it was super good! 🙂 We had coffee and desserts in IOTA, perfect time to spend our last few moments in LA.

Unlimited servings of Korean BBQ!

There is always room for dessert (and coffee!)

I was able to do so much in a day, as I am proud of myself to have experienced almost everything on foot! Los Angeles gave me a fulfilling last day in the United States, and I’m telling you, I will be back! (Maybe East coast next time?) NEW YORRRK!


About Mia G.

Teacher Mia. A Happy Girl. Chaser of dreams. Believer of living out each beautiful dream. A Full-time Preschool Teacher with a part-time job of being a happy traveler and wanderer. Co-founder of Destination Getaways Travel and Tours! A Proud Filipina who wants to travel the world one place at a time, one breathtaking moment at a time. Join the personal accounts of my adventures and misadventures and random experiences in our big and beautiful classroom-- the world. Share my experiences on spontaneity, excitement, adventure, travel, exploration, gastronomic encounters, and everything in between!

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