Monday, December 15, 2014

Gotta Drank! Downtown

With a friend from out of state visiting this weekend, we descended upon downtown Los Angeles to show him around.  There's beautiful architecture on every street, like the turquoise Eastern Building that was used in Predator 2!  He got to sit in random traffic like a Los Angeles native as we chugged along the 10 freeway towards the convention center in our super charged Uber.  Just a week ago, a huge blaze tore through an under construction apartment complex, shutting down the 110 freeway and melting signs.  Luckily, no injuries or deaths have been reported so far.  Explaining that downtown is on the fast up and up thanks to projects like L.A. Live and gentrification through hipsters, it's sad to know that Los Angeles has the last true Skid Row in America.  Now you'll have fancy apartments and coffee shops right next to some of the most derelict parts of the city.

Our first stop of the night was Beelman's Pub, a super cool and chill gastropub that had lots of crazy crap on the walls like album sleeves and a Wonka Golden Ticket.  The bar served up house cocktails like Moscow Mules complete with copper cups so you know we had to have those.  The Mules were excellent, light and effervescent with a ginger kick from the syrup instead of beer and a piece of it candied thrown in. Food was hit and miss, the meat and cheese board was uber fancy but not exactly overflowing with eats while the steak and fries were absolutely delicious.  A jukebox offered up classic rock and pop albums including What's the Story? Morning Glory from OASIS.  It must not have been turned on though as our songs never came on while others repeated so I'm guessing a radio or iPod was at work.  Great spot though and we'll be back.

Walking to our next stop, we noticed a lot of people dressed in Santa outfits, must have been a theme party going on somewhere or some weird, downtown theme night like Dapper Day at Disneyland.  We walked past Pershing Square where ice skating was set up and palm trees were glowing red, blue, yellow and green.  Hidden away in a random building is Perch, billed as an intimate and non-pretentious lounge with a French bistro inspiration.  Taking an elevator up to the 13th floor to transfer, we opted to take the stairs, bypassing the lounge and heading straight to the roof where you get a solid, 15th floor view of the city.  You know I'm a sucker for drinks with a view but 15 floors?  Come on, I'm used to being on the 30th.  Being a little lower is nice though, you see more details around the city, the people on the ice skating, etc.  It was time for another Moscow Mule but sans copper cup sadly.  Very tasty though.  It wasn't too crowded and there were fire pits every few feet but the breeze up there was still a touch chilly.  Good times and I'll be sure to take any out of town visitors there to check out the view.

From there we walked around a bit, picking up supplies like Carl's Jr. and I couldn't help but be a little surprised at how rundown much of downtown looks.  There were people out and about, young and old, doing well and not so much so it wasn't a safety issue per se, just a lot of old establishments never given an facelift or deep cleaning.  I could only think of 1984's The Terminator when Kyle Reese (Ya know, The Biehn?) arrives and fights with bums and police on the grimy, gray streets of downtown that still look pretty much the same.

Cue the synth and Nike Vandals...

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