I had a friend from high school visiting me for the past several days. She had visited me here years before and we did a few fun things back then, but for this visit I really wanted to show her some great things in Los Angeles, especially since I live in the city now (used to live in the ‘burbs).
One of the things she specifically requested was to check out the Garment District. I used to come here occasionally with a friend who would purchase supplies for a craft business she owned. This is the place to come if you want any kind of supplies to make clothing. This is where the fashion people in Los Angeles who make and design their own clothes come to shop! You’ll find shops selling fabric, lace, buttons, beads, embellishments, notions, zippers, ribbons… anything you could possibly want. You can also buy cheap clothing and accessories.
First, we checked out the Jewelry District. You can buy NICE jewelry here for lower prices, but I didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend. So we checked out a few stores including one in a basement that had trendy jewelry for cheap - I got a beaded wrap leather bracelet.
Then, we headed to 7th&Fig. This is a shopping/dining center located down the street from the Staples Center. I knew they had a great grilled cheese restaurant in their food court, so we had lunch there. This grilled cheese restaurant, called The Melt, has lots of creative grilled cheeses and tasty soups. The last time I was there, I shared two different kinds of sandwiches and soups and everything tasted great - Sweet Corn Tortilla, Spicy Black Bean, the Mission Sandwich, and another sandwich no longer on the menu with cheddar and multigrain bread. This time, I got The Mac Daddy - a sandwich featuring cheddar and macaroni on sourdough bread. I subbed out for the Two Tomato Basil soup, which was perfect for dipping. Yum yum!
There’s also a Sprinkles cupcakes at 7th&Fig - I’ll let you guess whether or not we indulged ;)
Next, we finally went to the Garment District. We had fun looking in all the shops with their colorful fabrics and trims. My friend had fun filling up a small bag of buttons for 99 cents. I got some decorative large beads that I’m going to make into a garland to hang in my apartment.
No trip to the Garment District is complete without a walk (or slow shuffle) through Santee Alley. It’s so crowded! This alley is full of peddlers selling counterfeit bags, makeup, and anything else you can imagine. You can buy cheap clothing, shoes, electronics, cell phone cases, frutas (usually mango, pineapple or melon cut up and sprinkled with lime juice, salt, and chile powder), jewelry, accessories… so much stuff to see. It’s an experience. I’ve been there before when it was so crowded you couldn’t even walk. I think I’d recommend checking this out earlier in the day, before it gets too packed!
We were pretty tired after this so we headed back to my place - very easy because we had taken the Metro downtown to Pershing Square. I love that I live close to a Red Line stop and I can avoid the traffic and paying for parking if I take the Metro.
It was such a beautiful day - sunny and not too hot - and I found myself walking along, looking at my beautiful city, with its flaws of course, and thinking how much I love it. I love Los Angeles, and I feel so fortunate that I can live in my favorite city.