Great Walks: A Historic Trip Around Downtown

Wanna get stuck in the past? Chris Nichols, our Ask Chris columnist, offers his favorite stops
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      Union Station

      Start at the stately and cavernous train station, a hybrid of Spanish colonial revival and art deco styles that has been our rail hub since 1939. Grab a cold Oi Ocha tea at the newly opened Famima!! market (or a peanut cluster at See’s Candies). // 800 N. Alameda St.

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      Chinese American Museum

      Cross Alameda Street to see this Romanesque survivor from L.A.’s original Chinatown, much of which was displaced to make room for Union Station. The 1890 Garnier Building, in El Pueblo State Historic Park, is home to the Chinese American Museum. // 425 N. Los Angeles St.

      Chris’s Tip! Don’t miss the replica of the Sun Wing Wo General Store and Herb Shop that opened in 1891

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      La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

      After you’ve had a churro on Olvera Street, cross Main and enter the two-month-old La Plaza. The cultural center houses a dazzling exhibition on local Mexican American history and installations such as La Calle Principal, a re-creation of Main Street in the 1920s. // 501 N. Main St.

      Chris’s Tip! There’s a 30,000 square foot garden and events venue and lots of kid-friendly installations.

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      Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

      Once across the Hollywood Freeway overpass, walk east past City Hall to Little Tokyo. Look for signs pointing to Weller Court, home of Marukai Market. At JACC head straight to the James Irvine Japanese Garden; the 170-foot stream offers the perfect respite. // 244 S. San Pedro St.

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      Biddy Mason Park

      Walk to 3rd and head west, turning left on Spring. Halfway down the block is a mini art park tucked between a parking garage and a McDonald’s. It’s named after a former slave who became a nurse and at the time of her death in 1891, owned this part of downtown. // 333 S. Spring St.

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      Angels Flight

      Cut through the Grand Central Market, with its exotic fruits and neon enticements, to Angels Flight. For 25¢ you can ride the funicular railway from street level to Bunker Hill, 298 feet above. Catch a free concert at the Watercourt, which starts its 25th season this month. // 351 S. Hill St.

      Chris’s Tip! When you get to the top, pick up a plate of Asian-fusion chow at Starry Kitchen.