DTLA Hotspot: Grand Central Market

People Watching should be a channel.

I could happily gaze for hours at humanity going by. Luckily, DTLA is never short on a diverse array of humanity. The HotSpot Series continues with a stroll around Grand Central Market.

Grand Central Market

When I first moved downtown, Grand Central Market had already been going strong for almost 90 years, so to call it a discovery isn't really accurate. Residents rode Angel's Flight up and down the hill to access the more than 90 vendors in the market. In recent years, GCM has undergone an evolution, with eateries like Egg Slut, G&B Coffee, Ramen Hood and McConnells Fine Ice Cream taking up residence. Gone is the sawdust on the floors, which I kind of miss. But talking to a butcher at Belcampo Meat Co. and then getting a recommendation from the cheesemonger at DTLA Cheese + Kitchen provides its own charm, and I love it.

People come from all over the world to experience GCM, and right now, the super-cheap produce stands right next to the high-end butchery mean there's something for everyone.

Much to my profound delight, C jr has recently become interested in photography, and I was thrilled when I remembered I still had my Canon Rebel, my very first DSLR. So it now resides with C jr and already we've seen some pretty great photos result.

Photography is a wonderful art form to learn for so many reasons...it can be portable, private, and constantly evolving.

Just walking around will yield literal windows on the bustle of activity in the market.

Don't forget to look up!

All kinds of writing on the wall...

photo by C jr

Of course, some of my favorite people to watch were right in front of me.

We did have a funny experience there recently, when C and C jr and I braved the Saturday crowd for lunch...a beautifully dressed mother with beautifully dressed children (think Kinfolk magazine) were struggling to find a place to sit. We offered them our table and chairs and helped her add them to the ones she had already staked out.

"Oh thank you," she said, breathlessly. "We're having our cultural experience."

"Oh!" I responded, happy to see out-of-towners in my neighborhood. "Where are you from?"



For the readers who don't know - Brentwood is about 10 miles from Downtown. But it's a world away, if you know what I mean.

On the weekends, GCM can be a bit overwhelming. But if you can take your time, saunter around, then grab a piping hot pupusa from Sarita's Pupuseria and take a seat, I guarantee some excellent observing.

Have you had your cultural experience at Grand Central Market? What's your favorite place?